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drastic reduction of hours

by Carolyn
(Santa Clara, California)

My husband has been at his job for 3 years working as a tech for satellite TV, his schedule was 10hour days 4 days a week for a total of 40 hours a week.In the last few months his hours have been going down due to work not being available, working say 7-8 hours 4 days a week.In the last few weeks they have started calling him the night before and telling him not to come in because there is no work. For the past 3 weeks he has worked a maximum of 20 hours a week. This week he got 9.

He's looking for another job but isn't getting any call backs yet, and we can't pay our bills on what he is making with the shortened hours. Can he get unemployment if he quits the job?

Hi Carolyn,

Please don't let him quit .. quitting means a possibility of not getting any benefits or it will mean a much longer wait to get the benefits coming in.

Have him file for partial unemployment benefits until he finds a new job. California will disregard up to 25 percent of what he does earn per week before they start reducing the WBA.

Virtually, if he earns less than what he would get for "total unemployment" the combination of what he does earn and the benefit amount will be the same as if he were totally unemployed.

It is the safest way to go with the least amount of resistance .. because it is a completely valid claim.

Comments for drastic reduction of hours

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Mar 26, 2010
by: Anonymous

Sounds good. thanks for the advise, we really have no idea what we are doing here, so any suggestions are appreciated!

May 15, 2011
Did quit because of ambivalence in job position
by: Jose in Chicago

I had a permanent position with a constant weekly salary under the previous administration,
I was never questioned about the time I put in, but was asked to keep a log in order to justify my time.
I had a punch in system, and there was always someone to report to or supervise me.

When I was told about the theater transfer to someone else, I was never approached to be given a job offer until a week after the deal closed
He questioned what I did when there were no shows and told me more than once that he could not afford to pay me a weekly salary.
Then he offered a free-lancing position, paying me only the days when I worked at shows, one day of employment a week, two days on the weeks when there were shows. I had to do my own deductions.
And I have not seen any paper work or contract that specified my true position.
My employment in this place was mostly technical and managerial.
I feel that the new owner wants it to be multi faceted, including janitorial and maintenance.
He never mentioned that my managerial position was being downgraded:
But the very foundation of the proposal, plus the questioning of my duties and the fact that this was not discussable, but a pre-determined proposal told me that i was being laid-off, without recognizing it.
I had previously forewarned him that I would need to go collect unemployment because I could not make it economically under the conditions I was being offered.
He told me not to do so, that he wanted me to stay around and that he would find ways to compensate me accordingly.
But he reiterated that he could not afford anything else than one day a week.
I responded that I would give it till the end of the month.
So after a three week lull in April, he tells me at the beginning of the third week that i was to work only that Friday precisely the first of three continuous days of programs.

Seriously now:
In the event of two shows per week I would get $240 for two days, and in the case of one show per week only $120.
The day per week never really materialized because:
There was no way for me to specify how much time I would put in.
No punching clock, no one to report to or at least it was not really clear how i would report my time.
I had to wait for him to indicate which day of the week I would be scheduled. Or be on call for him to ask me to do something. No written agreement was ever signed.

May 15, 2011
You sound like you are now self employed
by: Chris

Seriously now, you need to file the unemployment claim .. because the employer is playing a game .. he's trying to retain you as an employee, but not treat you like one where it would benefit himself.

It also sounds like he is trying to retain the right to direct and control your activities while not paying unemployment tax on wages anymore too.

If you are responsible for paying your own taxes now .. that's a great big red flag that tells me he's probably not paying unemployment tax or matching your social security anymore either.

You were laid off. And the current conditions are a substantial change to the conditions of employment you were laid off from

No employer can force you into becoming a self employed individual and then control you as an employee telling you when you have to show up to work and dictating what job duties you must perform.

You have a choice to make.

File the claim first and then if you continue with this agreement .. start reporting your earnings .. The employer probably won't like this .. because what you are describing to me is an employer attempting unemployment tax fraud.

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