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Found a new job but won't start for another month

(Saint Charles, MO)

I've been collecting unemployment benefits for a little over a month and a half after the business I was working for closed. I just recently got accepted for a job that should finally make ends meet. I'll be starting training in a week or so, but after a little over a week of training, the facility shuts down for 2 weeks for the holidays. Since I'm contract help, I won't be getting paid for those 2 weeks. I tried calling the Missouri Department of Labor to find out if I qualified for assistance from this point on, but the gal I was stuck talking to was about as useless as they come. She eventually told me that I should just keep filling out job applications and filing for unemployment the way I have been, but seeing as she didn't seem to know much about what she was talking about (it took her 10 minutes just to verify that I had in fact been receiving benefits..) I figured I'd see what others had to say about it. At the very least I plan on calling one of the other branches in the morning and asking for a supervisor and seeing if they're any more helpful.

Question: Will you be getting paid for the training period?

And you mentioned that you are a contract employee so I want to know if this job is through a staffing agency or directly through the employer that will be providing the training and then be expecting you to do the job you were trained for.

And one more question .. when this company shuts down for Christmas .. do you happen to know if it is paid time off or not?

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Dec 06, 2011
You are now the employee of a temp agency.
by: Chris - Unemployment-tips


First, I believe regardless of where you work you are only being leased to Company B .. but for unemployment purposes and tax purposes and probably any benefit package, you are the employee of Company A .. the staffing agency.

Temp employees aren't really what I call contract employees .. but employees of temp agencies that contract with client to lease out their own employees.

Which, in my opinion is the type of employer to really look out for .. because you're working for your employer's client .. who is working for their client. The dilution helps to take an employees eye of which employer is really theirs .. should problems arise.

Employers including staffing agencies are required to report new hires to the state .. which in turn provides that information to the fairly new, national new hire reporting system (good for detecting interstate unemployment fraud).

It is because you are working for a temp agency I would expect you to be paid for that time you train .. anything else, I do not believe would be in compliance with the FLSA.

But it raises a question about whether that time the plant is shut down constitutes a valid lack of work claim with regard to your unemployment claim and your subsequent employment with the staffing agency.

Temp agencies always force a question for me. I need to know if the state has a special provision for temp workers. I checked, Missouri does.

The special provisions and the employer paperwork you signed, usually state a requirement for you to ask the staffing agency for another assignment when one ends, or in your case, goes on hiatus. Typically, you the employee is expected to do this within 48 hours to avoid a finding by the UI dept that you voluntary quit without good cause when you failed to request more work from the temp agency. See Table 5-3 to verify.

Since this entire website is basically what I would consider if in your shoes, I would be thinking yes, I could try to get benefits for that time as a lack of work if no other temp work was available .. as long as I also followed through and obtained documented proof of my request for work during that week and the negative response that none was available.

I'd feel compelled to have my request for work to fill in that week documented, but only because I know how staffing agencies operate ..

The very nature of leasing employees like this lends itself to high unemployment tax rates which they of course want to avoid.

Temp agencies that lease employees are responsible for legislation forbidding a practice called SUTA dumping because of their high UI tax rates.

And it is because I know the nature of the beast that I would ask myself if it would behoove me to follow through and risk upsetting a touchy recruiter .. or can I get along without any pay from Dec. 23rd to Jan 3rd.


Dec 06, 2011
Situation Info

They didn't specify one way or another that I would or wouldn't be paid for the training (and honestly I never even thought to ask.) They simply said that by the time the hiring process had been completed and the paperwork had gone through if I got hired, there would probably only be approximately a week left to train before the holiday break started.

Company A (the one that hired me) is a staffing agency
Company B (the one that I'd be contracted to) is contracted to provide IT services to Company C
Company C is a union factory which closes from the 23rd of December to the 3rd of January and thus has no need of services from company B at that time.

Company C being union I'm sure gets holiday pay.
Company A and Company B both said during the interviews that while I can get time off when I need it and that I get holidays off, since I'm contract labor I don't get paid for time off or holiday pay. Neither said outright that their regular employees get holiday pay, but since they kept drilling it in that I wasn't getting holiday pay because I was contract labor, my guess would be they do.

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