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by Dan
(New York City)

I worked from Dec. 2009 until August 2010 for a company that I made enough money to qualify for unemployment. It was a TV show and the season ended. I have since worked two jobs, one not on payroll from September 2010 until March 2011 and another short one on payroll for 7 weeks, June and July 2011.

On all 3 jobs I was let go because the show was finished, I wasn't fired or didn't quit.

Can I collect on that first job? and when filing a claim it asks for Federal ID # of last employer but do I put the 1st job since that is the claim?


Hi Dan,

I think I would report the earnings just to be safe, although they probably just want to verify the reason you're giving for the separation and that you are not a self employed person.

If you are legitimately unemployed through no fault of your own from any covered job .. you can file a claim anytime you want .. as long as you have "qualifying wages" from "covered" employment in a NY base period, (vs. a deleted smartass comment only I would think is funny) .. per NY's qualifying formula.

I suspect that when people have earned 1099 wages the state also likes to assure themselves that the employment was not actually covered employment and that the employer might have actually been avoiding paying unemployment taxes on .. all part of fraud detection .. which is not exclusive to claimants.

Here's two resources that might help you understand more about what it is I just told you.

USDOL UI State Law Comparisons (Lucky you, the USDOL finally updated law changes for 2011)

New York Unemployment Interpretation Indexes There's nothing like knowing how a State has ruled previously on an issue to get some clarity.

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Aug 16, 2011
Freelance work
by: Anonymous

Los Angeles and New York are the haven of tv/film production work.

Companies in these cities are all too familiar with the cyclical nature of employment in the industries and when people are 1099'd, the employers know all too well what to expect when people have completed work on the projects. They are prepared and fortunately, because you sought and received Chris' advice, you are, too.

I worked many freelance jobs when I was in film production and I made certain I was on payroll for the work, mainly because I knew I would file UI. I never experienced repercussions and neither will you.

If you do, then find people who are not inclined to treat people as chattel, but as human beings who work hard and deserve to take care of themselves.

Aug 15, 2011
which employer pays
by: Dan

So I will choose my most recent employer but who will get the taxes raised? The people I just worked for I would like to work again for them one day but am afraid of angering them by getting their taxes raised.

If I am not reporting what wages I earned with previous jobs how does the gov't know what is my base and which job is responsible?


Dan, Not using your right to file a claim for benefits or any employee right because of fear of what an employer might do .. is a pet peeve of mine.

But I suppose you should consider the source.

I'm the old woman that declared to her husband one day in a moment of truthful passionate dramatics .. "I'd rather live in a tent and forage for nuts and berries than work for another "employer". I managed to extinguish the resentment I was feeling at that moment somewhat, so I could work for another three years.

But look, when you or anyone for that matter mentions one little thing about the need to be contrite or suffer financially for fear of what an employer might arbitrarily decide to do .. and I'm off to the races again.

How does the gov't know anything?

They have controls in place so they know as much as they must to serve their best interest.

Wage reporting and paying ui taxes on the wages reported and paid .. which covers benefits paid from employer SUTA's (state unemployment tax account).

New hire reporting, both on the state level and now a national reporting database to detect interstate unemployment fraud.

There are all kinds of systems in place and if they don't know right now .. there's a way for them to learn later.

Most states apportion the charges for the benefits .. not all, (Illinois comet to mind) but most.

And when an employer can't be charged due to certain non-charging provisions .. benefits come out of a general state fund (or account) which all employers taxes contribute to as well as their own account.

I guess you're just going to have weigh the amount of whatever you estimate your WBA to be against the damage you fear filing a claim might do to your prospects of getting more work from this last employer.

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