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How does a temporary job for one week affect future weeks of Unemployment in California.

by Austin
(Oceanside, CA.)

I just started receiving unemployment in California. I receive the maximum of $450 a week. I was recently offered a temporary freelance assignment for one week that would pay $2500.00. I understand I will not receive unemployment for one week because it exceeds my $450 weekly benefit amount, but what about future weeks. Could the state of California deny me up to 4-5 additional weeks of benefits to make up for the 2500.00 I could receive through this temporary assignment, or would this simply reduce my remaining claim balance through the state. Thanks for your time. I really appreciate it, it's impossible to get a live operator on the line in the state of California.

Hi Austin,

First you are correct .. if you earn 2500 in one week you would not collect because it's over your weekly benefit amount.

No, the state of California cannot try to recoup the excess from you.

The benefits you are paid come from a "fund". The way the state keeps that fund filled is to collect UI tax from employers. The tax is a "percentage" based an the first x amount of gross wages earned by every single person in "covered" employment. It does not reduce your claim's award balance. Only receipt of benefits from that balance reduce it.

When the state determines a person should receive benefits .. those benefits are charged to specific "employer tax accounts (SUTA). The way the state recoups is to up the percentage of tax paid by that specific employer .. This is called an experience rating and this is a strong motivation for employers to fight unemployment claims.

So, now lets talk about temp agencies. By virtue of the nature of their business model ..
they have high experience ratings. In fact 33 states have provisions which have an effect of reducing the ability of temporary workers to collect unemployment after an assignment if they cannot sustain the requirements of a provision which basically says that if after an assignment ends the claimant is considered to have voluntarily quit without good cause if they failed to contact the agency to let them know they are ready for another assignment.

California does not have a provision, but that doesn't mean a person working temp assignments doesn't need to be careful .. because another protest used is "refusal of suitable work"

The temp agency becomes your employer and whether you were entitled to benefits due to the separation from a different employer or not .. your right to "continuing benefits" is dependent upon the "most recent work" .. in other words no matter why your previous employment ended .. the reason any subsequent employment ends is the deciding factor as to whether you can pick up the benefits again.

The temp agency becomes your current employer and all the rules apply .. in addition to the extra provisions regarding temporary work in 33 states.

I realize this is a long drawn out answer, but since I conceptualize explanations about unemployment as "nesting boxes" I never know where to stop because my basic mission is to warn.

How do you get the EDD to answer the phone? By the way, the stories I'm hearing from people who were lucky enough to actually talk to more than one person .. prompt me to give this advice.

Document the date and time of the call, the name or identifier of the person you spoke to and what they told you.

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Dec 08, 2016
Getting Someone on the Phone in CA
by: Anonymous

Getting someone on the phone in CA is easy. Call the number on their website. When you get the phone tree, press the number for filing a new claim. That will get you to a live person really quickly and they won't be upset when you tell them you aren't calling to file a claim, you just have a question.

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