I live in CA. If I quit a job and then find new work shortly after but the new job is an acting gig that only lasts for a few days can I then file for unemployment?

I am an actress and I am working for a retail/ residential property as my "survival job." I've been working steadily for this company for a year a half. Recently, I found a new agent and they've been sending me out on a lot of auditions which is great but I sometimes have to come in late for my shift or call out. My employer is aware of my situation and they have other actors as well working for them and they understand how that goes. I'm worried that they will let me go because my auditions are getting in the way of coming into work and I will not qualify for unemployment. If they fire me and I end up booking an acting job I want to know if I can file after the acting job is done so I can at least get something while I search for a new "survival" job. Secondly, if I am still employed with them and I book an acting job that requires me to travel and I take it but I don't quit this job because I want to continue to work when I get back but they fire me will I be able to file for unemployment?



Good question. I think I know parts of the answer, but California has a whole section devoted to actors. Let me check it out .. I'll come back and tell you what I think about your situation.

And just to verify, you are a union member .. correct?

Comments for I live in CA. If I quit a job and then find new work shortly after but the new job is an acting gig that only lasts for a few days can I then file for unemployment?

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Oct 26, 2009
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All the usual rules apply
by: Chris

This job whether a survival job or your chosen profession would be the job separation in question.

If they fire you for attendance issues because you are now going out on auditions .. you might be able to make an argument if there was some agreement at time of hire for time off for auditions, but that's entirely dependent on whether the employer has an attendance policy and if you can support an implied agreement at time of hire .. it's iffy.

If you get an acting job, but it's short-term you might consider asking the employer for a personal LOA otherwise, It's a quit and it's a quit for another job.

The bottom line is that if you want to collect unemployment from an employer, the separation must be through no fault of your own. They are in the business of being in business and are not expected to pay unemployment benefits to us when their interests and ours no longer mesh.

This does not mean that you couldn't purge the disqualification with an acting job and then collect benefits if the wages from this job show in your base period, but once a DQ is purged the employer can make sure they aren't charged for the benefits you receive based on your earnings from them.

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