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I'm a "casual" employee and have been sent home for lack of assignments...

by Liz
(Knoxville, TN)


I live and work in Tennessee.

I am an actual employee of a company but I am classified as a "casual" worker. This status includes Ad-hoc, part-time employees - basically employees with an undeclared work schedules.
My assignment just ended two weeks ago after working 40 hours a week for 10 months straight.

They haven't located another assignment for me, so I have been sent home in the mean time. I keep in touch with my boss every other day and she assures they are working on finding an assignment for me and it might take a while.

I mentioned claiming unemployment benefits in the meantime and she basically said that I'm a current employee and not terminated and that I probably wouldn't be able to claim unemployment benefits but to try if I wish.

I know people in other states can claim unemployment for temporary lay-offs and reduced hours, so I assumed that I can claim unemployment until I earning wages again.
Would I be correct to assume this?

I have heard employers dislike when employees claim unemployment - would this affect my job? Could they just let me go because I am claiming unemployment benefits?

Thanks in advance

You certainly should file a claim for unemployment.

Whether you get it or not is another matter, but I will assume it is not your choice to limit yourself to part-time work as evidenced by working 40 hours per week for 10 months .. that certainly doesn't sound casual ..

No, they don't like it when employees get benefits and I cannot speak to whether a UI claim would have an effect on your job .. except in theory.

If they choose not to employ you simply because you have filed an unemployment claim .. that would be a discharge for something other than misconduct and therefore entitle you to benefits.

When it gets messy is when petty employers attempt to fire people for trumped up misconduct just to prevent people from collecting.

In that case you need to understand that counter documenting is essential to rebut the employers contentions that misconduct was the reason.

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