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Is there any time limit in the state of TX for making an initial determination of your claim?

by Laura

I live in TX and have been unemployed for just under 2 months. I was employed by a staffing agency and had been on one assignment for the past 2 1/2 years. I was LAID OFF from that client due to "an economic downturn" in which they were no longer able to keep me there. I asked for a letter of recommendation upon leaving, which they gladly provided. The letter stated that I had been employed with them the past 2 1/2 years, stated my job responsibilities, and that I had been laid off due to economic difficulties. They stated they regretted they could no longer keep me there and provided a reference as to my character, work ethics and office capabilities. I had been in contact with the staffing agency throughout the 2 weeks prior to my layoff date of 6/11/10. They acknowledged that they had been informed the position would be terminated and the date. I stated that I would like to be reassigned to any other suitable position they might have. They stated that the economy had been hard on them and that they now only have appox. 30% the clients they used to have. They stated that there MAY be a position for me and would I please submit an updated resume so they could present it to the client. I did so. They left a voicemail saying they didn't receive it. I left numerous voicemails trying to clarify the email address. I never received a response. This all occured during the 2 weeks prior to my layoff date. On the last day of my employment, since I was still unable to get any response from the staffing agency, I then faxed the resume along with the letter of recommendation and my final timesheet to them. The cover page stated that I had attempted numerous times to contact them regarding the other positions they had mentioned, and had not yet received any response so I was faxing the requested information along with my timesheet. It stated that that was my final day there and I was "definitely interested in any position they might have available". It included my updated contact information. I went to file unemployment after the 3 day wait period required by law. The information provided was that I was to request my first check the week of June 30 with a payment date of July 6.I requested the payment. July 6 rolls around and there is a notification on the website (after logging in) stating that the UO is now investigating the case and to continue requesting payments every 2 weeks in case I become eligible then benefits could be paid. I called the UO and they stated the employer was disputing the case. Long story short (well not short, but shorter), two months have passed and I am still waiting on the case to be determined. I have spoken with the UO several times and presented written documentation. I have continued to contact the employer regarding any other positions they might have. They are claiming that they were unaware I wanted reassignment and I failed to contact them at the "end of my assignment and or/ within 48 hours", stating I had signed an agreement to do so when I was initially employed 2 1/2 years ago. In my discussions with the investigator, I stated I was not aware of the fine print to contact them

within 48 hours for reassignment or my unemployment could be denied. I had spoken with them (the staffing agency) numerous times prior to layoff and after layoff and no mention was made of any specific procedure to follow for reassignment. However, after the discussion with the investigator I downloaded the specific policy they were citing, from their website. I read where I am required to contact them "at the end of each assignment or within 48 hours" or I would jeopardize my unemployment benefit rights. I feel it is a moot point as I have provided written documentation of layoff and that I contacted them THE DAY OF layoff (clearly both at the end of and within 48 hours of the assignment ending). I have made every effort to be reassigned. I submitted the requested updated resume both by fax and email and I have the confirmations. They have spoken with me directly on numerous occasions regarding alleged new assignments they have available. Several of their employees have stated they have submitted my resume for consideration to several clients. I have heard nothing so far about any interview times or reassignments. I believe I have made every effort to indicate I continue to be seeking/interested in any position they have available. How much longer can the state take to make an initial determination. I have four children and am the sole provider. I do not receive any child support. I am not eligible to receive any cash assistance (welfare) until a determination has been made. I no longer have any money to be able to even look for a job anymore. I have depleted the minimal savings I did have. Also, is there any financial relief available to claimants such as myself when it is obvious the employer lied thus creating a SEVERE hardship? I apologize for the lengthy explanation but I wanted to be as clear as possible. Thank you!

Hi Laura,

I appreciate the length and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the clear statement that corroborates why temp or "staffing" agencies leave a bad taste for me.

This is typical of just one of their low down tactics.

As far as how long it should take .. Federal guidelines and my dealings with states use to lead me to believe that a state's "performance evaluation was based on 30 days to reach a determination as a reasonable length of time. In fact thirty days for each stage .. including appeals, but all that seems to have gone out the window .. and since I just recently heard that another 131,000 jobs were lost last month it might explain the "delays" although I know this in no solace.

I know of no recourse for dealing with an employer who "lies" except if the state were to actually use the possible unemployment fraud statutes against them .. but I wouldn't count on that.

You might call and ask the UO if they have a procedure for claiming "hardship" to expedite the claim.

I'm fervently hoping, that between the time you asked this question and I read it .. that you received a favorable determination.

And by the way, the lack of work is merely because the agency can't provide another assignment. Although it sounds like you had a good "client employer" your employer is the staffing agency and the layoff from the client is just another assignment ended.


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