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Layoff then taking short term consultant work

by Aaron

You are the greatest for answering these questions so accurately and timely.

In Ohio,

I was laid off after working almost 2 years with a contracting firm. My job was outsourced to them after working 8 years with the original company. The paperwork I filled out on layoff day gave severance and said they would not contest unemployment. That part is all fine and dandy. Never been on unemployment for my 40yr life until now.

I am drawing unemployment from this company for 5 weeks now, I took a temporary job (lots of overtime) with a IT Temp firm for almost 2 weeks. That job is almost over. The 1st week I claimed the amount I will get for that week with the unemployment office. I got nothing since I made more than the benefit amount. I do understand that. The same will happen after this 2nd week is up. My questions are...can I still draw unemployment after my job with them is done? Does that unemployment come from the place I worked for before them for 2 years? Do I stop getting benefits when I have no job?

I am trying to make sense of how this all works. I wouldn't be without work if they hadn't of laid me off and I wouldn't be taking temp work if they hadn't of laid me off. Isn't that what unemployment is for? They have put me in a position that I never would have been in so shouldn't they continue paying for my unemployment until I have a perm job?

Thank you,

Well Aaron, let me propose a premise for understanding unemployment benefits in general.

They are designed and structured to make collecting difficult unless you were laid off from a job, but after someone does start collecting, regardless of why they became unemployed .. everyone is standing on equal ground and everyone must look out for the camouflaged deadfalls that stop benefits cold.

Temp agencies, staffing agencies, whether specialized or not are employers. When you take a temp assignment you become the employee of the temp agency in quite a number of states, which have somehow managed to get legislators in these states to pass "temporary worker provisions".

Ohio doesn't have one(table 5-3), but that doesn't mean they (the state) will necessarily, ignore any paper you signed for the temp agency acknowledging that they have a rule which requires a person to contact them for another assignment otherwise they will have been considered to of quit. I don't know what you signed, so just take this as a general warning no matter what state someone might be reading this in.

There is no good reason for these provision
or temp employer rules, except to turn a "lack of work" claim into a voluntary quit without good cause, otherwise known as "job abandonment. They have time limits for contacting the temp agency for another assignment.

This is just one tactic of temp agencies to keep their experience rate down due to the nature of what they do .. Provide temporary help or "leased employees" to other employers. The temp agencies take over paying all the taxes associated with employing someone .. including UI taxes

The words that stop the benefits after being allowed to collect are "the most recent work".

As an employee, you do not need to be concerned with who is paying for your benefits you just need to be aware that employers also don't really like the unemployment dept.

Because the employer is concerned about their tax rate and the statutes require them to appeal and fight benefits even if they aren't being charged for your benefits at the time .. because they might be in the future if you file for a second benefit year. And we should all know that is happening with great frequency now .. so much so .. it's unprecedented.

So, I can tell you that if you hadn't taken that temp job .. your original employer might have used your refusal to stop benefits for the layoff because you cannot refuse "suitable work" offers and continue to collect benefits.

You cannot quit without good cause or be fired for misconduct from any "subsequent suitable work" and continue to collect benefits which you are collecting from a legitimate lack of work claim.

You cannot do anything when collecting unemployment, but look for work and accept suitable work when offered or go to school if approved by the unemployment department. This is called being able and available.

Unemployment benefits are paid for by employers, but when you are collecting your boss is the state unemployment programs. Your job is to find work .. and do so by complying with their rules because .. they'd love to fire you so they don't have to pay benefits.

Alright .. I know I'm ranting, but if a temp agency does not have another assignment and you have complied with provisions and temp agency rules about "another assignment" and they don't have one .. nothing should stop you from picking up benefits again .. the problems arise when people don't realize who they are now working for and don't ask for assignments or think they can refuse an assignment.

That is what gives temp agency fodder for appeals or initial responses to notices of claims filed that stop benefits.

So as usual, I recommend being able to prove everything.

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