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Should I sign paperwork denoting I am now "part-time" and how would this affect me?

by Wendy
(San Diego, California, USA)

I've already called EDD and they are to send me a form in ten days to fill out. Basically, I used to be a full-time worker (hired full-time), but now, like many others in CA, I am working 24 hours a week, which makes me eligible to file for partial unemployment; however, I have a couple of questions . . .

1. I no longer qualify for health insurance so my company said if I wanted them to stop deducting health insurance payments from my cheques, I would have to fill out a form that says I work "part-time." My question is, would this affect me down the road if I were to become completely laid-off, or, does EDD not care about this? My concern is that if I were to be completely laid off later, the company I now work for could say that I was a part-time worker and that this could reduce my benefits?

I am very wary about signing anything because of this, and my company is very sneaky, which makes me even more suspect.

2. If I get another part-time job that pays less than I make at my current job (at which I currently work 24 hours per week), what would happen if I were laid off from the first job and only had the second, lower paying job? If I were to continue filing for partial unemployment, or were laid off from the first, higher paying job, could this lower the amount that I qualify for from CA unemployment per week?

This is all very confusing to me, and neither my employer nor those I've spoken to at EDD were clear on this issue. All that they told me at EDD is that they just go by the "base period" and that's that. But I assume that if I were laid off from a higher paying job but remained with a second, lower paying job, that this would change my payment status for unemployment benefits?

This is driving me crazy!


Hi Wendy,

I can tell:)), but I think I can straighten most of this stuff out for you
.. with the exception of why your employer needs you to sign a paper acknowledging you are part-time to stop a payroll deduction for health benefits?????

The EDD doesn't care about your health benefits except maybe if you decided to quit this job if California considers the loss of a "fringe benefit" as additional ammo for a voluntary quit with good cause. I'm sure you could find the answer in the California eligibility guide.

When you file the EDD will look at the wages you earned in your base period. Your base period will be 4-1-08 through 3-31-09. This is how they establish what your weekly benefit amount will be. Let's assume you earn $20 an hour and you worked 40 hours a week. Your weekly benefit will be roughly 50 percent of your full-time earnings or 400 a week for 26 weeks. This means your claim is worth 10,400 and that is the maximum amount you can collect for the benefit year.

Now if your hours have been reduced to 24 a week you would be earning $480 .. so you file and report that you earned $480 .. the state will first disregard 25 percent which is $120 which leaves you with $360. You will get a check from unemployment for $40.

But if you get another part-time job .. you can see that you probably wouldn't get a partial amount, but if you are laid off from the higher paying job you could again start collecting a partial amount based on that same weekly benefit amount as long as it's the same benefit year.

When part-time employment could effect you is if later on .. down the road when all the extensions are used up and if you need to file a new claim which looks at a new base period .. you'll only have part-time wages for the EDD to look at and establish a new weekly benefit amount.

You're right .. it can be confusing, so if you have any more questions or need me to clarify something, let me know.

If anyone finds this answer useful ..
Donations are gladly accepted.

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Jul 14, 2009
Reply to "should I sign paperwork . . ."
by: Wendy

Thank you so much for replying to this.

And re: that the company wants me to sign that paperwork, see, I am very suspicious, and I have the feeling that if I am ever laid off, they want to make sure they have that paper where I signed I am now "part-time" so that they can take me to court and deny me unemployment benefits or at least pay me reduced benefits and say that I was "part-time."

Lots of companies are getting down and dirty right now, when people are suffering the most.

I haven't signed anything and I won't. Meanwhile, I'll be finding a lawyer to see what we can do about the health insurance issue, etc.

Thanks so much.


You are welcome Wendy. If you think they'd use it to deny benefits .. the only way that would work for them is if you signed it and then quit if they reduced your hours some more and that's a big MAYBE whether it would work or not.

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