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Temp agency and unemployment

by debbie
(swarthmore, Pa)

I am in Pa. and laid off 11/2009. Before reading this here on TEMP agencies, i rec'd a phone call for a job offer and took it, worked 2 days,called out sick today. is there anyway to get out of this agency ? can i refuse a payceck and be done with it or am i doomed now to this agency. Reading the paper work i signed for this temp agency i see no mention of a "contract" everything was verbal over the phone for this temp job for this month. Must i accept jobs offered here ?? H HELP i screwed myself big time :(


Pennsylvania unemployment does not have a "temporary worker provision" .. The USDOL's chartbook says they interpret whether not calling for another assignment when one ends is a voluntary quit or not.

So here is what I would consider if in your place (and I have been in your place).

All states have a "new hire reporting system". Employer are required to report new hires. It's part of "fraud detection".

This alone would make me think twice and a third time about just quitting.

To discuss this anymore I would need to know WHY you don't want to go back to this "temp assignment. It needs to be "unsuitable" for some "valid" reason.

Quitting an assignment for a valid reason does not mean you have necessarily, quit the temp agency .. which is now your new employer.

As far as severing an employment relationship with a temp agency .. that can be difficult if they keep offering you jobs be they suitable or not.

When they do this, they have formed a viable, valid argument to combat the occurrence of a "lack of work" claim.

I agree, working for a temp agency sucks, and it's even more convoluted than a regular permanent type employment, but it seems to make up the bulk of new work available nowadays.

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Dec 09, 2010
Pa Temp & Unemployment
by: Debbie

Chris thanks for your quick response here
I was scheduled to work today and i called out sick, some kind of flu bug and they called me this afternoon to say i have been replaced. do i need to call unemployment and tell them this?? i worked 2 days for this temp agency. And if they call me for another job offer, must i take it ?? please help, i am so scared of losing my unemployment now, i file this sunday.
thanks again
debbie in Pa.


Just file you claim as usual and report your earning X number of hours times the rate of pay.

As far as accepting another assignment .. don't buy trouble until you have to cross that bridge.

I will tell you if they do offer you another assigment the issue would be a refusal of suitable work .. so check the PA unemployment laws and find out what might constitute work that is "unsuitable".

You can refuse work or an assignment if it is unsuitable.

If you don't want to look at the actual laws .. you should at the very least read what PA unemployment has to say.

Please read the part about "due to unsuitable work".

It gives some very general conditions that might make an offer of work unsuitable, but the most important sentence is the first one you read.

"When an employee accepts a position, he/she admits to the initial suitability of the position with respect to its wages and the conditions of employment."

So, it is before you accept a job you have to take a good hard look at what the job is. Ask questions .. if you're working for a temp agency try to do this via email.


The following sentence helps explain why I say try to get answers via email from the temp agency.

"When a claimant quits because he/she feels the job was unsuitable, the claimant must show there were changes in the conditions of employment, to which he/she did not agree upon, that made the job unsuitable, or there was deception on the part of the employer with regard to the conditions of employment at the time of hire, or he/she shall be considered ineligible."

This also all holds true for permanent jobs.

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