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Unemployment question
Posted by: space-time
Date: March 25, 2020 12:44PM
This is unchartered waters for us.

Wife's company is slowing down a lot because of the corona virus (and business was weak even before). They put more than 50% of staff in Furlough in April. They expect to return to work in May. There are rumors the furlough could be shorter if they receive any aid from the 2T stimulus, or longer if the coronavirus situation does not improve by the end of April.

They told the staff they could use PTO (Paid Time Off, in other words vacation days). Or they could file for unemployment.

She has 16 vacation days, and would still be unemployed for some days. And if somehow they do not call her back to work in May, or she gets laid off later this year, she would have to pay back unearned vacation days. Also she would have no vacation days left for this year. I do not like this option.

So she would go on unemployment for most of April. She could still use a few PTO days for the beginning of April, so she would effectively go on unemployment on April 2 or 3, or even April 6th, the first full week in April.

Question for you: does it make any difference if she works 1-2-3 days in April? Are these partial months counted for things like Social Security, Unemployment, benefits, etc? Alternative would be she does not use any PRO days at all, and she could go on furlough/unemployment next Monday, March 30th.

What is the best option?

BTW we are about 70% they will hire her back, she is well appreciated and they seem to need what she does. And she loves this job. But hell can still break lose.

P.S. did I mention we are in the process of buying a house? we signed the contract and went through all inspection when we found out about this... fun isn't it?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/25/2020 12:46PM by space-time.
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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: Gareth
Date: March 25, 2020 01:03PM
What state? As benefits and rules would be different.

For instance, in California, it's all about the week. Month doesn't matter. So if you worked 4/1, 2, 3 (Wed-Fri), you would be eligible for unemployment the following week (but you wouldn't get paid for that week as we have a 1 week waiting period. However, I hear the 1 week waiting period is being waived at this time). So your first unemployment check would be for 4/13 - 4/17. Also note that the unemployment payment will likely be lower than the weekly salary. I.e. for CA it maxes out at $450/week but the actual amount is based on your previous earnings qualification period (although I think that is also being raised for this time).
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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: space-time
Date: March 25, 2020 01:11PM
NJ. She makes (or better said, used to make) around 100k per year, that would be around 2k per week before taxes.

from looking quickly at the forms she got from work, it would appear she needs to prove that she is actively looking for work. I assume sending resumes and applying on Linked in and similar sites is good enough for them. It seems a little strange that they would require you to do this if you were told this is only for 4-5 weeks. the furlough should be over before she would be able to find another job.
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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: rjmacs
Date: March 25, 2020 01:13PM
I'd advise getting into the unemployment system ASAP.



rj
AKA
Vreemac, Moth of the Future
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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: Gareth
Date: March 25, 2020 01:19PM
Quote
space-time
from looking quickly at the forms she got from work, it would appear she needs to prove that she is actively looking for work. I assume sending resumes and applying on Linked in and similar sites is good enough for them.

Yes, but you may not need to prove it. In all my years of unemployment from when I was a freelance employee (so I would go on unemployment for a week or two at a time, sometimes a month or two in between jobs), I never had to actually fill out the looking for work log (it was printed on the back of the form). Though friends have had to, and I've been listed as the employer contacted.

Quote
space-time
It seems a little strange that they would require you to do this if you were told this is only for 4-5 weeks. the furlough should be over before she would be able to find another job.

I learned an important lesson of telling them what they want to hear and not necessarily the truth. But knowing I was going back to work was never something I tested. On our forms, there was a box to check if you knew you were going to be hired in the future. I never checked it, even if I knew I had a job coming up because I was unwilling to take the risk they would reduce benefits because I was going to go back to work.
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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: space-time
Date: March 25, 2020 01:30PM
Interesting comments. thanks a lot.

I'd advise getting into the unemployment system ASAP.

She was told she cannot apply yet. Her last day of work will be this Friday, or sometimes next week if she decides to use some of the PTO days. Then she could apply.

I expect there will be an influx of applicants and a huge backlog.
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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: d4
Date: March 25, 2020 01:53PM
I don't have any answers.
But I do wonder how does a furlough affect health insurance and/or any life insurance through the company?

I've been through layoffs before. It doesn't matter if you are loved by your department. Or seem indispensable. Or have seniority. etc. The accountants take over. The bottom line most often boils down to keeping the workers with the lowest salaries. And if you're in upper/middle management, good luck!



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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: March 25, 2020 02:01PM
In your job search - do not apply or say yo have applied to anyplace that might actually be hiring at minimum wage. Jobs like supermarket bagger, fast food, uber, etc -- In some states if you turn down any job offered you are no longer eligible for benefits. For unemployment - full honesty is not always in your best interest.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: space-time
Date: March 25, 2020 02:25PM
But I do wonder how does a furlough affect health insurance and/or any life insurance through the company?

that is a good question. fortunately my company offers better health insurance so the entire family is on my plan.
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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: March 25, 2020 02:29PM
About 3 years ago I lost my job and filed for unemployment in WA. By the time I'd navigated the process and figured out how to get my application submitted I'd gotten a new job, my new benefits were active, and my new 401k already had funds in it. It takes a while under 'good' circumstances. During a pandemic, I suspect you might be reincarnated before your application is processed.



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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: March 25, 2020 02:55PM
....under normal conditions, as I recall, unemployment takes the 1st week......so you are supposed to file ASAP........

.....if she can use personal/vacation time use that first because she will get her 'normal pay rate'......unemployment is probably much much less than her 'normal pay' rate......



_____________________________________

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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: Bernie
Date: March 25, 2020 03:29PM
FMLA
Family Medical Leave Act should cover the insurance for 90 days. You still have to pay what would normally be taken out of your check and company still pays their portion. Check Human Resources Department to initiate it.




Staunton, Virginia
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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: rjmacs
Date: March 25, 2020 03:38PM
Quote
Bernie
FMLA
Family Medical Leave Act should cover the insurance for 90 days. You still have to pay what would normally be taken out of your check and company still pays their portion. Check Human Resources Department to initiate it.

FMLA doesn't protect laid off workers who would have been laid off regardless of FMLA status.



rj
AKA
Vreemac, Moth of the Future
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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: rjmacs
Date: March 25, 2020 03:40PM
Quote
space-time
Interesting comments. thanks a lot.

I'd advise getting into the unemployment system ASAP.

She was told she cannot apply yet. Her last day of work will be this Friday, or sometimes next week if she decides to use some of the PTO days. Then she could apply.

I expect there will be an influx of applicants and a huge backlog.

Yeah, but they should be required by law to pay her PTO either way (as salary or as a cash-out payment). If she uses it as leave, it will only delay her applying for unemployment because it delays her layoff date.



rj
AKA
Vreemac, Moth of the Future
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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: March 25, 2020 06:19PM
It varies by state. I would go with unemployment first, if you can.

Quote
rjmacs
Quote
space-time
Interesting comments. thanks a lot.

I'd advise getting into the unemployment system ASAP.

She was told she cannot apply yet. Her last day of work will be this Friday, or sometimes next week if she decides to use some of the PTO days. Then she could apply.

I expect there will be an influx of applicants and a huge backlog.

Yeah, but they should be required by law to pay her PTO either way (as salary or as a cash-out payment). If she uses it as leave, it will only delay her applying for unemployment because it delays her layoff date.

It depends on how the PTO is granted - eg if it's accrued or not. My PTO won't be cached out, ever.




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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/25/2020 06:19PM by M A V I C.
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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: Bernie
Date: March 25, 2020 06:20PM
Quote
rjmacs
Quote
Bernie
FMLA
Family Medical Leave Act should cover the insurance for 90 days. You still have to pay what would normally be taken out of your check and company still pays their portion. Check Human Resources Department to initiate it.

FMLA doesn't protect laid off workers who would have been laid off regardless of FMLA status.

If the company WANTS to cover the employee through FMLA they can. If they want to pay someone full wages they can. If they want to lay some one off..... and never call them back...they can do most anything THEY want to for most any reason.

If you are called to active duty they must offer you your original job back.

I would ask for FMLA and see what is offered in return.




Staunton, Virginia
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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: March 25, 2020 06:20PM
.....and remember.....to love her no matter what [ unemployed and all ].......still the same person.....



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: space-time
Date: March 25, 2020 06:48PM
Quote
Bernie
Quote
rjmacs
Quote
Bernie
FMLA
Family Medical Leave Act should cover the insurance for 90 days. You still have to pay what would normally be taken out of your check and company still pays their portion. Check Human Resources Department to initiate it.

FMLA doesn't protect laid off workers who would have been laid off regardless of FMLA status.

If the company WANTS to cover the employee through FMLA they can. If they want to pay someone full wages they can. If they want to lay some one off..... and never call them back...they can do most anything THEY want to for most any reason.

If you are called to active duty they must offer you your original job back.

I would ask for FMLA and see what is offered in return.

why do you keep mentioning FMLA? I didn't say anything about FMLA, and this is not a family medical issue. It is a world-wide medical issue.
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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: space-time
Date: March 25, 2020 06:55PM
Quote
M A V I C
It varies by state. I would go with unemployment first, if you can.

Quote
rjmacs
Quote
space-time
Interesting comments. thanks a lot.

I'd advise getting into the unemployment system ASAP.

She was told she cannot apply yet. Her last day of work will be this Friday, or sometimes next week if she decides to use some of the PTO days. Then she could apply.

I expect there will be an influx of applicants and a huge backlog.

Yeah, but they should be required by law to pay her PTO either way (as salary or as a cash-out payment). If she uses it as leave, it will only delay her applying for unemployment because it delays her layoff date.

It depends on how the PTO is granted - eg if it's accrued or not. My PTO won't be cached out, ever.


The PTO is given in a fixed number of days (16, 21 and 26 depending on seniority) and you can use it whenever you want. Come January 1st, you can take all your days, but, if you quit on July 1st, you need to pay back half of those days.

You can also carry out 5 days for next year that you have to use by March 31.
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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: sekker
Date: March 25, 2020 10:09PM
Wishing you and your wife the best! This is a tough time!
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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: Bernie
Date: March 26, 2020 09:31AM
When a pipe wrench isn't available

a vice grip will do.

If I was an Employer I would offer FMLA to my key people and continue their benefits for as long as I could.

I would lay off the rest.

Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) | U.S. Department of Labor

FMLA USDL

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. It also requires that their group health benefits be maintained during the leave. FMLA is designed to help employees balance their work and family responsibilities by allowing them to take reasonable unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons.

Who decides reasonable family and medical reasons? The company decides. With a Doctor's paper work the employee can force or compel the employer to see it legit.

Basically an employer can call it leave of absence with benefits.
Think outside the box.

soapbox smiley




Staunton, Virginia
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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: rjmacs
Date: March 26, 2020 01:24PM
You can't selectively offer FMLA to some employees preferentially. Geesh. Thinking outside the box could generate you a hefty lawsuit, and possibly legal trouble.



rj
AKA
Vreemac, Moth of the Future
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