Q: If You Are Pregnant Can You Collect Unemployment Compensation
A: Yes. The same rules apply to pregnant women as apply to everyone else. However, pregnancy is not considered good cause to voluntarily quit a job. If you choose not to work because you are pregnant, you cannot receive unemployment compensation. However, if your company fires you because of your pregnancy , you can receive unemployment compensation. You can continue to receive your unemployment compensation benefits after the child is born if you are able and available to work.
Q: What Is Unemployment Compensation
A: Unemployment compensation is a government benefits program that protects workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own from imminent financial hardships. People who qualify to receive unemployment compensation get a weekly check and help finding a new job. Most people receiving unemployment compensation receive about ½ of what they earned at their job. However, you may receive more money if you have a dependant spouse or child. Unemployment compensation usually can last for up to 26 weeks. However, your unemployment compensation benefits can end after 16 weeks, or you can be denied benefits altogether, if you didnt work enough in the previous year.
Do I Qualify For Unemployment Insurance
Unemployment Insurance benefits provide income to workers who are temporarily unemployed or whose work hours have been reduced to a very low level. To be eligible, you must have lost work or wages through no fault of your own. You are almost always eligible for benefits if you were laid off due to lack of work, and you may even be eligible if you were fired or if you quit. You must also meet certain criteria, such as a requirement that you must be looking for another job. The California Employment Development Department administers Californias UI program. For more detailed information on Unemployment Insurance , please see our Fact Sheets UI BenefitsAn Overview, UI: Ability to Work, UI: Availability to Work, UI: Eligibility After Being Fired from a Job, UI: Eligibility After Quitting a Job, UI: Overpayments, UI: Partial Employment and Reporting Earnings, UI: Past Earnings Requirements/Weekly Benefit Amount, UI: Temporary Workers, and UI: Work Search and Suitable Work. Also contact the EDD at www.edd.ca.gov or call 1 300-5616.
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When Can You Quit Your Job And Still Receive Unemployment Benefits
Here are some reasons for quitting that might entitle you to collect unemployment.
Your state may recognize additional covered reasons for leaving a job, such as moving to be with a spouse who has taken a distant job or been reposted by the military. In some cases, the employee may be subject to a disqualification period — a stretch of time during which benefits are not available — before becoming eligible for unemployment.
To find out more about your state’s laws, contact your state unemployment insurance agency. You can find links and contact information for every state’s unemployment agency at Career One Stop, a site sponsored by the federal Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration.
Heres How Unemployment Benefits Work
First of all, how exactly does unemployment work? Well, it varies by state, but generally youll only be able to claim unemployment benefits if you have been working and then lost your job.
After you lose your job, you can call your states unemployment office or go the their website to find out how to apply. You may then be contacted by a person from the agency to make sure that you qualify.
Youll need to regularly file an unemployment claim and prove youre still looking for work to continue receiving the benefits. Whether you find work or not, those benefits will run out in a matter of months. The standard length that unemployment benefits will last is 26 weeks, though some states have cut down that time, and states as well as the federal government can extend the time period during economic downturn.
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Should Your Company Contest The Claim
Your states unemployment office not your company will ultimately decide whether a former employee can receive unemployment benefits. You do, however, have the option of contesting an employees application for unemployment benefits, and that option gives your company a great deal of power. In California, for example, the unemployment board presumes that a terminated employee did not engage in misconduct that would disqualify the employee from getting unemployment benefits unless the employer contests the unemployment claim. Thus, in California, terminated employees who claim unemployment benefits receive them unless the former employer contests the claim.
Remember, there is no reason and there are no grounds to contest an unemployment claim if the employee was laid off. There are also no grounds to contest the claim if the employee did not engage in misconduct but was fired for lesser reasons for instance, for sloppy work, carelessness, poor judgment, or the inability to learn new skills.
Even if an employee engages in misconduct, your company might want to give up its right to contest an unemployment insurance claim as part of a severance package, especially if the fired employee seems likely to sue. In other words, your company would agree not to contest unemployment benefits and the employee would agree not to sue your company.
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What To Do If Your Unemployment Application Is Denied
If you feel that your employer lied or there was an error in your application, you can start an appeal. Sometimes the staff handling applications can make a mistake while verifying information, so you may need to call them first to discuss the problem.
If you decide to appeal a denial, you can expect to explain the situation in more detail and submit additional paperwork. If you do not have time to do this or avoid additional setbacks, you should consider consulting with an unemployment law attorney.
Your appeal will be reviewed along with any new evidence. A neutral third party will decide if the appeal is valid. If you or your ex-employer do not agree with the new decision, you can take it to the administrative agency or to your states civil court. By the time it gets to court, a judge will make the final decision.
This can be very expensive process. You should seek out professional opinions from an experienced attorney to make sure you have the best chance of success. Often it is less expensive and faster to accept the denial and job hunt quickly for something new. However, if an employer mistreated you or infringed on your rights, you may want to fight for what is just.
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What If You Quit Or Were Fired
Workers who leave their jobs for personal reasons or who are fired may not be eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits. If these circumstances apply to your application, we will need more information from you before we make a decision.
If you quit voluntarily
If you quit your job without “good cause connected with the work” you may not be eligible to receive benefits. “Good cause connected with the work” means that your reason for leaving must be directly related to your job, and be so compelling that you had no choice but to leave the job. While in most cases you cannot voluntarily quit a job and collect unemployment insurance benefits, where you can show unsafe, unhealthful, or dangerous working conditions, that were so intolerable that you had no choice but to leave the employment, you could be eligible to collect unemployment insurance benefits. The burden of proof is on you, the employee, to prove that you quit for good cause.
If you leave your job for personal reasons for example, to move out of the area your reason for quitting is not connected with the work. If you quit your job for better pay or more hours, you may be eligible for benefits under certain circumstances.
In both cases, a claims examiner will contact you by phone or email for a fact-finding interview to decide if you are entitled to benefits based on Unemployment Insurance law and policies.
If you were fired or discharged
There are two types of misconduct: misconduct and gross misconduct.
While You Receive Benefits
If you do meet all the various qualifications to receive unemployment, be aware that compensation comes with conditions. While you are receiving unemployment, you must be actively seeking a new joband states can request proof of your job search.
If you turn down a suitable position , your unemployment benefits may be terminated. Also, during the Great Recession that bottomed out in 2009, many states changed their laws to prohibit receiving severance and unemployment benefits simultaneously.
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What Are Reasons For Termination
Acceptable Reasons for Termination Incompetence, including lack of productivity or poor quality of work. Insubordination and related issues such as dishonesty or breaking company rules. Attendance issues, such as frequent absences or chronic tardiness. Theft or other criminal behavior including revealing trade secrets.
Looking For Work Maybe You Can Get Unemployment Benefits
If you are out of work, you might qualify for unemployment benefits from the Oregon Employment Department . These weekly checks can help you while you look for another job. OED also offers free job search services and can help you find a new job. OED has forms in Spanish and staff who speak Spanish as well. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
How can I qualify for unemployment benefits?
1. You must look for work and be able and available to accept a new job. You should keep a record of your efforts to find work. Every week you claim benefits you must report your job searches and earnings. You can get benefits even if you earned a little money in the week.
2. You must be legally able to work in the United States. During the weeks you want to receive unemployment, you must be a U.S. citizen, legal permanent resident, or otherwise able to work legally in this country. OED may also check if you were qualified when you worked.
3. You must be unemployed through no fault of your own. If you were laid off for lack of work you will qualify for benefits. If you are fired, you can get benefits unless the employer shows that you were fired for your “misconduct”. If you quit a job you must show that you had a good reason and no other reasonable choice. Whether you quit or were fired is sometimes an issue.
What can I do if they deny me benefits?
What other services are offered by the Employment Department?
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Options For Workers Who Don’t Want The Vaccine
Many feel that getting vaccinated is a personal choice. If you really have strong feelings about getting vaccinated, try talking things out with your employer. You never know if your employer might agree to make an exception even if you don’t qualify for one based on religious or medical reasons, such as letting you work from home or get tested daily in lieu of an actual vaccine.
But if your employer won’t budge, know that in most of the country, being fired for not getting a jab will mean not getting to collect unemployment. That’s a risk you’ll need to accept if you don’t get a COVID-19 shot when it’s a requirement at your job.
Are You Able To Work
To qualify as “able” to work, an employee must be physically and mentally capable of work. If you are suffering from an illness or injury, you may not be eligible for unemployment benefits until you are once again able to work. However, an employee who has a disability and could work if provided a reasonable accommodation generally will be considered able to work.
State laws vary in how they measure whether an employee is able to work. In some states, for example, an employee who is unable to work because of a period of illness or disability will still be able to collect benefits as long as the employee didn’t turn down work during that time period.
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Be Prepared To Talk About Your Termination
Job loss is common and you may be asked about it during job interviews. In particular, you may be asked questions like Why are you looking for a job? or Why did you leave your last job? You should prepare answers to these questions so that you can present yourself in the most positive light.
Consider these resources as you are preparing your answers:
My Boss Told Me I Dont Have A Right To Unemployment Is That True
Your boss has no right to decide whether or not you receive unemployment benefits. That decision is made by the Employment Development Department . Your workplace doesnt want you to know this, but receiving unemployment benefits isnt that hard.
Youll receive your unemployment benefits as long as you were involuntarily terminated through no misconduct of your own.
Youll receive your unemployment benefits as long as you were involuntarily terminated through no misconduct of your own, are physically able to work, are actively seeking work, and are ready to accept work.
Misconduct generally means more than coming in late or making a mistake, so dont let your employer push you around or scare you away from money that belongs to you. Even if you received a write-up for something and you were on thin ice when you committed the same mistake again, that doesnt mean you intended to commit misconduct or that you did in fact commit misconduct.
But be careful! Its important to be honest with the unemployment department regarding your reasons for termination. The unemployment department may deny your claim on the grounds if you were dishonest with them — sometimes even when you said something on accident during your phone interview.
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Can I Continue The Health Insurance I Had While Employed
If you had health insurance through your job, you are probably able to continue that coverage under the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, also known as COBRA or Cal-COBRA . Under COBRA and Cal-COBRA, if you lost your job or if your hours were reduced you likely can buy that same group health coverage for yourself and your family for a limited period of time if you pay your employers cost of providing the benefits. If you are entitled to COBRA or Cal-COBRA coverage, your employer must notify the health plan administrator, which will then notify you of your eligibility and provide instructions for signing up for continued coverage. Please see our Fact Sheet titled Health Insurance after Employment: COBRA, for more information on whether you and your family members, dependants, spouses, or domestic partners are covered under COBRA or Cal-COBRA.
For more information you can also call the Employee Benefits Security Administration : 866-444-3272.
Collecting Unemployment After Being Fired
If youve been fired, there are a couple different directions you can go in. If you believe you were unjustly fired, you can file for unemployment and explain your situation. There will probably be a denial from your employer. Then, there will be a hearing by the states unemployment agency to see if you qualify for benefits. If the employer doesnt have proof, youll get unemployment.
If you were fired for cause, you can try to file an unemployment claim. This will again, most likely, be contested by your employer. And, if you were guilty and they have proof, you wont get unemployment benefits.
Finally, if you think you probably were justly fired, its simply time to move on and find a new job.
One thing to note here, as mentioned before, most employees are considered at-will employees. This means that they can quit their job at just about any time they want for any reason. Likewise, your employer can fire you at any time for any reason.
Remember, to receive unemployment benefits you need to be fired through no fault of your own. If youre an at-will employee and your boss decides he just doesnt like you anymore, he can fire you. And thats clearly no fault of yours, which means you can collect unemployment.
At-will status does not change the requirements of unemployment insurance benefits compensation or payouts.
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Do You Meet The Minimum Earnings Requirement
Virtually all states look at your recent work history and earnings during a one-year base period to determine your eligibility for unemployment. In Florida, as in most states, the base period is the earliest four of the five complete calendar quarters before you filed your claim for benefits. For example, if you filed your claim in October of 2021, the base period would be from June 1, 2020, through May 31, 2021.
During the base period, your work history and earnings must meet all three of these requirements:
- You must have been paid wages in at least two of the four calendar quarters that make up the base period.
- Your earnings during the entire base period must be at least one-and-a-half times your wages in the highest paid quarter of the base period. For example, if you earned $5,000 during your highest paid quarter, your total earnings for the base period year must be at least $7,500.
- You must have earned at least $3,400 during the entire base period.
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Who Is Eligible For Unemployment Benefits
Not everyone who is unemployed is eligible for unemployment benefits. Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of rules surrounding who can claim it, but in general, qualifying for unemployment is based on why the employee was let go.
To be eligible, an individual must be out of work for reasons beyond their control. Examples include layoffs, downsizing, lack of available work or furlough, such as due to COVID-19. They must also meet work and wage requirements, plus any additional requirements mandated by their state.
If an employee quits a job by their own choice, they typically wont receive unemployment benefits. However, if employees can prove good cause to quit, such as unsafe working conditions or harassment, they may still be eligible. March 2020s CARES Act expanded good cause possibilities to include pandemic-related reasons, like the need to care for a family member who tested positive for COVID-19. Those expanded benefits expired on September 6, 2021, yet there is always the possibility for more changes.
Terminated employees have certain rights, one of which is the right to receive unemployment compensation, if they qualify.
There are also several forms of misconduct that would exclude a fired employee from collecting unemployment benefits:
- Failing a drug test or reporting to work intoxicated.
- Safety violations.
- Sexual harassment.
- Causing abuse or harm to other employees.
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