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If they cant pay you does that break the employer relationship? Arizona

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  • If they cant pay you does that break the employer relationship? Arizona

    I have an interesting question. My wife was laid off at the beginning of the summer and was collecting unemployment. She found a job and the asked her to attend some training, which they never fully compensated her for. That is not the big problem and my reason for writing.

    After her training and a few days before she was to report to work, she received two letters via email saying the company had their funds seized by the IRS and they could not pay her.

    She told the company she would volunteer her time and report to work on Monday because she was worried that children would come to her class (She was a Kinder Care Teacher) and there would be no adult there to supervise the kids. She also indicated that she would have to seek out other interviewing opportunities and expected to be paid for her work when and if they resolved their issues.

    The AZ Department of Economic Security said that she quit thus they have suspended her unemployment benefits.

    My question is this: If a company hires you but can’t pay you, then hasn’t the employer-employee relationship been terminated by the fact that the company who is no longer able to compensate you?

    This is a tough position to be in. If she continued to stay there she was not being paid. She also would not be able to seek out other employment opportunities during the work day. Worse yet, according to the AZ Dept of Economic Security, the fact that she left and did not continue reporting to work, even though she was not getting paid, this is considered as a quit and it ends all unemployment aid. Either way, she was not receiving any income or aid.

    There has to be some legal president or statute or law that says if the employer is unable to compensate you for the work you were hired for, then the employer – employee relationship has changed. Any advise as we intend to appeal?
    Last edited by miskiel; 10-01-2010, 04:17 PM.

  • #2
    I am a little unclear. Just how many different employers are you talking about? And are you saying that you want State UI to pay her while she continues to work at her old job for no pay? One of the requirements for UI is that worker is actually looking for work and ready to work. If the worker really is looking for work and ready to work, then the worker should appeal the decision saying that she "quit". Unless you are talking about a different employer where she really did quit. If there are more then one employer involved, then it is very unclear just which employer you are talking about at any particular point in your dialog.

    If the old employer is not making payments when due, the proper recourse is filing a wage claim with the state's DOL. This action is legally unrelated to UI.

    Also, the worker on the one hand saying that their employer is not paying them and that the employer LIED to UI about the nature of termination, but on the hand wants to keep working for free for the employer who ****ed them over seems to be sending an extremely mixed message.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      Is that her title or the name of the company?

      I used to work in that industry, and it sound like the name of a national chain. The board usually discourages using actual company names.

      (Sorry I don't have any advice for your wife. Dedicated childcare workers are hard to come by, and I hope she finds a suitable position soon.)

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      • #4
        I am sorry, please let me clarify.

        She worked for employer (A) for a period of 5 years and she was let go at the end of the school year because of economic/budget reasons. The State UI was paying her because employer (A) let her go.

        She was later hired by employer (B) who had their assets seized by the IRS right after training and orientation but before full time employment.

        At the end of the training week, all the employees received two letters from employer (B) stating that they would not be able to pay them because of the IRS asset seizure.

        She reported to work on Monday in hopes this would be resolved and to prevent children from coming to school without any adult supervision because it was unclear if anyone had any intentions of reporting to work. She did the right thing by showing up to work on Monday or so I believe so.

        The only payment received by employer (B) was a partial payment for the training time as they were able to scrap some funds together.

        Employer (B) contends that she quit because she let them know on Wednesday that she could not work for free.

        The UI office concurs that this was a quit. They expected her to continue working even though she was not being paid.

        This is why I was trying to find out if the employer-employee relationship is technically broken if they can not pay you. I believe it is because one party could not fulfill their part of the obligation.

        Were looking for a president or labor law or statute in AZ that may help us appeal UI decision. They say she is not longer able to receive UI benefits because she quit and voluntarily left employment. They also say she canít prove that the employer not paying here was an isolated instance. I personally believe the employer-employee relationship was broken when they could not compensate her for her time.

        By the way there are other teachers caught up in this same mess and UI said they quit and will not allow them to receive benefits.



        Originally posted by DAW View Post
        I am a little unclear. Just how many different employers are you talking about? And are you saying that you want State UI to pay her while she continues to work at her old job for no pay? One of the requirements for UI is that worker is actually looking for work and ready to work. If the worker really is looking for work and ready to work, then the worker should appeal the decision saying that she "quit". Unless you are talking about a different employer where she really did quit. If there are more then one employer involved, then it is very unclear just which employer you are talking about at any particular point in your dialog.

        If the old employer is not making payments when due, the proper recourse is filing a wage claim with the state's DOL. This action is legally unrelated to UI.

        Also, the worker on the one hand saying that their employer is not paying them and that the employer LIED to UI about the nature of termination, but on the hand wants to keep working for free for the employer who ****ed them over seems to be sending an extremely mixed message.

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        • #5
          I am not an expert but this is what I'm seeing.

          I doubt that the UI commission "expected' her to work without being paid. If she had stayed home (I seriously doubt that any parents would have left their children there without adult supervision) and filed for unemployment on that basis, that is one thing.

          But telling the employer that she would volunteer her time, may have killed her chances at UI.
          The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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          • #6
            Yes the UI office did in fact expect her to continue reporting to work regardless of pay because they said we could not prove that it would not get resolved sometime in the future. Ever hear of an IRS issue being resolved fast?

            This is what we and the other teacher are finding so puzzling. How do you work for free? How can the UI office expect her and the other teacher to do so? My wife can document that she has been applying for jobs and interviewing and not sitting on her butt collecting unemployment.

            I realize this is an odd situation. I mean, who takes on a job and finds out that their new employer does not have any funds. Why penalize someone who is out of work because of an odd situation such as this? This is such a rare situation and the AZ statutes which I have read do not address at all, but labor law may.

            I still believe the expressed or implied agreement between an employer or employee is broken if one of the parties can not meet their individual obligations, in this case the employer not being able to pay. Does anyone know if the law concurs???



            Originally posted by cbg View Post
            I am not an expert but this is what I'm seeing.

            I doubt that the UI commission "expected' her to work without being paid. If she had stayed home (I seriously doubt that any parents would have left their children there without adult supervision) and filed for unemployment on that basis, that is one thing.

            But telling the employer that she would volunteer her time, may have killed her chances at UI.

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            • #7
              So, is she still working or not? If not, has she filed for UI yet?
              I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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              • #8
                No not working and not receiving any UI benefits because they said she quit her job, the same job where the employer had their assets taken by the IRS and was unable to pay her or anyone else..


                Originally posted by Pattymd View Post
                So, is she still working or not? If not, has she filed for UI yet?

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                • #9
                  She might want to try appealing the UI decision.
                  Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                  Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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                  • #10
                    Absolutely appeal! Arizona is my state and I can tell you appeals work!

                    If this goes to a phone hearing...keep it to the facts, emotion will get you nowhere.
                    Not everything in America is actionable in a court of law. Please remember that attorneys are in business for profit, and they get paid regardless of whether or not you win or lose.

                    I offer my knowledge and experience at no charge, I admit that I am NOT infallible, I am wrong sometimes, hopefully another responder will correct me if that is the case with the answer above, regardless, it is your responsibility to verify any and all information provided.

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