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  • GA Unemployment- Contract Employee Georgia

    Good morning!
    I was a contract employee for the state of GA. My contract ended June 30, 2009, however I was kept on until September 30, 2009.
    I am wondering if I qualify for unemployment benefits? From the research I have done online, I think I may have been mis-categorized as a contract employee. I was not working on a specific project to speak of. Basically I did what ever was asked of me. I was even loaned out to another department, in another division, to help with some marketing projects.
    I started out working with one supervisor on one project, however she left in January 2009. They chose to keep me on, and I was maintaining what my former supervisor had started, and in addition, I performed "other duties as assigned" for the other employees, supervisors, and director of my division.
    The "separation letter" my former employer provided me with stated that my contract was ending because the project was finished, however as I stated above, I wasn't really working on a specific project. In fact, the "project" I was assisting with still continues to this day.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks!

  • #2
    "Contract employee" is one of those phrases that does not actually mean anything. If you were to use that phrase with GA UI, you will probably get a blank stare because they will have no idea what you are talking about.

    Just to be sure. Did you have taxes taken out of your check and received a W-2 at year end? If so, then you an "employee".

    My only real question is that you were employed by the State of Georgia. If you were private sector, there would be nothing in what you said that should cause a UI claim to be denied. I know that there are all sort of strange governmental exceptions, I just do not know if this is one of them.

    Go ahead and file the claim. If you are denied repost on this website, but be very specific on exactly what language the state uses to deny (assuming that they actually deny).
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      Update: GA Unemployment-Contract Employee

      Thanks for the reply!
      To answer your question: No, I did not have taxes taken out of my paycheck. I received a 1099 form for tax purposes at the end of the year.

      Every situation is so different, and I guess I was trying to be a bit broad in my question. Here's "the rest of the story".

      I already applied for unemployment and was denied. I am trying to figure out of I have a case for an appeal.

      While I was employed under a "Personal Services Contract" for the state, I was asked to drive a company van for an event we were holding. Since they did not consider me an "employee", I could not drive a state vehicle. The company added me to the payroll as a part-time driver so I could drive the van. They paid me $6.25 an hour as a driver, and I earned about $25 for driving the van that one day.

      When I submitted my unemployment claim, the only earnings they took into account was the $25 I earned as a driver. This is why I was denied UI benefits, according to the letter. I did not make enough money to qualify. As a "contractor" however, I earned about $27K a year.

      I am wondering if providing them this information will be enough to qualify for unemployment benefits, or if the fact that I was under a contract, with no taxes being taken out of my paycheck, disqualifies me from collecting unemployment period.

      Sorry I was not more forthcoming in my original post. I was trying to avoid boring everyone with the minutia of my particular situation. I realize now that those details are relevant and make a big difference in the advice I receive.

      Thanks again!

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      • #4
        You appeal should be based on your presumed misclassification. What exactly did you do?
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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        • #5
          I was thinking the same thing, but since I wasn't denied benefits because of a mis-classification, I was wondering if I should even bring it up at all. Its probably best to put all of my cards on the table, so to speak, and see where that gets me.

          I was hired to work with one person to help with an educational project. We had a website and a membership of teachers across the state. It was my job to help administer the website and assist with events, etc.

          However, once my supervisor left, they kept me on. While I still performed tasks related to the original project, it was put on the back-burner, and I was given other tasks, and as I mentioned, I was also lent out to another division to help with marketing initiatives and strategies. This is why I believe I was mis-classified. I was not working on a specific project, I came in every day and clocked in and out, attended division-wide meetings, and stayed on even after the original project or purpose of my job was no longer my focus.

          Thanks for the input!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Jobless_GA View Post
            Thanks for the reply!
            To answer your question: No, I did not have taxes taken out of my paycheck. I received a 1099 form for tax purposes at the end of the year.
            FYI, the legal term for a worker who (correctly) gets a 1099 is "independent contractor" otherwise known as a "vendor". Legally all workers are either "employees" or "independent contractors". If a worker is correctly classified as not an employee, then they are not subject to labor law, including UI.
            http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs13.pdf
            http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/...=99921,00.html

            I agree with Patty that it is likely that you are misclassified, although as always, I do not trust that the rules for a governmental employer are the same as a private sector employer. The government has a tendency to excuse themselves from many laws/regulations/rules.
            "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
            Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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            • #7
              But if you were misclassified as an IC, of course the state wouldn't have any of those wages on file. Again, what did you do? The type of work you did is critical to trying to determine whether you were misclassified as an IC.

              BTW, governments are normally "reimbursable" employers for UI purposes, which mean they don't pay quarterly UI taxes, but pay the state when UI benefits are paid, in the amounts paid out.
              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
                Thanks very much for all the input.
                I am not sure what you are looking for when you say "what did you do?". I thought I had explained it, but maybe I am missing something. Is there some specific information you're looking for?
                Basically I did administrative tasks, basic office-type work. Spreadsheets, reports, coordinating events, booking transportation, email announcements, checking memberships on our internet system and adding them to our databases. That type of thing.
                Again, thank you. I truly appreciate your help with this!
                Last edited by Jobless_GA; 11-22-2009, 04:21 PM.

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                • #9
                  OK, that's enough information for me to opine that you did not meet the criteria for IC status.
                  http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p1779.pdf

                  I used to manage the payroll operations for a large city and I don't know of any exception to the IRS definition (the most commonly used) of an IC for governmental employers.
                  I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks PattyMD!
                    So it is your opinion that I should mention that I believe I was mis-classified as an Independent Contractor in my Appeal letter?
                    Just want to be sure I am understanding correctly. I am hoping to get the letter finished and drop it off today.
                    Thanks again for all of your advice! It is truly appreciated!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jobless_GA View Post
                      Thanks PattyMD!
                      So it is your opinion that I should mention that I believe I was mis-classified as an Independent Contractor in my Appeal letter?
                      Absolutely. Explain your job duties and address (very briefly) each bullet point in the publication I provided the link to, i.e. Behavioral Control-entity provided all supplies/tools and specific training needed to perform the tasks assigned; entity determined the hours I would work. Financial control-I could not personally make a profit or sustain a loss due to the quality or quantity of my work.

                      See where I'm going with the appeal letter?
                      Last edited by Pattymd; 11-23-2009, 04:50 AM.
                      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                      • #12
                        Yes, that helped me a great deal!
                        Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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                        • #13
                          You're welcome.

                          Good luck. I think it would be interesting to see what reasoning the entity uses to justify treating you as an IC.
                          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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