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Unemployment eligibility - teacher reduced from full time to sub Virginia

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  • Unemployment eligibility - teacher reduced from full time to sub Virginia

    Posting for a friend.

    She worked a full-time schedule as a teacher assistant at a private school for 8 months.
    At the end of last month, due to a lack of enrollment in her age range, she was told that she would be a substitute teacher for the month and then re-hired when other children aged into her classroom.
    She has not been called in to work for three weeks.
    Today, she found that the company had listed her full-time job on a job postings website a few days before she was "laid off," and the listing was updated two weeks ago.
    The job description matches the description of the job she was hired for.

    Under my advice, she filed for unemployment today, citing a "reduction of workforce," as the reason.

    My concern is that the company will appeal, claiming that she voluntarily resigned her current position to become a substitute, which is untrue.

    Also, what is the best course of action if the company, having heard about her claim, calls her in to substitute for the first time?

    Many thanks!

  • #2
    I would agree she was laid off ...not necessary for her to prove reduction in workforce ....more accurate to perhaps cite reduction in enrollment.

    Of late many an employer contests UC..cross the bridge when it comes up.....

    Personally I would screen my calls so as not to get any substitute calls . To refuse work or to get called back for a day or two will certainly muddy the waters.

    Going forward she will need to comply with. Requirements of looking for and being available to work etc.

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't mean this rudely, but it isn't your concern. It's hers. Quite honestly, it's none of your business.

      But.

      IF the company contests benefits, there will be a hearing. She will go and she will tell them what happened. The employer will give their version. The UI commission will determine, based on what was said, whether she qualifies for benefits or not. They will NOT automatically believe the employer and deny benefits just based on the fact that they contested. If anything, UI is slightly employee-favored.

      If she gets called in as a substitute, she should go. Failure to do so will put unemployment in jeopardy.
      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.

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree with CBG...this is not your quest.

        I partially disagree as to substitute calls...some schools really do game the system ...both way ...to use UC or avoid UC ....and it is true that to turn down work places UC at risk....but I sure would duck any calls from this employer at least until UC is in place ..and perhaps afterwards as well.

        To convert FT staff to substitute staff is a can of worms probably way beyond your friends labor law skills to address IF it becomes part of an UC debate as a form of constructive dismissal.

        BTW unless your friend was part of the labor force for several prior quarters she may not qualify at all?

        Comment


        • #5
          Turning down available work IS a valid reason to void a claim. And you can be sure that the school will bring it up.
          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.

          Comment


          • #6
            We AGREE! I'm merely suggesting to avoid being in a position of turning down work from this employer if possible ---

            Comment


            • #7
              I don't see the point in the above. Screening calls, not taking calls, not returning calls from employer could look like trying to avoid work/turning down work. I would go in as a substitute if requested. Just a difference of opinion.
              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.

              Comment


              • #8
                Trust me when I say this, but refusing the calls or emails about substituting WILL be seen as turning down work and it will be denied even if otherwise the claim would have gone through. The state has had many an applicant play that game and it is not one they tolerate for a moment. Of that, I can say with certainty. Played that game from the other side, including VA claims, for 9 years and it never once ended well for applicant.

                Reduction to substitute is not at all unusual in these circumstances and is a way for the school to keep a good teacher even when enrollment needs change. It is not against labor law. If the employee has a valid contract, it may or may not be a violation of said contract (would be surprised if it were but stranger things have happened) but that is a totally different matter and does not impact UC.

                File based on the lack of work. That is all that need be said. If the school calls with offers of work, take it or risk losing benefits for refusing work. Partial benefits are still possible even if hours are greatly reduced. Unless this is a year round school, the friend will not be eligible over the summer anyway.
                I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thank you Elle for verifying that - that was the way I saw it.
                  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.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I am not so sure that a working for a private school that operates on a seasonal basis , closed for summer, is a reason to be denied UC....I know my state (Pa ) law as to UC and schools was changed to prevent some forms of abuse and many schools use 12 months contracts and play games with letters of reasonable assurance of future work with public sector subs..but this is not about public sector teachers ..rather about. Assistants in private sector...details may matter......many seasonal workers qualify for UC?.....

                    And many public schools factually operate year around for at least some students due to IEP requirements

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      No one said that the usual seasonal closing was a reason to deny UI. We said that refusing offered work, in the form of subbing, was.

                      And the OP is not in PA.
                      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.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Actually ElleMD did address that UC might not apply to summers if this was not a year around institution ...and I suspect that is very state specific and also specific to the nature of the position and employer.

                        The are are at least two issues as to subbing ..and I'm not sure they apply to OPs quest.
                        1. To turn down NONcomperable work might not impact UC at all....and many a sub role is not close to comparable.
                        2. If one is on UC it may be OK to accept some amount of pick up work....there may be a limited offset to UC pay ..and it becomes a disincentive as more work is done .

                        I was more focused on the practice of giving out letters of reasonable assurance of future work as one of the ploys to keep teachers off the UC rolls in some states. Of late, around me, schools are turning to 3d party suppliers who guarantee NOT to have anybody work in any one school for more than 30 hours a week so as to freeze out health care costs ..and also about a 20%!pension costs . none of which is likely to apply to most private schools ...unless they are charter schools.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm telling you based on experience with teachers, subs, schools and UC in the state of VA, turning down or avoiding sub assignments will result in a denial of benefits. What may or may not fly in another state is irrelevant (though it gets denied in PA too- trust me, I handled those claims as well for the last 9 years).

                          Reasonable assurance letters are standard and have been around a very, very long time. In my state they are actually required by regulation, not because anyone is trying to play games. Those who work in education and would be off over the summer are specifically excluded from qualifying for UI. This is not unique to VA but absolutely applies in VA. It does not matter if the school is public or private.
                          I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Well , perhaps....but this is NOT a situation where the individual has a contract or a position with that institution in the fall nor is it a crossover situation and apparently there is no letter of assurance issued either. there are no recall issues here.

                            We somewhat agree as to problems of turning down work...I'm merely of view if one does not look in certain specific spots then one is less likely to be faced with a turn down situation arising from that spot.
                            I personally have been an a advocate of offering substitute slots to furloughed staff as a way to cut off UC ..not exactly popular view.

                            I doubt the OPs friend is in a professional teacher wage scenario but if I were a teacher at say $400 day rate + benefits and furloughed I would not be looking at some school that just might offer me $80 a day ....I ve seen it done .........and it invites debate as to turning down non comparable work.

                            Seems to me OPs friend needs to focus on compliance with the VA UC requirements And the apparent issue that she was laid off w/o cause or fault on her side. cross the rest of the bridges only if they arise.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Raster View Post
                              Well , perhaps....but this is NOT a situation where the individual has a contract or a position with that institution in the fall nor is it a crossover situation and apparently there is no letter of assurance issued either. there are no recall issues here.

                              We somewhat agree as to problems of turning down work...I'm merely of view if one does not look in certain specific spots then one is less likely to be faced with a turn down situation arising from that spot.
                              I personally have been an a advocate of offering substitute slots to furloughed staff as a way to cut off UC ..not exactly popular view.

                              I doubt the OPs friend is in a professional teacher wage scenario but if I were a teacher at say $400 day rate + benefits and furloughed I would not be looking at some school that just might offer me $80 a day ....I ve seen it done .........and it invites debate as to turning down non comparable work.

                              Seems to me OPs friend needs to focus on compliance with the VA UC requirements And the apparent issue that she was laid off w/o cause or fault on her side. cross the rest of the bridges only if they arise.

                              Raster, what is the deal with your bizarre punctuation? Ellipses (when used correctly, which yours are not) are three dots -- not two, not five. And why don't you just use normal punctuation, such as commas and periods, rather than throwing dots willy-nilly into your posts? They're hard to read and off-putting, and you seem to be responding to every single post just to hear yourself talk (or maybe to use up those extra dots you have lying around).

                              Comment

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