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Continuous UI Claims California

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  • Continuous UI Claims California

    Located in California

    I have an employee who has been filing continuous Unemployment Claims. She has filed cliams dated: 11/17/09, 12/11/09, 03/16/10, 04/05/10 and 04/19/10. All have been turned down by UI. Can I discipline or terminate her for the continuous filings. I have been told by State representative that a company cannot terminate an employee for exercising their right to file claims. While I agree with that sentiment, there is a limit. My opinion is that she is doing it as a harrassment tactic against the company.

  • #2
    On what basis is she filing the claims? Have her hours or her pay been cut?
    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


    • #3
      Are these claims for partial UI? If her hours are reduced in a week, she can file for partial UI.

      Comment


      • #4
        The other 2 responders have good questions. *Why* is she filing UI claims? Thanks. (It seems they are being denied.)
        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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        • #5
          Employee works about 50 hours per payroll period (every 2 weeks). She was hired for that amount and has worked that amount or more for the past 4 years. She sometimes works more or less depending on the patient load.

          She files the claim and states that she is "still working", no other reason is given. EDD sends it to me, I fill out the paperwork and a letter of explanation about previous claims filed and return it, EDD denies her request. That is the sequence.

          In all previous claims for UI, EDD has denied her claim except for the first time. EDD then determined that she was not entitled to UI benefits and rescinded their approval.

          EDD in California will not respond to an employers inquiry, I have tried. EDD in California no longer has offices that you can go to due to State budget issues.

          When I asked her about it, her reply was that it was her right to do so and refused to discuss it further.

          She is not the worst nor the best employee. Over the years, she has had some incidents but nothing major. They are all like this, bothersome but not major disciplinary issues.

          Comment


          • #6
            So she's working the same number of hours she was hired to work and has always worked, her pay has not been cut, but she's filing unemployment claims? She's just filing for unemployment while continuing to work full time at her regular rate of pay?

            Just making sure I fully understand. I know someone well versed in UI issues I want to put this in front of, but I want to be sure I have the facts right.
            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


            • #7
              On possibilility is that she has an open claim. Part of her paperwork from EDD includes a form to return stating if they have worked. That is what triggers the claims getting sent to you.
              That is what happens to us in the construction industry when an employee files partial cards due to bad weather.

              Comment


              • #8
                The OP states that she's been working there for four years. If she's been working continually all that time, I guarantee she no longer has an open claim.
                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


                • #9
                  For cbg - Yes, she is working the same number of hours she was hired for and has worked for the past 4 years. She has received annual raises and has had no reduction in hours or salary.

                  angel_28 - She does not have an open claim. She files a new one every time she is denied the previous one.

                  My original question still stands, can I discipline or terminate for misconduct for her continuous filing of claims without violating California law? Keeping in mind that California is an "At Will" state and I can terminate for any reason or no reason, with or without cause, as long as the termination does not violate any of the legally protected conditions.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'm attempting to find out the answer to your original question; hang in there.
                    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


                    • #11
                      Okay, here is your answer, from my expert.

                      [I]You can only file one unemployment claim a year. Any future claims you file during that year will be a "reopen" of the current year's claim. If the woman has done this before, and I suspect that she has, and is VERY knowledgeable about unemployment insurance, it might be to her advantage to file and open a new claim each year during a time when the quarters of her earnings they are using to set up the claim were very high, thus assuring that she can draw the max in weekly benefits IF she is laid off or discharged or quits and is approved. It costs nothing to file, the claim is on record for a year, essentially, it's sort of an insurance policy. I have advised people to do this, particularly if the job is going to be temporary or there may be a lay off or firing in their future and the quarters could change to their disadvantage.

                      Now, why is this employer so frustrated that the woman keeps reopening her claim? They're right in what they told him, she has a legal right to do so. If that's how she wants to spend her free time, it's a nice hobby, I guess. She's not going to fool around and be approved by mistake sometime. By being so upset, he's playing right into her hands. It costs him very little time or effort to confirm that she is not working less than she could make drawing, that she is still still employed full time. When he files his quarterly wage reports, this information is always confirmed by these anyway, and the unemployment and wage record systems cross match, so even if he missed responding (and he'd always have more than one opportunity) they'd be able to detect her fraud very quickly from the unemployment end of things.

                      However, if he is dumb enough to fire her for filing repeated unemployment claims, she'll be getting her dream come true. Because even if he warns her repeatedly, and writes her up, and then terminates her, it's like writing someone up and firing them for brushing their teeth at home. No way is this going to be interpreted as any kind of valid misconduct. Yes, he can legally do it, she can't sue him for wrongful termination, but she'll very certainly be able to draw unemployment insurance based on this firing. And surprise, surprise, she's already got a maximum benefits claim in place!

                      And no, they will not have a nice long chat with the employer about the person's personal situation or why they filed a claim. They can confirm to the employer whether this person is receiving benefits which will be charged to his account, but other than that, they can ask him about what the person has given as the reason for termination,or how many hours the person says they are working for him to confirm, and that's about it. This employee is playing with his mind!

                      I]
                      Last edited by cbg; 04-23-2010, 11:13 AM.
                      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
                        I dont know if its relevant, but the OP stated that the employee works 50 hours every pay period (2 weeks); im assuming 25 hours a week, which would only be part time right?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Good catch!
                          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


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cbg View Post
                            Good catch!
                            Yes, but if the employee was hired to work 25 hours per week, my understanding is that she could not receive partial benefits because her hours have not been reduced; she is working the hours for which she was hired.
                            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Which is no doubt why the EDD keeps turning down her claims.
                              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

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