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Should I apply for unemployment?

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:42 pm
by babyvinny
My company finally decided to stop operation in my department for at least a month, possibly longer. I only work part time there, but that’s my only job. Here are my options:
1. Use PTO. I prefer not to at this moment, will need it later when new baby comes.
2. Apply for unemployment. I’m sure I’m eligible, but HR said, if I apply, she needs to give me termination letter. I don’t want to be terminated, just want to be furloughed. Should I talk to HR again? Not sure if she knows the difference between the two.
Thanks.

Re: Should I apply for unemployment?

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:14 pm
by runner3081
Personally, I would take the PTO - mostly guaranteed cash now.

Unemployment is going to be less than your full pay. When your new baby comes, you may not even have this job. Even if you still have it, the time off (unpaid) is protected by FMLA (assuming your wife doesn't work for the same company).

Re: Should I apply for unemployment?

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:26 pm
by Nate79
babyvinny wrote: Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:42 pm My company finally decided to stop operation in my department for at least a month, possibly longer. I only work part time there, but that’s my only job. Here are my options:
1. Use PTO. I prefer not to at this moment, will need it later when new baby comes.
2. Apply for unemployment. I’m sure I’m eligible, but HR said, if I apply, she needs to give me termination letter. I don’t want to be terminated, just want to be furloughed. Should I talk to HR again? Not sure if she knows the difference between the two.
Thanks.
In your mind what is the difference between furloughed and terminated?

Re: Should I apply for unemployment?

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:34 pm
by Glockenspiel
runner3081 wrote: Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:14 pm Personally, I would take the PTO - mostly guaranteed cash now.

Unemployment is going to be less than your full pay. When your new baby comes, you may not even have this job. Even if you still have it, the time off (unpaid) is protected by FMLA (assuming your wife doesn't work for the same company).
I'd take unemployment. With unemployment and a furlough, you can get approximately the equivalent of 1/2 of your income + $600/week combined. So if you make less than $62,000/year, you will be better off taking unemployment, and if you make only a bit more than that, you'll only be slightly worse off taking unemployment, but you'll keep yourself and your family safe, and have fewer commuting expenses, and more time to spend with family.

Re: Should I apply for unemployment?

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:35 pm
by alex_686
babyvinny wrote: Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:42 pm 2. Apply for unemployment. I’m sure I’m eligible, but HR said, if I apply, she needs to give me termination letter. I don’t want to be terminated, just want to be furloughed. Should I talk to HR again? Not sure if she knows the difference between the two.
Check your state's website. The CARES Act that congress just passes allows states to change eligibility criteria. In my state you can file if your work-hours have been reduced by ~30 hours a week. Apparently you can still be employed and receive unemployment. Note being snide here - just acknowledging that this crisis has us walking through a looking glass.

Re: Should I apply for unemployment?

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:37 pm
by HomeStretch
+1 on checking your state website to understand your options. I’d consider taking PTO for now over unemployment if you receive healthcare coverage through your employer.

Re: Should I apply for unemployment?

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:38 pm
by runner3081
Nate79 wrote: Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:26 pm
babyvinny wrote: Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:42 pm My company finally decided to stop operation in my department for at least a month, possibly longer. I only work part time there, but that’s my only job. Here are my options:
1. Use PTO. I prefer not to at this moment, will need it later when new baby comes.
2. Apply for unemployment. I’m sure I’m eligible, but HR said, if I apply, she needs to give me termination letter. I don’t want to be terminated, just want to be furloughed. Should I talk to HR again? Not sure if she knows the difference between the two.
Thanks.
In your mind what is the difference between furloughed and terminated?
Furlough = unpaid leave (still technically an employee)
Terminated = no longer an employee, complete separation

Re: Should I apply for unemployment?

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:42 pm
by aristotelian
Is there any chance your business goes under if this goes on longer than a month? How confident are you that your job will still be there if you take unemployment now?

Re: Should I apply for unemployment?

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:27 pm
by babyvinny
Between PTO and unemployment benefit, payment is very similar. I understand the company may go under in a few months. My PTO would only last a month, if we haven’t gotten back to work in a month, I will need to apply unemployment then. My state (CA) allows temporarily unemployed person to apply, which would apply to me. My concern is why my HR insisted that I get termination letter to apply? If I’m terminated, I would loose my benefit (Existing PTO?), and may be more difficult to go through rehiring. Is it possible that she is not up to date with current law?

Re: Should I apply for unemployment?

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:30 pm
by gclancer
babyvinny wrote: Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:27 pm My concern is why my HR insisted that I get termination letter to apply? If I’m terminated, I would loose my benefit (Existing PTO?), and may be more difficult to go through rehiring. Is it possible that she is not up to date with current law?
Astute observation. I’d get what I can from the company while you still can. That’s means I’d take all my PTO and then go on unemployment.

Re: Should I apply for unemployment?

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:25 pm
by Beensabu
Use your PTO first.

You can apply for and receive unemployment benefits while furloughed. The whole point is to allow people to keep an income coming in while they still technically have their job and retain health insurance through their employer.

Your employer is not expecting you to be able to be furloughed indefinitely without having to apply for unemployment once you run out of PTO. They're probably trying to avoid lay offs as long as possible while keeping benefits coverage for their employees, in the hopes that the situation will blow over before they run out of funds.

But use your PTO first. If you've got a month of it, that's a month you keep your job and insurance coverage.

Also, in CA, your PTO/vacation gets paid out if you get terminated. You won't lose it unless it's classified as "sick time" instead.

Re: Should I apply for unemployment?

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:55 pm
by babyvinny
Beensabu wrote: Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:25 pm Use your PTO first.

You can apply for and receive unemployment benefits while furloughed. The whole point is to allow people to keep an income coming in while they still technically have their job and retain health insurance through their employer.

Your employer is not expecting you to be able to be furloughed indefinitely without having to apply for unemployment once you run out of PTO. They're probably trying to avoid lay offs as long as possible while keeping benefits coverage for their employees, in the hopes that the situation will blow over before they run out of funds.

But use your PTO first. If you've got a month of it, that's a month you keep your job and insurance coverage.

Also, in CA, your PTO/vacation gets paid out if you get terminated. You won't lose it unless it's classified as "sick time" instead.
I don’t have any benefits beside vacation and sick time. I called PTO, but 70% of that is sick time, so no paid out. And technically, there are only a few days, but enough for a month due to my part time status.
As long as COVID-19 still happens, we won’t be able to go back to work. It may not go away in another 2-3 months or longer.
I spoke to my CFO, told him my colleagues (same field, not same company) were able to apply for unemployment, without being terminated. He said HR should know better, but I can try to do what my colleagues are doing. I’m just very confused.

Re: Should I apply for unemployment?

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:07 pm
by Trader Joe
babyvinny wrote: Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:42 pm My company finally decided to stop operation in my department for at least a month, possibly longer. I only work part time there, but that’s my only job. Here are my options:
1. Use PTO. I prefer not to at this moment, will need it later when new baby comes.
2. Apply for unemployment. I’m sure I’m eligible, but HR said, if I apply, she needs to give me termination letter. I don’t want to be terminated, just want to be furloughed. Should I talk to HR again? Not sure if she knows the difference between the two.
Thanks.
I would apply for unemployment right now.

Re: Should I apply for unemployment?

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:22 pm
by av8r316
babyvinny wrote: Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:27 pm I understand the company may go under in a few months.
Consider whether or not you think the company will have the money to pay your PTO in the future.

Re: Should I apply for unemployment?

Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:38 am
by BrownEyedGirl_27
Trader Joe wrote: Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:07 pm
babyvinny wrote: Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:42 pm My company finally decided to stop operation in my department for at least a month, possibly longer. I only work part time there, but that’s my only job. Here are my options:
1. Use PTO. I prefer not to at this moment, will need it later when new baby comes.
2. Apply for unemployment. I’m sure I’m eligible, but HR said, if I apply, she needs to give me termination letter. I don’t want to be terminated, just want to be furloughed. Should I talk to HR again? Not sure if she knows the difference between the two.
Thanks.
I would apply for unemployment right now.
Apply now. Every state has a different weekly maximum benefit but they are adding $600 to each week’s payment up to 4 months. Find out if you can use PTO post Coronavirus. It is better to be furloughed than unemployed, see prior posts on that.