Why is this happening?
March 29, 2009 12:09 PM   Subscribe

I got laid off about a month ago in NYC. Applied for unemployment insurance and got approved, no problems. Now I got a letter from the UI agency from my former former employer (2 employers ago) declining my claim and requesting a hearing on the basis that I voluntarily quit. This is true, and I was laid off from the place I worked at after that employer. Why is this happening?

I worked for the the former former employer (Employer A) and quit about a year ago. I then started work for Employer B and got laid off a month ago. I've been collecting unemployment. Is this something I should be worried about - or just give them a call on Monday to straighten this all out and think nothing of it? Or do your former former employers really have something to do with your UI?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (6 answers total)
the place where you got laid off, you have to have worked there like 12 weeks or something
posted by hardyboy at 12:16 PM on March 29, 2009

sorry. seems like you did. definitely call them to sort out.
posted by hardyboy at 12:17 PM on March 29, 2009

My sense is they go back a year in looking at previous employment. This means the employers during this year will have to pay a higher unemployment rate as a result of your claim, unless they can prove you quit or were fired.

I don't think it means you don't get UI, they just don't want to be charged for it.
posted by Xurando at 12:33 PM on March 29, 2009

[Massachusetts UI beneficiary here] Your benefit is based on your prior 4 quarters salary history, and it goes by the 4 most recent completed quarters. This means if the current quarter starts Jan 1 and ends on Mar 31 and you apply for UI on March 30, 2009 your benefit will be based on the period from Jan 1, 2008 to Dec 31, 2008. Based on your description of quitting "about a year ago" it may be that they are attempting to verify your employment history with that previous employer. I agree with Xurando that this is just going to affect the amount of your benefit, not your eligibility. In addition if that previous job paid less than the most recent, it won't affect your benefit anyway (it's based on your highest biweekly pay during the period, or something).
posted by Rock Steady at 1:13 PM on March 29, 2009

The NYS Department of Labor investigates past employment to determine eligibility and rate of compensation, and will often investigate beyond the most recent employer if that term of employment was short (I don't remember the exact formula).

DOL sends a form to the most recent employer to get its take on whether you are entitled to compensation. In your case, that form was sent to the wrong employer, and they returned it with their "WTF no way" reply.

These kinds of mistakes are not terribly unusual when DOL is inundated with unemployment claims. You'll be able to straighten this out, but do all of your communicating in writing, not by telephone (the letter you received will contain the appropriate address). Just don't delay and follow the instructions -- everything will be fine.
posted by gum at 1:18 PM on March 29, 2009

From the original poster:
I looked in the accompanying documentation and apparently my former former employer (employer A) has disputed this with NYSUI already and they responded to him with a

'we have considered the information you furnished and the person identified is eligible for unemployment benefits.

The claimant had other employment after working for you and before filing this claim and earned renumeration in the subsequent employment equal to or exceeded five times the benefit rate payable on this claim. Therefore, any potential disqualification for voluntarily leaving employment with you does not apply. For this reason, no determination with be made and your account is chargeable under section 581.1E'

So it looks like they're aware of my Employer B - but they want to charge employer A for some of the UI. I'm obviously going to call NYSUI as soon as the phones open on monday to find any further details - but if anyone has any specific insight I'm definitely interested in hearing it.
posted by mathowie at 1:47 PM on March 29, 2009

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