Should I file for unemployment from my job that doesn’t want to fire me?
September 21, 2018 8:30 AM   Subscribe

I work part-time at a tiny (three person) company in IL which has had to cut my hours in half and now to zero. I am an actual employee, not a contractor. I’ve never filed for unemployment before, and I can’t figure out if I should considering the circumstances:

I also have a (very)part-time teaching job, the job I am being laid off from would happily keep me on if they could, and would hire me back if they got some money (this has happened in the past) and my boss there was my first internship out of school, and has gotten me almost all of the jobs and opportunities I’ve had since.
I wouldn’t be considering filing for unemployment at all, except this has happened at an exceptionally low ebb in my life (i was already looking for more reliable work) and I have no savings. I’ve already got set up with medicaid and food assistance, but the teaching job will not be enough to cover bills. If I do file for unemployment how bad will that be for the person I work for?
Would the government even give it to me considering I still have another part time job? Would it be better to try to scrape by without and not damage my chances in the future?
Thanks very much for all the advice, I’m really inexperienced with these things.
posted by velebita to Work & Money (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
If I do file for unemployment how bad will that be for the person I work for?

If they can't survive you using a benefit that you have earned and that they pay into, then they're not going to survive long enough for you to go back there.

Would the government even give it to me considering I still have another part time job?

We can't answer this -- even if we knew all of the specifics of your situation -- any better than your local unemployment office can. Take a couple of hours out of your job search to go file. And while you're there, get on the local job boards etc.
posted by Etrigan at 8:42 AM on September 21, 2018 [8 favorites]


Any unemployment benefits you get will be reduced by the amount you earn at your second job. And the maximum benefit amount in IL is $458 (up to $545 with non-working spouse or $627 with a dependent child) and that's if you were making $25K or more. So, depending on the benefit you're entitled to, and the amount you're making at the second job, it might not be worth filing. But you'll need to do that math.
posted by kindall at 8:51 AM on September 21, 2018 [2 favorites]


This is literally what unemployment is for. File yesterday. You probably won't get the full benefit with a part-time job, but I believe they typically subtract your income and give you the remainder with some formula that might not quite make sense.
posted by DoubleLune at 8:53 AM on September 21, 2018 [15 favorites]


would happily keep me on if they could, and would hire me back if they got some money (this has happened in the past) and my boss there was my first internship out of school, and has gotten me almost all of the jobs and opportunities I’ve had since

If they like you that much and they can't afford you filing for unemployment, they should continue to pay you money. Either they won't fault you for doing this, if they're as good as you think... or they aren't as good as you think and don't deserve that level of help from you when you've been left literally in poverty.

"All the jobs and opportunities you've had since" still seem to have amounted to you with only a part-time position that leaves you on food stamps. I know this impulse to be thankful for whatever you get, I grew up poor, but at some point you have to see that your employers are getting more from you than you're getting from them, and you're entitled to make decisions in your own best interests.
posted by Sequence at 9:01 AM on September 21, 2018 [13 favorites]


You may as well file and see what you get. In general, I'd urge you to stop thinking of filing for unemployment as something that you're doing to your former employer, and instead as something that you're doing for yourself.
posted by Ragged Richard at 9:03 AM on September 21, 2018 [13 favorites]


It's important to remember the full name of the program Unemployment Insurance. And it runs like any other insurance - car, health, renters, home - program, where a premium is paid and some people eventually have to use the insurance - car accident, burglary, go to the doctor - and some people don't.

Your employer has been paying an insurance premium for you for all the years you've been employed to make sure there would be coverage in case of a situation just like you find yourself in.

Your employer has been paying 6.2% of your salary towards insurance, but then they get to deduct that expense so they effectively are only paying .8% of your salary towards insurance. You are not putting your employer out by using a benefit that has been designed exactly for the kind of situation you find yourself in now.
posted by brookeb at 9:04 AM on September 21, 2018 [25 favorites]


Go for it and do not feel badly about it in the slightest. This is why unemployment insurance exists.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 9:51 AM on September 21, 2018 [5 favorites]


You paid for this benefit. You have every right to claim it. Realistically, having one claimant more or less is unlikely to radically affect the company's UI rates next year, and...well. There are only two employees left, so how long is this going to keep going, anyway?

"All the jobs and opportunities you've had since" still seem to have amounted to you with only a part-time position that leaves you on food stamps. I know this impulse to be thankful for whatever you get, I grew up poor, but at some point you have to see that your employers are getting more from you than you're getting from them, and you're entitled to make decisions in your own best interests.

Triple-co-sign.
posted by praemunire at 12:38 PM on September 21, 2018 [2 favorites]


If it makes you feel better, when you file for unemployment, your employer has been paying into the system all along, so they won't be out of any money out of pocket, as everyone said above (AND YOU SHOULD PARTAKE OF IT!). After you've filed and received some benefits, their unemployment rate will increase next year, assuming they are still in business.
posted by sarajane at 3:07 PM on September 21, 2018 [4 favorites]


File, and if anyone gives you grief, smile. Then you have proof that they do not hold your best interests at heart.

They won't lose, why should you?
posted by BlueHorse at 7:20 PM on September 22, 2018


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