Contractors during lockdown
March 14, 2020 6:06 AM   Subscribe

I'm a temp for a company that has decided to let everyone work from home because of the virus. However my work is not a necessity to the company so I will not be able to work from home or be paid. Other temps in the company are being paid but their work is a necessity to the company. What do I do? Am I eligible for unemployment?
posted by sheepishchiffon to Human Relations (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Are you paid as an independent contractor or are you paid as an employee (i.e. with taxes taken out, etc.)?
posted by needs more cowbell at 6:41 AM on March 14, 2020

The first step is to apply for unemployment and see what happens. If you qualify, the sooner you do it, the sooner you’ll get it. There’s no reason to wait until you have a definitive answer.
posted by ShooBoo at 6:42 AM on March 14, 2020 [4 favorites]

I'm paid as an employee.
posted by sheepishchiffon at 6:42 AM on March 14, 2020

Technically I haven't been laid off, is it fraud for me to apply for unemployment?
posted by sheepishchiffon at 6:43 AM on March 14, 2020

Colorado here. The rules are so byzantine, I always recommend someone apply right away. You'll get the state's pov. Takes ~2 weeks here under normal load. Don't cost nuthin.
posted by j_curiouser at 6:43 AM on March 14, 2020 [2 favorites]

Generally you can apply for/potentially get unemployment even if your hours have just been cut. I think you are fine to apply for unemployment, and likely to get it. You were employed, you fully expected to be scheduled to work, now you are not. I don't think the company having considered you temporary is really that significant.
posted by needs more cowbell at 6:47 AM on March 14, 2020 [4 favorites]

As a temp, it’s probably pretty confusing. Do you have a temp agency? It seems they’d want to place you elsewhere if possible. I agree that you can file for unemployment. As a temp, I believe you can file for every week you aren’t paid but they’ll tell you what you do and don’t qualify for. Just apply. You have the free time and I’m sorry you’re going through this.
posted by amanda at 7:23 AM on March 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

I just looked up my state’s employment department website and they have a page up with an FAQ about Coronavirus impacted employment. Perhaps yours does, too!
posted by amanda at 7:35 AM on March 14, 2020

It literally does not hurt to apply even if you don't qualify. What you qualify for depends on the state but generally there is a waiting period of a week or two so you want to apply ASAP.
posted by muddgirl at 7:39 AM on March 14, 2020

is it fraud for me to apply for unemployment?

Just to be clear, applying and bring honest about the situation is never going to be fraud. Fraud requires intentional deceit, not just being unsure of the rules. Depending on the circumstances it might not get approved, but that's not the same thing (and you're likely to get approved in this situation anyway).
posted by brainmouse at 8:39 AM on March 14, 2020 [3 favorites]

Came to say the exact same thing as brainmouse directly above this comment - if you or anyone is ever unsure if you quality for unemployment, you should apply and be honest. It's the unemployment agency's job to determine if you quality; your only responsibility is to fill out the application truthfully.
posted by insectosaurus at 9:09 AM on March 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

I've gotten unemployment in WI and the process of getting it allows for seasonal work / work that you know is only temporarily gone. All of what you bring up about it being temporary but also uncertain will be part of the questions you fill out, and if you answer honestly with what you know of your situation it cannot be fraud. Unemployment is meant to deal with both short-term and long-term situations and you should most definitely apply.
posted by augustimagination at 11:03 AM on March 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

And apply ASAP. In my state the payments backdate to when you apply, not the date of actual job loss, so getting in the system now is what will get you the most potential payment if you are approved.
posted by augustimagination at 11:04 AM on March 14, 2020

What state are you in?
posted by NotLost at 12:09 PM on March 14, 2020

« Older Games for Distributed Team   |   Companies Doing the Right Thing (Ethical... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.