Seasonal Employees
Posted: 10 July 2008 01:17 PM   [ Ignore ]
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We hire on a number of seasonal employees for our retail garden store. I have them sign off when they’re hired that they understand the position is seasonal and they are not eligible for benefits such as health or dental insurance. My question is would they be eligible for unemployment in Illinois? Generally any employee having worked 30 days is eligible given that their termination is through no fault of their own.

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Posted: 11 July 2008 02:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I would suggest you call the Unemployment office to see.  In Iowa they are eligible for unemployment during the ‘off’ months.

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Posted: 11 July 2008 02:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Seasonal workers are often not eligible for unemployment, because they took a job that they knew would be short-lived. They shouldn’t need income replacement for a period in which they already knew they would have to find a job. I guess that’s the reasoning. It may vary here and there, but generally they would not be eligible.

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Posted: 11 July 2008 02:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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The Illinois UI manual lists exceptions (no benefits) for two types of workers who are laid off between seasons: (1) school employees and (2) professional athletes. See page 8 (#11 and #12) at http://www.ides.state.il.us/uidocs/bis/handbook.pdf online.

Otherwise, I’d guess eligibility (presuming able/available for work, sufficient base period wages, etc.). Of course, the state agency decides.

cheers!

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Posted: 11 July 2008 02:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Alice - 10 July 2008 05:17 PM

We hire on a number of seasonal employees for our retail garden store. I have them sign off when they’re hired that they understand the position is seasonal and they are not eligible for benefits such as health or dental insurance. My question is would they be eligible for unemployment in Illinois? Generally any employee having worked 30 days is eligible given that their termination is through no fault of their own.

I had the same situation a couple weeks ago.  In Illinois, if they work 30 days, (work not calendar) they are eligible assuming they meet the other criteria.

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Posted: 11 July 2008 02:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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eligibility for unemployment is not based on how long you worked for a single company, but how long have you worked. Unemployment looks at your wages for the what is know as your base period. this is the first 4 quarters of the last five quarters, backdated from the date the employee files a claim You have to earn so much money during each this base period. If you meet those guidelines and you are unemployed through no fault of your own, then the employee is eligible. What matters more is which employer gets charged for experience rating, this determines what your SUI rate is. A company that has an high rate of unemployment charged to them means your SUI rate goes up. A company that has a low rate of unemployment, will receive a credit. Each state sets a standard rate for SUI and each company is adjusted based on experience rating. That is why it is important to challenge unemployment charges if the employee is not eligible because they were terminated for reason that may make them ineligible for benefits.

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Posted: 11 July 2008 02:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I think the best advice is to call the Department of Employment Security (Director’s Office is 217-785-5069) and pose the question to it. I think that you will find that the seasonal employees are covered from the first dollar of earnings and are entitled to benefits. We have clients that employ seasonal workers and they do draw benefits in the off months.

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Posted: 11 July 2008 02:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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My assumption was they were concerned about company chargability, not the individuals ability to collect.

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Posted: 12 July 2008 10:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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In this case, I am fairly certain across the US that seasonal or not, employees would eligible for unemployment, even during what I will refer to as ‘off’ months or in your case “seasonal”.  I would suggest you call the Unemployment office to double check.

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Posted: 14 July 2008 11:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I practice in Colorado, but generally, the unemployment laws are exactly as srtoady posted earlier.  It doesn’t matter whether the employee understood it was a short-lived job - that does not prevent them from receiving unemployment benefits provided they meet the other eligibility requirements.

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Posted: 15 July 2008 03:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Got it, apparently unemployment is just the cost of doing business when hiring on seasonal employees. I verified that in our circumstance, given the individual was employed for the past four quarters and they’re making a minimum of $369, they’re eligible and we’re chargable.

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