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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 33791
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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Can I dispute my EDD award based on the obscure statute that

Resolved Question:

Can I dispute my EDD award based on the obscure statute that states that the quarterly wages are figured on the pay date NOT the actual month in the quarter you worked?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 years ago.
Hello,

Since you are referencing an "obscure" statute, would you mind giving me the actual code section to which you refer, so I don't have to try to guess.

Also, give me your argument -- what exactly do you propose to claim on appeal?

Thanks.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I do not have the number of the statute..It was something the EDD agent mumbled on the phone as the excuse for no awarding me my actual salary for the period earned. He told me CA Law stated that the award was figured on the pay date..which UC Berkeley pays one day into the NEXT QUARTER. My argument is a quarter is Jan-Mar, Apr-Jun, Jul-Sep and Oct-Dec...
I signed an agreement with my previous employer instead of taking them to court for discrimination. Before I signed this agreement I discussed the terms of UI Awards with the EDD before I signed the agreement. NO ONE ever mentioned that Quarters were figured on the day the check was paid instead of the end of the financial quarter where the work was done to earn the wages!
California Unemployment Insurance Code Section 926, 938.8(b), 1275
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 years ago.
UI Code 1275(a), provides:

  • Unemployment compensation benefit award computations shall be based on wages paid in the base period. "Base period" means: for benefit years beginning in October, November, or December, the four calendar quarters ended in the next preceding month of June; for benefit years beginning in January, February, or March, the four calendar quarters ended in the next preceding month of September; for benefit years beginning in April, May, or June, the four calendar quarters ended in the next preceding month of December; for benefit years beginning in July, August, or September, the four calendar quarters ended with the next preceding month of March. Wages used in the determination of benefits payable to an individual during any benefit year may not be used in determining that individual's benefits in any subsequent benefit year.

The text of the above-quoted code section does not appear to permit any variance. The basis of a claim are the wages "paid in the base period." The question comes down to one of the definition of paid, and whether a court would provide any interpretion. There is no definition of the term paid in the Code, and a court must generally use the ordinary meaning of a word, where the legislature has failed to provide a definition.

Merriam-Webster's online dictionary defines "paid" as the "past and past participal of 'pay.'" "Pay" is defined in the first instance as, "to make due return to for service rendered or property delivered." This definition could be argued to mean that wages could be paid on the date when the payor reflects payment due in its accounting records, rather than on the date exhibited on the payroll check.

The funds for payment could have been physicially allocated before the check was cut (probably were). You could argue that if that's true, then you were "paid" during the prior quarter. You could aslo request that the CUIAB take additional evidence and permit you to call the custodian of records/controller for the employer as a witness, to explain exactly when funds for payroll checks are allocated.

And, viola! You have a new argument. Whether it will work, depends on your ability to pursuade your audience.

Hope this helps.


And, if you need to contact me again, please put my user id on the title line of your question (“ToCustomerrdquo;), and the system will send me an alert. Thanks!



socrateaser, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 33791
Experience: Retired (mostly)
socrateaser and 4 other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I need clarification about the other UI Code listed specifically 938.3(d) which talks about cafeteria benefits reducing the actual taxable gross earnings.
I contributed to the company sponsored health plan $21.21 per month
I had a "forced" deduction for the UC Retirement Plan of $42.38 per month
I opted to put a hefty amount into the 403(b) which was an optional amount, but I stuck $600 in for the last 4 months of employment as I knew I was going to be forced to resign.
I did research and saw that these items CAN be excluded from your UI award...which is shit cause I have to pay for insurance now and I cannot put any monies into retirement cause I dont have a job.
Am I stuck with this ruling or do you see something wrong with this?
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 years ago.
I can't compare the company health plan to an IRS "cafeteria plan" without reviewing the entire plan -- even then it may be difficult. The employer knows whether its plan is a cafeteria plan, however, because the employer had to find a way to make the contributions deductable. So, you may want to contact the employer and ask for some related documentaiton.

Re the retirement plan, I don't see any way that this would fall within the wage exceptions of UI Code 938.3. Same goes for a 403(b). These are all ERISA-qualified plans, and they are not within the scope of UI Code 938.3 -- so, they would have no effect on your UI benefits.

Hope this helps.


And, if you need to contact me again, please put my user id on the title line of your question (“ToCustomerrdquo;), and the system will send me an alert. Thanks!

socrateaser, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 33791
Experience: Retired (mostly)
socrateaser and 4 other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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