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Tina
Tina, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 31581
Experience:  JD, 16 years experience & recognized by ABA for excellence in employment law.
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In CA, if a company that I am employed at as an at-will employee

Resolved Question:

In CA, if a company that I am employed at as an at-will employee changes my terms to contract, with a 2 month term, will I be eligible for unemployment? Can I refuse the contract position and be eligible for unemployment? I've been employed here for 11 years, so I'm new to all this.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Tina replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome,

What terms of employment are changing? Are your wages being reduced by 20% or more, or some other change is taking place?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Pay remains the same.

Expert:  Tina replied 1 year ago.
Hello again, Jason.

Unless the type of work or wages are substantially changing, an employee would not typically be eligible for unemployment benefits if they refuse the modified terms.

A rule of thumb that is usually used is a 20% or more reduction in wages or hours that may constitute good cause to reject the new offer and still collect unemployment benefits.

If there is some term of the employer's new "offer" that does substantially change the terms of your employment, please let me know and I would be happy to address that.

It has been my pleasure to assist you. Please remember to press the smiley faces/stars on the right of your screen when we are finished with our communication so I will be credited for my time.

Kindly remember to ONLY rate my answer when you are fully satisfied. If you feel the need to rate anything less than OK, please stop and reply to me via the REPLY TO EXPERT or CONTINUE CONVERSATION button with whatever issue or clarification you may need. I will be happy to continue further and assist you until I am able to explain your concern to your satisfaction. Please also remember that I cannot control whether the law is favorable to you or not, so please don’t shoot the messenger.

Thank you very much and all the best to you,

Tina

Please feel free to bookmark the following link so you can request me to answer any future legal questions you may have:

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My vacation, sick time, and healthcare would be dropped, if full time employment ends. If am switched to contract, and my contract is ended by my employer, will I be eligible for unemployment?
Expert:  Tina replied 1 year ago.
Hello again, Jason.

The loss of benefits would not likely make you eligible for unemployment benefits if you reject the modified terms, but if your contract ends and you are laid off, you would normally be eligible for benefits at that time, yes.


It has been my pleasure to assist you. Please remember to press the smiley faces/stars on the right of your screen when we are finished with our communication so I will be credited for my time.

Kindly remember to ONLY rate my answer when you are fully satisfied. If you feel the need to rate anything less than OK, please stop and reply to me via the REPLY TO EXPERT or CONTINUE CONVERSATION button with whatever issue or clarification you may need. I will be happy to continue further and assist you until I am able to explain your concern to your satisfaction. Please also remember that I cannot control whether the law is favorable to you or not, so please don’t shoot the messenger.

Thank you very much and all the best to you,

Tina

Please feel free to bookmark the following link so you can request me to answer any future legal questions you may have:

http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-tina/

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It is my understanding that contract employees in California do dot receive unemployment benefits at the termination of the contract. Why would this case differ under California law?
Expert:  Tina replied 1 year ago.

Contract employees ARE eligible for benefits just as any other employee typically. The only difference is that they have an employment contract.

If you mean that the employer is attempting to change your status to one of independent contractor, that is true, you would not typically be eligible for benefits during the period you work as an independent contractor, but if you contract ends, you would still have earnings in your base period as an employee from which to collect unemployment benefits since you have been working for the employer for 11 years.

A new issue is raised if the employer is attempting to change your status to that of independent contractor. In CA, the presumption is that a worker is an employee and the employer cannot simply change the worker's status without being able to substantiate that there has been a change in the relationship to warrant that modification.

You may wish to file a complaint with the state labor board, which will likely find that you must continue to be treated as an employee if your terms of employment have not otherwise changed. The law protects you from retaliation for filing such a complaint.


It has been my pleasure to assist you. Please remember to press the smiley faces/stars on the right of your screen when we are finished with our communication so I will be credited for my time.

Kindly remember to ONLY rate my answer when you are fully satisfied. If you feel the need to rate anything less than OK, please stop and reply to me via the REPLY TO EXPERT or CONTINUE CONVERSATION button with whatever issue or clarification you may need. I will be happy to continue further and assist you until I am able to explain your concern to your satisfaction. Please also remember that I cannot control whether the law is favorable to you or not, so please don’t shoot the messenger.

Thank you very much and all the best to you,

Tina

Please feel free to bookmark the following link so you can request me to answer any future legal questions you may have:

http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-tina/

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That is exactly what is happening. They are forcing me to lose all benefits of a full time salaried employee, and continue work for 2 months as an independent contractor, wil no further benefits. So you are saying that I must take this deal, and work for 2 months, then I will be eligible for unemployment? If I refuse to allow them to change my status, and take away my benefits, then I will be in eligible for unemployment?
Expert:  Tina replied 1 year ago.

You should accept the offer but file a complaint with the state labor board typically as it appears what the employer is doing is illegal and the state will restore your employee status.

Here is a link to their website that explains this further:

http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/FAQ_IndependentContractor.htm


It has been my pleasure to assist you. Please remember to press the smiley faces/stars on the right of your screen when we are finished with our communication so I will be credited for my time. Thank you and good luck to you!

Tina, Attorney
Satisfied Customers: 31581
Experience: JD, 16 years experience & recognized by ABA for excellence in employment law.
Tina and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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