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Joseph
Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5046
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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I have won an appeal for UI benefits, because I was provided

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I have won an appeal for UI benefits, because I was provided a memo stating a bumping rights process was to take place during the summer, and my employer did not provide a new contract for the 2012-2013 school year, as an annual contract signature procedure was in effect for me at least since 2008, until the state took over the district Nov. 2012. My last contract was for 2011-2012 school year, with end date 06/22/2012, was finally provided to me and I signed it on 04/2012. I have received no communication via email, mail or phone call as to my status for the ensuing year. This would be my 6th year, if i get a new contract. Is it my responsibility to contact them? Do they have the ability to not rehire me or the obligation to rehire me officially, in writing? Is my 5 year tenure with this district bound to an obligation by me or them in this situation? I am receiving unemployment, and they have time left to file an appeal. School starts soon in this district. I am in the process of relocating closer to that work, but want to know if that is a good idea yet. I have applied for jobs and completely registered with CalJobs, not that their website helps as much as edjoin.org for teachers. I have done all expected so far. What is my next legally correct move here? Thank you so much.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service today?

Is it my responsibility to contact them?

When you are on unemployment benefits, you have a duty to pursue reasonable job opportunities on a weekly basis. While you are not obligated to do this specifically, if you were reviewed, it could definitely be seen as unreasonable that you failed to contact them to see if you had a job there or not.

Do they have the ability to not rehire me or the obligation to rehire me officially, in writing?

Since you are tenured they do have the obligation to rehire you as long as enough positions are available. If lay offs are or were taking place due to budgetary shortfalls, there may be a way out for them not to hire you. That said, I strongly encourage you to contact them directly to figure the situation out.

The district is obligated to rehire you now that you have tenure. Tenure doesn't make you obligated to accept a job with them. However, if you receive an offer from them, you could not turn it down and retain unemployment benefits, as you would have been found to have turned down a (very) suitable offer of employment.

I'd say it makes the most sense (legally and otherwise) for you to pick up the phone, computer, etc. and make contact to figure out if you have a job or not before school starts. (It's definitely wise to figure this out before moving to be closer to work if you come to find out there's no job to be had--although that seems unlikely with you being tenured and no notification that you DON'T have a job this year).
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

You stated, "no notification that you DON'T have a job this year." I won my UI appeal based upon notification via the memo that stated bumping rights process to take place this summer and because of my having no existing contract, per their regular practice of annual signatures upon one. Even though I have 5 yrs. there is a bulk of teachers with up to 30 yrs. Also, the state takeover puts all of us on notice essentially. Does a laid off employee have to contact the employer for future work? That doesn't make sense to me, but I would never turn down work because I need to work. If I ask about my position, does that put the district on notice that I am eligible for lay off? This district does not have that many bright bulbs in the pack. They freeze hiring and still create new jobs with big salaries for administrative levels. Some of the reason for the state takeover in the first place, apart from other things similar to the city of Bell. I don't want to jeopardize my job by making them aware of what they should already know and don't, making waves that could throw me off the Titanic too soon.

Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
Hello Tricia,

I understand why you wouldn't want to contact the district and you are definitely not obligated to do so. *You aren't required to do so under any Unemployment Insurance Code, etc.).

It does seem that your lack of contract plus the memo put you on sufficient notice that you no longer have a position. It just seems odd to me that you would be moving closer to work, and are essentially still in limbo about whether or not they want you to work for this coming school year (which is already underway in other areas).

You would also have a sufficient good reason not to contact them (to prevent being laid off) in case the EDD were to question you regarding this. But, as long as you're looking for work elsewhere, you shouldn't have to worry about the EDD coming after you for not seeking unemployment. That does seem to be a bureaucratic mess though.

Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
Hello Tricia,

Please let me know if you have any further follow up or clarifying questions regarding the above information.

If not, please remember to rate my answer positively so I get credit for my work!

Thanks and best of luck!
Joseph, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 5046
Experience: Extensive experience representing employees and management
Joseph and 2 other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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