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Underemployment Questions

What is underemployment?

The definition of underemployment is when an employee is employed but not in their desired compensation, hours or level of skill and experience. Since the worker is not technically unemployed, the underemployed are often competing for available jobs. Read below where the Experts have provided legal answers to the top asked questions on underemployment.

In the state of California what is the underemployment rate?

Underemployment and unemployment benefits are added up the same way. The only difference between the two is that underemployment benefits subtract the wages that they are currently receiving from the benefit amount they would be entitled to. To be eligible for underemployment, they must have received enough wages during the base period to determine a claim; they must also be physically able and available to accept additional work, actively seeking more work, and underemployed through no fault of their own.

What is someone’s right if they filed for underemployment and then their employer cut back more hours?

In many cases it can be considered retaliation from the employer because they have filed for unemployment if they cut their hours back after filing for the benefits. Proof of retaliation is bringing in other employees to work that used to work. The employee would need to inform Unemployment Insurance Agency that the employer is retaliating against them because they filed for benefits.

Can someone receive unemployment benefits if they are underemployed, if they accepted a job that paid less than unemployment and often work 40 hours a week?

They are not considered underemployed if they are working 40 hours a week. Even if they are making fewer than 33%, they are still making more than unemployment benefits, so their income could offset any benefits. To apply for unemployment they have to be working less than 40 hours a week, normally less than 25 hours a week.

If someone is underemployed working on 16-20 hours a week if their employer lays them off, or they quit due to not getting enough hours, can they apply for unemployment benefits?

If the employer lays the employee off, the employee can file for benefits. Also, if the employer cuts the employees’ hours in a significant way, then they can also file for benefits. The major cut in hours amounts to a constructive termination. This triggers the employee to be able to leave and collect unemployment benefits.

If someone is underemployed and receives unemployment can they be fired from their job?

In most situations, the only way a company can fire an employee legally for this is if the employee has a contract, and in that contract it states that the employee cannot be employed with another company or receive unemployment while being employed with them. If this was not stated, and made clear to the employee, then this a violation of company policy, the employer should have stated to employee with a notice and/or warning when they first applied for unemployment benefits. If the employee was not aware of this policy, then they could file a law suit in civil court against them for wrongful termination, they can collect damages of lost wages, court costs, attorney fees, and other personal injury money.

Many times people have many years of experience in a field or they have a collage degree for something, but they are taking the available job, which may mean they are not getting paid what they would if they had taken the job where they have the most experience. Or, sometimes many people have applied of a full time job but are only receiving part time hours, these situations and consist of underemployment. Contact an Expert today to see if you are underemployed and qualify for unemployment.
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