SEIU Local 284 suggests that you consider filing for unemployment compensation. You can apply online at the following link:
This year is a very different year. In the last 2 months we’ve seen our world transform, and our jobs along with it. We have depended on each other like never before and stood together as a union to fight for safety and security on the job. None of us know what exactly the fall will bring–with the pandemic, the direction from Gov. Walz, or our local school districts. We do know that some of our members have been laid off already, and others could potentially be laid off later this summer. Or the start of the school year could be delayed.
So why apply for unemployment now?
In a normal year, you would have a “reasonable assurance” (a legal term) of school employment in the fall. Because of this, in a normal year, you would not be eligible for unemployment over the summer months.
This year is not a normal year. You might think you will have a school job in the fall, but then later in the summer the school district decides to lay you off. In a case like this, you might be able to receive unemployment compensation going back to the first date you apply for it. But if you don’t apply, you don’t have a chance of receiving the retroactive payment. For example, if you apply on June 15 and are denied (because of the “reasonable assurance” of employment), but then are laid off on August 15, you might be able to receive unemployment compensation going back to June 15. But if you wait to apply for unemployment on August 15, you only get unemployment starting on that date and without any retroactive payment. The key is: apply for unemployment compensation now and keep your account updated with the unemployment comp office. And let Unemployment Compensation sort it out.
Or maybe you normally would work for the school district over the summer months, but this year the school district isn’t hiring you. Would you receive unemployment over the summer? We don’t know. What we do know is that you won’t receive unemployment if you don’t apply for it—and then let the state unemployment office sort it out.
Or any other number of possibilities may exist. But apply and let unemployment comp sort it out.
Will I definitely receive unemployment compensation if I apply?
The short answer is: We don’t know. We’ve asked Unemployment Compensation that question. Their answer: have them apply and we’ll sort it out.
Unemployment law is notoriously complicated, and no case is the same. There are no guarantees and you should not plan on these funds coming through. However, if you provide truthful information, there is no downside to filing weekly unemployment claims this summer.
As we continue to stand together and fight for our jobs and our safety, we hope these unemployment benefits are not needed. However, if you are laid off next fall and found eligible for unemployment, your union wants to make sure you have the possibility to collect for the summer. Please reach out to your steward or Contract Organizer if you have any questions.