Thursday, March 19, 2009

Reader tip: "Beware of accepting a voluntary layoff"

A McClatchy employee emails to warn MNI employees about accepting a voluntary layoff -- doing so could affect your eligibility to receive unemployment benefits.
.
... if you accept the voluntary layoff, you have to count on the newspaper saying that your job was eliminated, and not that you quit -- if they make the claim you quit, you won't be entitled to unemployment benefits.

Waiting for the involuntary layoff will give you the best "ammunition" in case your state makes a claim that you're not entitled to benefits. It will also help you out in the future, whether you're looking for retraining or just a new position somewhere else, because then you'll be able to honestly say that your job was eliminated, and not that you agreed to quit.
I posted some other advice for laid-off employees here.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

We have never had a problem with our voluntaries being denied unemployment. In our state a simple designation of "job ended" on someone's record is all it takes and that is what the unemployment office is told when they ask. Yes these cuts are painful but spare us the conspiracy theory of MNI trying to hoodwink people out of their rightful benes.

Anonymous said...

I know of several people who took the voluntary buyout and were able to collect unemployment.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't trust them myself -- there's been too many times when I've been told one thing by the newspaper I (currently) work for, and it's been discovered to be false later on...

Anonymous said...

I agree with 6:16.

I took a buyout last year; company encouraged all who did to file for unemployment, and said the company would not contest it for anyone. I'd be highly surprised to learn that any of the papers are trying to keep people from collecting it.

Anonymous said...

It wouldn't surprise me at all to see them try and weasel out of paying. It isn't like McClatchy has ever been known for it's honesty.

Anonymous said...

another thing to be aware of:
I posted something on this site that was picked up by NBC 5 in DFW area for its Web site. word for word.

is stealing a post from another Web site plagiarism?

Anonymous said...

Latenight poll question:

Will the Sacto Bee mention the Obama Special Olympics gaffe in tomorow's paper?

Anonymous said...

Unemployment insurance is just that, insurance. To qualify you have to be terminated without cause. In some states, even termination with cause will still qualify you for UI at a reduced rate. Indiana, for example, reduced your UI by 25%.

Anonymous said...

It makes no difference to the company whether you claim or not...they have already paid their insurance premiums.

There is no way that this is happening. If it is, give the story to someone still left so they have something to write about.

Otherwise it is just a rumor and is a non-issue. (As is most of the troll baiting on here)

Anonymous said...

"Will the Sacto Bee mention the Obama Special Olympics gaffe in tomorow's paper?"

Not tomorrow, look for it days from now.

Anonymous said...

It makes no difference to the company whether you claim or not...they have already paid their insurance premiums.




More bald faced lies. We have a McClatchy propagandist here folks.

Anonymous said...

"It makes no difference to the company whether you claim or not...they have already paid their insurance premiums."

That may be true about McClatchy, I don't know. But there were stories all over the news in the last few weeks about just this...companies fighting paying unemployment claims for their laid-off employees. It's a big trend.

Anonymous said...

Here's an article on companies fighting unemployment claims:

http://www.wisebread.com/laid-off-make-sure-you-get-your-unemployment

Chuck said...

I would imagine that this varies from state to state.

I took the voluntary buyout from the Star-Telegram and was able to collect unemployment with no problems.

Anonymous said...

As someone who has seen the HR records for all the companies, I can absolutely tell you that all employees termed because of lay-offs are given a status of either "group severance" or involuntary layoff. There has been NO attempt to say it's anything other than a lay off.

Anonymous said...

As a lawyer -- unemployment law is different in EVERY state. You should check into YOUR state's unemployment rules.

Don't assume that any observation in these comments will also apply to you. Don't assume anything!

Check with your state's Dept of Labor or whatever agency in your stateadministers unemployment claims.

Yes, many employers will challenge unemployment claims because (depending on the state) their premiums may rise based on their record of claims. It's an insurance program, after all.

Yes, states DIFFER in the rules they apply about whether you were laid off or voluntarily left. The rules can be complex. It would be a mistake to look at the comments here and assume that those rules apply to you. It's STATE by STATE.

Sorry for the caps emphasis. We lawyers get used to our advice being ignored, and then people come back and want us to fix things.

Anonymous said...

I took a buyout and was initially told by the ESC that I wasn't eligible for unemployment benefits until the number of weeks of my buyout package had elapsed. However, I did find out that if I go back to school, I can collect right away. My HR department confirmed that I was indeed laid off and my position was eliminated. They may not be accessible to me any longer, but at least they weren't trying to be subversive.

Anonymous said...

I took a voluntary layoff and I've been receiving unemployment benefits no problem.

Anonymous said...

Because of the "boiler plate" notices from the company about the mass layoffs, I think it would be a no-brainer that they cannot come back and try to fight your unemployment.

Plus, there has not been 1 person/case in regards to McClatchy come on here and say they could not get their benefits because McClatchy was fighting them after being laid off.

Anonymous said...

I took a voluntary buyout last summer and had trouble collecting unemployment in South Carolina. However, I think that's more a reflection of the way things are run at the state unemployment offices than McClatchy's business practices. The HR office at my newspaper gave me everything I needed to apply for unemployment, but the local unemployment office had trouble figuring out exactly where to categorize me, as I had left voluntarily and accepted a benefits package that included some pay. I probably could've gotten the benefits had I stuck with it, but I managed to find work soon after leaving.

I guess what I'm saying is that I don't think McClatchy's keeping people from getting unemployment, but you may need to be prepared to fight for it if you leave a position voluntarily (and live in an state with less-than-stellar pubic service).