May 2018 Advocate: Adjunct faculty eligible for unemployment benefits
Adjunct faculty: Don’t forget to apply for unemployment benefits
All part-time faculty members should remember that you are eligible for unemployment compensation benefits over the summer break and between semesters, unless you are working another job over the summer or between semesters and you are earning more than your unemployment grant would be. As soon as you give your last final exam, you should contact the local Employment Development Dept. (EDD) office and file a claim, or reactivate the one you have from last winter (if you applied between semesters). If it is a new claim, you will have a one-week waiting period before benefits start, so do not delay. You can also claim for the period between regular terms and summer school.
When applying, tell them about all your jobs, since your benefit is based on all your income over the previous year. When they ask if you have a job to go back to after summer break, you should answer: “Not with reasonable assurance. I only have a tentative assignment contingent on enrollment, funding and program needs.”
This is important: Do not just tell them that you have an assignment for Fall or Spring or you will be disqualified. According to the Ed. Code, part-timers, as a class, do not have “reasonable assurance” of a job and hence are eligible for benefits between terms. The specific language from Ed Code section 87482.3 (d) reads: “In all cases, part-time faculty assignments shall be temporary in nature, contingent on enrollment and funding, and subject to program changes, and no part-time faculty member shall have reasonable assurance of continued employment at any point, irrespective of the status, length of service, or reemployment preference of that part-time, temporary faculty member.”
Be sure to fill out all job search forms correctly, and appear as directed in person or by phone or mail. You should not have any problems, but if you do and are denied for any reason, call Dan Kaplan in the AFT office (650-574-6491) as soon as possible and the Union will advise you on how to file an appeal. Don’t be reluctant to file. This is your right, not charity.