Can a Temp Employee Collect Unemployment?

Your employment classification status can impact not only your compensation, schedule, and work assignments, but also unemployment pay. Unemployment eligibility is only available if you meet certain criteria, including employment classification and can vary from state to state. 

Learn more about collecting unemployment if you are a temporary worker, contractor, or part of a seasonal workforce. 

Can You Collect Unemployment?

The rules are not as simple as you may think. The answer is “it depends.” If you are a temporary (or seasonal) employee you may be eligible for state compensation, as states generally don’t immediately disqualify a worker for employment classification. 

Unemployment Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility is based on length of employment, earnings accrued during based period employment, and the reason why you are no longer working at that job. The base period covers all jobs or contracts worked in a set period, usually one calendar year. One primary requirement is that you are no longer employed through no fault of your own. 

Most states also require you to maintain an active job search while collecting benefits. It is a good idea to keep a record of your search efforts in case you must later provide proof. 

Being fired is not an immediate disqualifier. If you were not a good fit for the position or just didn’t have the necessary skills, you may still receive unemployment. However, if you were fired for misconduct or similar behavior, you likely will not qualify. 

Collecting Unemployment After a Layoff

Downsizing, reduction in workforce, or other layoffs meet the eligibility that you lost your job through no fault of your own. 

Unemployment After Quitting 

Resigning or quitting your job is generally not covered by unemployment. However, some emergency exceptions exist. Leaving your job to escape domestic violence, care for an immediate family member, or relocate are all accepted exclusions to ineligibility. 

Occasionally, unemployment benefits requests are denied by either the state or federal governments. In most cases you can appeal the decision, or if you need help you can hire an attorney to navigate the state and federal requirements. 

Know Your Options – Work with a Staffing Agency

A staffing agency like Strom Engineering is an expert in state-to-state laws regarding unemployment. If you work with a staffing agency, they can assist you with collecting unemployment (if available) and also helping you find your next position. 

If you need more help in your search for your next position, don’t be afraid to send us your resume so you can be added to our database, and you’ll be on your way to finding the position that’s right for you.

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Strom Engineering is a national staffing and recruitment agency, with a particular focus on manufacturing, engineering, assembly, and other trade positions. We match skilled candidates to temporary or project staffing positions. Learn more about how it works and check out our case studies for more information.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio