Apply for unemployment on New Year's Day?

Yes, this is a question for the state unemployment department. But all their lines are busy, and they aren’t taking e-mail inquiries. (Really!)

I have to take a furlough week before March, and I’m planning to take the week of Dec. 28 off, since my kids will be home from school anyway. It’s fine with my boss to take New Year’s Day as a furlough day and take a paid holiday day later, but he said he didn’t know if the state unemployment office would let me take New Year’s as a furlough day since it’s a federal holiday. This is in Wisconsin, BTW. Any ideas?

Unemployment deals in Weeks not days.

Whether or not a day of that week is a holiday should be irrellevant.

There may also be a mandatory waiting period of one week before benefits kick in - the one time I was looking at unemployment, I couldn’t even apply until I’d be at liberty for a week. This was a long time ago, in another state (I assume) and I wound up having a new job before my severance ran out, so my info may not apply.

In any case, a single week furlough MIGHT not be sufficient to get you any benefits.

An employer doesn’t have to pay you for any holiday. There are no federal regulations regarding holiday pay. I’ve had jobs that don’t pay holidays at all.

There is no federal law mandating overtime pay, holiday pay or giving you the day off or a make up day.

There may be other factors like union contracts and local laws that may cover holiday pay though.

Can’t speak for your state (I’m in NY), but when I sign in for my unemployment each week there are two relevant questions

  1. It asks how many days I’ve worked that week, not which days.

On the other hand it also asks

  1. If there was any day I was "unwilling or unable"to work (although it’s not clear I think it disincludes weekends)

Practically speaking, though, it seems that as long as you don’t refuse to go to the unemployment office in the unrealistic scenario in which they tell you you have an appointment on that day, and you don’t refuse to go to a job or interview on that day, you’ll be fine.

PS: What’s a furlough?

The bolded section is incorrect. (warning, .pdf)

Most states, yes, but Wisconsin and 15 (ok, 14) others, no:

And see,

I’m not sure what the answer is to the OP’s question. My WAG is that it shouldn’t matter that you’ve got a holiday in there because, as others have said, it’s about weeks when you were available to work–not whether you would have been required to attend work on a specific day.

Okay, so it appears the state unemployment office doesn’t care. But apparently HR has a problem with it, because during our last round of furloughs, someone wanted to take their furlough during the week that included Memorial Day, and HR said no. So I guess my question is now for my HR department, and that’s whether if I claim a week’s unemployment that week, will they challenge it? Thanks for your help.

All I can say is that the last time I collected unemployment (from Illinois) I had to report any pay I received on a holiday. So in that case if I wasn’t paid for working a holiday I didn’t have to report anything in regards to that.

But of course Wisconsin’s rules may vary. You might be able to find an answer on a website, or maybe not. Nothing beat a live human on the phone, but it seems to be hell to get through to one.

(Perhaps these state agencies should hire more people. Hey… I’m available!)

I think the bolded section was ment that there is no requirement to pay overtime when working on a holiday, unless it exceeds 40 hours.

In Calif there is a one week waiting period after you sign up. And the Holiday would only count if you recieve one days pay. Anf if you were recieving UE it wold only decrease you UE check by the amount of pay you recieve.

Try using this site to contact them

I think the key here is, are you still getting paid for that holiday even though you are on furlough? If so you can’t claim that day, and per your job you’ll probably have to take an extra day off. If they aren’t paying you, it makes no difference to either the furlough or unemployment. Unless they are worried about being understaffed on your extra day of furlough somehow.

As I see it, if I mark New Year’s Day as “furlough” and not “holiday” on my timecard, then I should be able to take the week as a furlough, and I can just take the “holiday” day some other time. The question is whether or not the company will let me do that.

I’m surprised that no one has brought up the point that unemployment benefits are prorated. Or it is here, at least. Say you’d earn $150 in unemployment for a full week off of work, because you too live in a state that doesn’t pay much.And let’s pretend you are forced to take off four days instead of one; on that fifth day you worked and you made $100. You file for unemployment that week, and a couple of weeks later you get a check… for $40.

Why? Because not only do they subtract the amount you earned from your potential weekly benefit, they also divide up the remainder by five, and pay you 1/5th for each day out of work. So you worked a day which makes them subtract another $10 from the potential $50 left over. Now, that’s in case of working just one day that week. If you worked more than one day that week, you’d get nothing, because $200 is higher than $150 to begin with.

Perhaps this isn’t the case in other states, but it really doesn’t pay to claim partial weeks in NH.