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Old 03-22-2009, 01:51 PM
 
2 posts, read 9,219 times
Reputation: 14

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I am trying to find out what the term "employment relationship" translates to as it pertains to unemployment benefits. I was terminated back in July 30th of 2008 from a sales hourly + commission position. My first unemployment payment was for the week ending August 9th 2008 as the week ending August 2nd was my waiting week. I received my "final paycheck" for hours worked in July on August 1st. I had received two random commission checks from my terminating company (that I was told I would not receive) at mid to end August 2008. I did not report those two checks (which did not exceed my weekly benefit amount) because I was understanding the following (and this is a direct cut and paste from my employment departments website :

Reporting Work And Earnings

If you did any work during the week you are claiming, report the hours you worked and your earnings, even if you have not been paid. Report the total amount of money that you expect to be paid for this work before deductions.
--------------------------------------...
I was understanding this information to mean that because the checks I received were not from work I had physically done during the week claiming I did not have to report it. Again below I will be cut and pasting information directly/ word for word from my departments website:

You must report all work and earnings from employment when claiming benefits

This includes cash and tips, and any non-cash payments such as room and board. Vacation and holiday pay must also be reported if you are returning to work with this employer. Other examples of earnings that are to be reported are payments given due to an employment relationship which, in addition to salary or wages, may be given as bonus, stand-by pay, sick pay, commission, tips or added remuneration for services. Reimbursements for incidental expenses such as meals, lodging, mileage and other traveling expenses should not be reported as earnings.
--------------------------------------...
I was understanding

A) that it said I only had to report all work and earnings from employment during the specific week I was claiming. Meaning I had physically worked that week. . I was not employed in August when I received these straggler commission checks.


B) because these payments were not paid unto me because of an employment relationship (I was thinking there is no relationship during the month of August, I was terminated from the company in July) that these commissions did not have to be claimed. These commissions were unexpected and am I wrong to understand that because I was terminated the employment relationship with my former employer was terminated as well?

Can anyone help? A friend told me she thinks I am wrong and I think based off their information the website I am understanding things properly and she is wrong. And if I am wrong and its just a simple misunderstanding what do you think my chances of them being nice and just issuing an overpayment are? I am terrified to think if I have made a slight error I will be cut off and wont be able to support my son.
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Old 04-01-2009, 08:06 AM
 
2,365 posts, read 10,761,630 times
Reputation: 693
Quote:
Originally Posted by supermom81 View Post
I am trying to find out what the term "employment relationship" translates to as it pertains to unemployment benefits. I was terminated back in July 30th of 2008 from a sales hourly + commission position. My first unemployment payment was for the week ending August 9th 2008 as the week ending August 2nd was my waiting week. I received my "final paycheck" for hours worked in July on August 1st. I had received two random commission checks from my terminating company (that I was told I would not receive) at mid to end August 2008. I did not report those two checks (which did not exceed my weekly benefit amount) because I was understanding the following (and this is a direct cut and paste from my employment departments website :

Reporting Work And Earnings

If you did any work during the week you are claiming, report the hours you worked and your earnings, even if you have not been paid. Report the total amount of money that you expect to be paid for this work before deductions.
--------------------------------------...
I was understanding this information to mean that because the checks I received were not from work I had physically done during the week claiming I did not have to report it. Again below I will be cut and pasting information directly/ word for word from my departments website:

You must report all work and earnings from employment when claiming benefits

This includes cash and tips, and any non-cash payments such as room and board. Vacation and holiday pay must also be reported if you are returning to work with this employer. Other examples of earnings that are to be reported are payments given due to an employment relationship which, in addition to salary or wages, may be given as bonus, stand-by pay, sick pay, commission, tips or added remuneration for services. Reimbursements for incidental expenses such as meals, lodging, mileage and other traveling expenses should not be reported as earnings.
--------------------------------------...
I was understanding

A) that it said I only had to report all work and earnings from employment during the specific week I was claiming. Meaning I had physically worked that week. . I was not employed in August when I received these straggler commission checks.


B) because these payments were not paid unto me because of an employment relationship (I was thinking there is no relationship during the month of August, I was terminated from the company in July) that these commissions did not have to be claimed. These commissions were unexpected and am I wrong to understand that because I was terminated the employment relationship with my former employer was terminated as well?

Can anyone help? A friend told me she thinks I am wrong and I think based off their information the website I am understanding things properly and she is wrong. And if I am wrong and its just a simple misunderstanding what do you think my chances of them being nice and just issuing an overpayment are? I am terrified to think if I have made a slight error I will be cut off and wont be able to support my son.


Yes you need to report your commission checks. They are income. They will probably find out and they can penalize you. Or you can take your chances.

Your checks will be reduced by the amount of the checks, minus your PBR for those weeks.
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Old 04-01-2009, 11:17 AM
 
Location: Sherwood, OR
666 posts, read 1,748,701 times
Reputation: 679
Quote:
Originally Posted by gea12345 View Post
Yes you need to report your commission checks. They are income. They will probably find out and they can penalize you. Or you can take your chances.

Your checks will be reduced by the amount of the checks, minus your PBR for those weeks.
I'm not so sure this is correct. If I'm reading the original post correctly, they were commission checks for work performed when they were employed, prior to seeking benefits. Had they been paid on time, it wouldn't have affected the benefits, so why should it now?

Regardless, it should be reported with the explaination that these were delayed checks from your former employer for work done prior to your filing for unemployment benefits.
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Old 04-01-2009, 04:51 PM
 
5,273 posts, read 13,551,992 times
Reputation: 5863
As a former unemployment department worker, both the prior advice is correct. It probably is, but report it to the state and let them make the determination.
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:16 AM
 
2 posts, read 9,219 times
Reputation: 14
Thanks for all of your responses! I did contact someone at my employment department and they told me I did not need to report those commissions. Because commissions usually are staggered (I sell the security system, then the installer installs it, then the company has to reconcile and wait for the contracts to be accepted, then I get paid!) , they want to know when I performed the work not when I was paid. I performed my portion of the work in July before my termination therefore I was not required to report it. They said they only want to know if I did the work during the week I was claiming. I hope this helps someone else who may have the same question!
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:34 PM
 
Location: Denver
1,082 posts, read 4,492,306 times
Reputation: 554
when you are receiving anything from any government you have to be completely forthright. Even if you did not think it was "employment" you knew it was from former employment. How they figure it is up to them. However it's not going to cut you off, it will merely alter your check so just report it and get it over with. They have to deal with mixed up stressed people all the time.

The general rule is, if you have to report to someone and they tell you what to do and they have an agreement with you to pay you for the services but you don't get to do it however and whenever you want, you likely are an employee. Even if they pay late it's still employment income. Non employment income would be if you were making crafts at home and selling them at craft fairs for yourself. If you filed for unemployment it may be that the unemployment filing was what prompted them to pay the commissions or whatever bec the govt is getting stricter about making employers pay people what they owe them.
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Old 04-08-2009, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Sherwood, OR
666 posts, read 1,748,701 times
Reputation: 679
I disagree. Her check should not be altered because of this. In fact, the original poster just said that they contacted the unemployment department and they said she did not have to report the commissions. This makes complete sense. The commissions were for work performed prior to filing for unemployment.

I work in software sales. I am paid quarterly commissions, but there is a month delay in processing the payment. For example, my first quarter commission payment will be paid at the end of April. If I were to be laid off in March and start collecting unemployment benefits immediately, my April commission payment will not affect the unemployment benefit.

My company has laid of thousands in the past 3 months so I know this scenario to be true from many former colleagues.
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:28 PM
 
3,970 posts, read 12,760,625 times
Reputation: 1576
States will and do check this stuff on a regular basis. I once quit a job that paid about 15% of my previous job to take a 2-day trip out of state for a job interview at a pay that was more in line with what I was previously making. They immediately denied my benefits, regardless of how much my interim job paid, and regardless of the reason why I quit it. No mercy whatsoever.
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Old 04-08-2009, 04:17 PM
 
17,842 posts, read 39,860,942 times
Reputation: 10544
Quitting a job for a job interview, even for the prospect of a better job, doesn't constitute "good cause" for quitting employment as defined in most states' unemployment laws. That's just the way the law reads. It isn't a "mercy" question.
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Old 04-23-2009, 09:09 PM
 
Location: Denver
1,082 posts, read 4,492,306 times
Reputation: 554
State laws vary, some unemployment may consider income from past work because it is from work and others may not.
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