What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? PA
I have been working full time for a small business owned by family since June 2010. My wife has also been working part time. This time of year is their down time until June/July, but we had been given several projects to complete that require long term commitment. We do have other freelance work and a small business of our own, so even though they pay us min. wage it was not a big deal and we were happy to do work for them that we customarily charge much higher rates for (we were also able to telecommute). Unfortunately they are our only STEADY income until the business venture starts bringing in profit, and the freelance projects are come and go.
Yesterday, we were informed that we are now laid off. Probably until Fall. There was absolutely no warning as there are other employees they have kept, and we were just asked to look into a new project that no one else there can even advise them on. I know that this is the result of a genuine money crunch, and that they will hire us back at some point, but that point might not be until August. I mentioned calling unemployment to another relative on the phone (who also works for them in-house) and she got very flustered and mentioned that it would DESTROY their finances if I did that and I could basically kiss any warm fuzzies or hope of getting re-hired goodbye.
They are NOT a big company, but they do have a couple of full time employees and a handful of part time or seasonal ones who work on occasion. One one hand, I am a tad upset that we got NO notice about this...they presumably knew that they were running out of cash and could have at least prepped us for that eventuality rather than give us new long term projects up until the day before. We are properly employed, not "contractors" and at no point was there talk of being anything but regular hourly folks. We also have children to feed while we scramble for an extra big project or a job, and my wife is 35 weeks pregnant. Yay.
Now I have to decide whether to file and get some short term help with the uncertainty and thereby cut off a nice long term income boost since they will NOT rehire me and piss off everyone we'll be seeing at Easter OR I can not file to preserve the family accord and get rehired in 3-6 months (hopefully) and keep my fingers crossed for an AMAZING freelance job or try to find a place that will hire me around the hours I already put into my own small business while also being OK with a few possible call-offs when my wife gives birth.
Will their unemployment Insurance REALLY go up by that much for one additional claim of full time minimum wage employment? I know they have at least one claim from the past and I'm told it really made them upset, but I don't know how much this kind of thing will really cost them to determine whether I have sympathy for that or not. At this point I could go either way on filing, but I don't want to cause them too much hardship.