Why might an EDD claim be denied?
There are several reasons that the EDD might deny a claim for UI benefits. For example, an "annualized" assignment contract, earnings from employment with the District as classified staff, or earnings from another employer can all make a faculty member ineligible for UI benefits.
But if EDD denies your claim and supports its denial by saying that you have "reasonable assurance" of work because you've been offered an assignment for the upcoming term, you may have grounds for an appeal. The reason for this is that, as established by the 1989 Cervisi Decision (click here to read this decision), adjunct faculty members typically receive offers of assignments that depend upon a number of factors, one of which is adequate course enrollment. Such an offer is contingent and is not a "reasonable assurance" of work; therefore, a community college adjunct faculty member is entitled to unemployment benefits during the period between academic terms, even if that faculty member has received an offer of work for the following term.
When an adjunct faculty member applies for UI benefits, the EDD contacts the Human Resources Department to verify information pertaining to the faculty member's employment here at SRJC. Unfortunately, not all EDD staff members understand Cervisi and how it applies to California Community College adjunct faculty, which can affect the outcome of this conversation. HR staff are required to provide accurate information to the EDD regarding any offer of employment that the faculty member has received for a future term. That is, it is critical that HR confirm whether any offer of future work is indeed contingent, which does not constitute "reasonable assurance" of employment, thus supporting the faculty member's right to UI benefits. AFA and HR recently met to review protocols pertaining to this important communication between HR and the EDD. HR is committed to providing accurate information to the EDD, thus minimizing the possibility that the EDD might deny the claim due to an incorrect understanding of the faculty member's re-employment prospects.
It is still possible that an EDD staff member's ignorance of Cervisi may result in a denial of a legitimate claim. If this happens to you, contact AFA (email@example.com) for further assistance. Adjunct faculty members Mike Starkey, AFA Vice President, and Lynn Harenberg-Miller, AFA Adjunct Cabinet Representative and Negotiator, are personally knowledgeable about the UI benefits process and troubleshooting and will help you with your claims denial appeal.