The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

July 2, 2009
Unemployment insurance for state workers once furlough No. 3 hits?
Several readers have forwarded copies of an e-mail -- see below --  that is making the rounds of state offices like a lightning strike this afternoon.

Readers are asking The State Worker if it's true that they can get unemployment insurance when the third furlough day kicks in later this month. 

The answer is: We're not sure.  And as with all things UI related, it's complicated.

Loree Levy, spokeswoman for the Employment Development Department, said her people are aware of the e-mail circulating among state departments, agencies and commissions.

"We are working up a response now.  The additional furlough day is a new development, and we're trying to quickly assess what it might mean in terms of the UI program," Levy told us in a speedy e-mail reply.

"I hope to be able to get you something a little later in the afternoon, in about an hour or so," Levy added, saying the e-mail wasn't written by EDD officials but the link to the form is genuine.

Check back later and we'll tell you what we find out. 

Here's the e-mail that's making the rounds. 

Subject: Can State Employees Really Apply for Unemployment Because of Furloughs?

Dear State Employee:  If a person works permanent full-time, the law states that he or she can apply for unemployment benefits if his or her working hours are cut by more than 10%. The way to do this is to fill out the form on the site below, and forward it to your personnel department. From personnel, it will go to EDD and then to the feds. Fill out your name and SSN at the top of the page and answer the questions at the bottom. Question A should be the only one for most of you, to which you should answer "yes due to furlough cuts". Please send this to others who may be interested as well.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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