Chouest layoffs without unemployment legal?

Heard from some buddies of mine who are officers that work for Chouest that have been sent home to wait on a call. Basically these guys are getting laid off by Chouest but they are leaving them as active employees so they can’t collect unemployment benefits while they’re forced to stay home. I know a guy home for three months without a call, I’m guessing the family is hoping he quits so they can again get away without paying him any unemployment. Is this legal? Can one of these employees file suit? It seems amazing to me that a company that big would screw its workers over when times get tough.

What a bunch of idiots if they can’t research unemployment. You can normal collect even if you’re “partially” unemployed as well as fully unemployed. If you’re not making money you’re not fully employed. Jeaux boss won’t be happy but if is what it is.

[QUOTE=cptjdaw;164141]Heard from some buddies of mine who are officers that work for Chouest that have been sent home to wait on a call. Basically these guys are getting laid off by Chouest but they are leaving them as active employees so they can’t collect unemployment benefits while they’re forced to stay home. I know a guy home for three months without a call, I’m guessing the family is hoping he quits so they can again get away without paying him any unemployment. Is this legal? Can one of these employees file suit? It seems amazing to me that a company that big would screw its workers over when times get tough.[/QUOTE]

This has been discussed here before. If you are sent home with no pay and told to wait for a call, which may never come, file with the UI office anyway and get a case number. It’s not up to the employer whether you are eligible. The state gathers information from both parties, reviews the facts and makes a decision. If you are called back to work, then the UI ends.

Here is a Texas article on furloughs. Call your state unemployment office as soon as you get a furlough notice.

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Here is the data sheet from LAworks.net

http://www.laworks.net/Downloads/UI/UIBenefitRightsInformation.pdf

Note this paragraph:

"To be eligible for unemployment benefits, you must meet the following requirements:

a) You must no longer be working through no fault of your own [B]OR[/B] your work hours MUST
have been reduced. If you quit or were fired, you may not be eligible for benefits. [B]You may
be eligible if you are working less than full-time and earning less than what you would
receive in weekly unemployment benefits. [/B]You MUST report ANY earnings for the week
you work, even if you’ve not yet been paid. Include all income, commissions, tips and
gratuities. Report the gross amount before deductions."

[B][I]Do NOT listen to any rumor mill bullshit, the facts are right here for you, call the unemployment office and apply for benefits.[/I][/B]

For some the gravy train has ended and they can’t take a hint. They are free to collect unemployment, seek gainful employment elsewhere or wait until I have use for them?

but Jeaux, don’t squash their dreams and let them think they’re just a number…they’re equally essential to your operation and irreplaceable from OS to large OSV master. Ha ha

It is legal, like most southern states, LA is a Right to work state. They (the company) are waiting and hoping for you to continue to wait for them call you back. They aren’t probably going to call you back, and after awhile you say “hmm, maybe I am not going to be called back”, you decide to get unemployment and they say, “sorry, you have to file right away, you can’t wait this long”. Basically they figured you quit. Such is life, happened to me working shoreside in the maritime business.

[QUOTE=Doodlebug;164151]It is legal, like most southern states, LA is a Right to work state. They (the company) are waiting and hoping for you to continue to wait for them call you back. They aren’t probably going to call you back, and after awhile you say “hmm, maybe I am not going to be called back”, you decide to get unemployment and they say, “sorry, you have to file right away, you can’t wait this long”. Basically they figured you quit. Such is life, happened to me working shoreside in the maritime business.[/QUOTE]

Its not for jeaux to decide. Its not legal for them to tell you that you cannot file for unemployment. Its the workers responsibility to do the right thing and not trust jeaux’s misinformation.

These mariners being sent home, being furloughed or whatever you want to call it, if they haven’t officially been ‘laid off’, are they still using the company’s insurance?
So say they get called back to work two months later and their first check basically is covering whatever premiums they missed paying while they were told to stay home?

I have not misinformed anyone I have simply not phoned them. If the Mariners can’t take a hint how is it my fault. If I happen to need them and they take my call then it is mutually beneficial. I never said don’t take another job if you want to. I just said I’ll call when I have something.

[QUOTE=cptjdaw;164141]Heard from some buddies of mine who are officers that work for Chouest that have been sent home to wait on a call. Basically these guys are getting laid off by Chouest but they are leaving them as active employees so they can’t collect unemployment benefits while they’re forced to stay home. I know a guy home for three months without a call, I’m guessing the family is hoping he quits so they can again get away without paying him any unemployment. Is this legal? Can one of these employees file suit? It seems amazing to me that a company that big would screw its workers over when times get tough.[/QUOTE]

It’s simple they are praying for work just like the guys at home. They can’t prevent anyone from filing for UI. Based on typical rotation the guys should know when it’s time to file. Times get tough help a brother out don’t kick em while they’re down

Holy Crap!

You Bayou Boys believe everything Joe Boss tells you? Listen, if you aren’t collecting your normal paycheck, the terms and conditions of your employment have changed. File with your unemployment insurance office as soon as you miss a Full Day’s pay. Let the Unemployment Insurance Office decide your status, not Joe Boss. You already paid your portion of Unemployment Insurance through payroll deductions, so use it when you are eligible.

You see, in order to be Joe Boss, you have to pay people to be their Boss. No pay, no title. Any company that would take exception to you collecting the insurance benefits you have paid for isn’t a company worth working for! Do you not use medical benefits when you need them? Why would you not collect unemployment insurance benefits when you need them? Are Bayou boatmen a bunch of spineless jellyfish? Joe Boss is already way over-paid! He owes more to the people who make the money for him!

I think the company has additional costs everytime someone who worked for them files a claim. The slippery bastards last plate is a hot steamer!

[QUOTE=Lookout;164182]You already paid your portion of Unemployment Insurance through payroll deductions, so use it when you are eligible.[/QUOTE]

Very few states have payroll deductions for UI. The company pays and their premiums increase when claims are filed.

[QUOTE=injunear;164184]Very few states have payroll deductions for UI. The company pays and their premiums increase when claims are filed.[/QUOTE]

Nobody pays extra just because you file a claim. Companies pay primarily based on the number of employees they have. The fact that you are somehow “hurting” your former employer by filing a UI claim is a pretty common misconception.

Here’s an excerpt from a news article last year that I found pretty informative:

“In most states, that money comes from a tax on employers. Businesses pay a certain amount of money into an unemployment insurance trust fund, based on the number of employees they have, their history of laying people off, and the current tax rate. That trust fund then provides the money needed for benefits.”

The rest of the article can be found here:

https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2014/04/24/things-you-need-know-about-unemployment-insurance/HussoaG9Lp9RrV2cBODVSP/story.html

The links given at the end of the article under “Further Reading” also provide some very good information.

[QUOTE=BilgeRat42;164185]Businesses pay a certain amount of money into an unemployment insurance trust fund, based on the number of employees they have, their history of laying people off, and the current tax rate./QUOTE]

Filing for UI expands their “history of laying people off”. Their premiums do increase.

I’ve seen one of the best tug contracts terminated because a few insisted on drawing UI on their days off.

I worked for a company that did 56 day rotations, we had to do 60 days in order to collect vacation pay thru the union. So every other rotation paid a vacation check and that was it. No income during the off time. All of us filed for unemployment while ashore, but we lost it when the company fought against the state regarding eligibility. Their argument was that we were all employed and were part of a rotation, our argument was (backed up by SIU) that we essentially had no income since the vacation pay was based on days previously worked. The state sided with the company, who at one point threatened to move headquarters to another state that paid half the benefits. My union rep said the companies have to pay into the state if benefits are awarded, the question then came up, did we pay into it? Yes we did. Collected while the collecting was good, then when this started, I moved on.

There’s a big difference between collecting on your time off, and when you’re not on your time off. I think collecting on your time off is wrong, as you’re still making a year’s pay at the end of the year, it should not be a benefit just because some guys work longer rotations that they can collect while those with short rotations can’t.

In this case they maybe not officially laid off, but they’re not making their normal income because of a lack of work, not scheduled time off. Its pretty clear in most states that you need not be fully laid off, but must just have your hours cut significantly.

Claims effect the companies in the long run, but its not like every claim results in a $xxx increase in their UI payments. Its still cheaper to pay more in UI than keep a guy working for nothing though…

Most of the guys who have been laid off or furloughed from the oil patch are not out of work. They are just working somewhere else, maybe for 25 percent less money, but it’s still good money. They are getting paid the same as the rest of us.

The oil patch wages and excess crew compliments on mud boats during the boom were too good to be true in the first place and obviously would not last. No surprise there.

While there is no shortage of Mariners with various MMC endorsements, there is a shortage of Mariners with good skills who are willing to actually get their hands dirty and do the job. Anyone who is any good and willing to work can be back on a boat somewhere within a month of job hunting.

Forget Joe Boss, and unemployment, just go get a real job.

[QUOTE=seacomber;164188]I worked for a company that did 56 day rotations, we had to do 60 days in order to collect vacation pay thru the union. So every other rotation paid a vacation check and that was it. No income during the off time. All of us filed for unemployment while ashore, but we lost it when the company fought against the state regarding eligibility. Their argument was that we were all employed and were part of a rotation, our argument was (backed up by SIU) that we essentially had no income since the vacation pay was based on days previously worked. The state sided with the company, who at one point threatened to move headquarters to another state that paid half the benefits. My union rep said the companies have to pay into the state if benefits are awarded, the question then came up, did we pay into it? Yes we did. Collected while the collecting was good, then when this started, I moved on.[/QUOTE]

I worked for what sounds like the same company. After my “back to work” day had passed, I filed for UI and was denied. I appealed and I had a telephone hearing. It was supposed to be a three-way meeting between me, state UI and the company office. The company office never called in. The state UI rep started by saying that I was “part of a two-man rotation and I couldn’t work in my off time”. When I produced evidence that I had worked in my off time on another job, the rep said that I needed a letter from the union explaining how vacation pay works. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to get that. I could tell from the outset the UI rep was determined not to let me collect. I lost the appeal.

Another thing, years ago an unemployment rep explained to me that the “vacation pay” I received was not actually considered vacation pay. It was “uncollected wages”. To me, it made sense. It was money that I made while I was working and was only able to collect as a lump sump from the union when I got back. Perhaps “vacation pay” should be called something else?

[QUOTE=seacomber;164188]I worked for a company that did 56 day rotations, we had to do 60 days in order to collect vacation pay thru the union. So every other rotation paid a vacation check and that was it. No income during the off time. All of us filed for unemployment while ashore, but we lost it when the company fought against the state regarding eligibility. Their argument was that we were all employed and were part of a rotation, our argument was (backed up by SIU) that we essentially had no income since the vacation pay was based on days previously worked. The state sided with the company, who at one point threatened to move headquarters to another state that paid half the benefits. My union rep said the companies have to pay into the state if benefits are awarded, the question then came up, did we pay into it? Yes we did. Collected while the collecting was good, then when this started, I moved on.[/QUOTE]

The first SIU contracted company I sailed was in the top pay with the best OT. We had paid travel, 28/28, top tier insurance paid by the company, wage related pension with double contributions, missing man pay ect. The last 3 contracts I was on committee, the main sticking points were about half the crew were drawing UI and a sizable portion were milking the OT. When I pointed this out to the guys, the response from a few was “we better draw all we can now before we loose it” and “it’s our right to draw it”. I also pointed out it was the company’s right to give us 2 days pay and terminate the operation. The company moved the operation to another state but the UI claims followed. A few of us saw the handwriting and moved on. A year or so later, they shut the operation down and many of the crew pissed and moaned how the SIU did nothing to stop the dispersal of the equipment. Like they had the power.