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In California, are seasonal employees entitled to unemployment compensation at the end of their assignment?

With the exception of self-employed individuals and illegal immigrants who are generally not covered by California unemployment compensation laws, most work performed in the state of California qualifies an individual for unemployment compensation benefits.

California law does not provide relief of unemployment insurance costs for employers that hire short-term or seasonal employees. As such, even short-term or seasonal employees are eligible to receive unemployment compensation benefits at the end of their assignment, provided they have met all of the eligibility requirements.

To be eligible for unemployment benefits under California unemployment compensation laws, an individual must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Have received enough wages during the base period to establish a claim.
  • Be totally or partially unemployed.
  • Be unemployed through no fault of his/her own.
  • Be physically able to work.
  • Be available for work.
  • Be ready and willing to immediately accept work.
  • Be actively looking for work.

A seasonal or short-term employee who meets all of the above requirements and who has not been discharged for a reason that would disqualify him or her from benefits is, indeed, entitled to file a claim and receive unemployment compensation benefits after the employee's assignment has ended.

Source: California Employment Development Department


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