Can I get underemployment benefits if my job of 5 years cut my hours from 40 to 33 due to low business?

I was just notified that the physical therapy clinic I work for just changed ownership and business has hit a decline. Consequently, my hours will be cut by 7 hours a week. I have worked 40 weeks for the last 5 years. Even with this cut I’m considered full-time and will continue to get my insurance benefits. Am I entitled to underemployment benefits?

Asked on January 28, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

You MAY be able to receive some underemployment benefits. You have to go to the unemployment office's website, use the worksheet or tools there to calculate your weekly benefit amount (WBA) based on your earnings prior to the cut, then multiple that number by 1.5: if what you were paid after the pay cut/reduction in hours exceeds 1.5 times your WBA, you will not receive any benefits. If your earnings after the hourly reduction is less than 1.5 times your WBA, you will get some (not necessarily a lot) of benefits. My guess is that a reduction of 7 out of 40 hours, or around 17.5%, is not enough to entitle you to benefits (that is, it won't drop your pay enough to qualify), but it's worth it for you to do the calculations based on your actual prior and current pay. Here is a helpful link: https://www.michigan.gov/documents/uia/140_-_claiming_underemployment_beneifits_in_michigan_392272_7.pdf


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.