Contract employee without contract

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Contract employee without contract

My husband is a contract employee. He had a 6 month to hire contract that was through a recruiter. The contract expired last week but they told him they were not going to hire full-time but to keep showing up. We are assuming that he will continue to be paid, I guess we will know come payday. What are his options for unemployment compensation, especially since he has no contract right now? If they don’t pay him or let him go all together, would he be eligible for unemployment? Is he required to stay or can/should he leave and collect unemployment while looking for a new position?

Asked on August 21, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

While there are some exceptions, most contracts do not have to be in writing: they can be oral. When a written contract expires but the two parties continue to perform under it (e.g. he works; they pay him) an oral contract is formed which has the same terms as the prior written contract, except for duration--an oral contract can be ended at will by either side, without prior notice. So as long as they want him to work and are paying him, he is employed and is not eligible for unemployment; and if he quits, then he again will not be eligible for unemployment, because you are not eligible if you voluntarily leave work. If and when they tell him that he's not working there anymore, refuse to schedule him, etc. then he will have been terminated and could get unemployment.

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 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.

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