Takeaway: Look below for critical information on: 1) Help for out-of-state faculty or anyone else who has to apply by phone; 2) Who to contact if you have questions about being exempt from the work-sharing program; and 3) Updated instructions on applying for unemployment.
Q&A Sessions with UHR about Work-Sharing and Filing for Unemployment
- Thursday, April 22, 12:30 p.m. | Click here to RSVP
- Thursday, April 22, 4:00 p.m. | Click here to RSVP
- Friday, April 23, 12:30 p.m. | Click here to RSVP
We have important updates below, but before we get to them, we want to remind you that we’re holding Q&A sessions, with University Human Resources (UHR) representatives at each one, to help you troubleshoot problems with filing for unemployment and work-sharing eligibility. Attending one of these is the fastest way to get help if you have a problem.
1. Good News for Out-of-State Faculty or Anyone Else Who Has to Apply by Phone
We’ve worked with the New Jersey Department of Labor (NJDOL) to develop a vastly improved procedure for faculty who have to apply for unemployment by phone because you live out of state and/or you don’t have a New Jersey driver’s license or state ID. If you’ve gotten through to the automated system and completed the questionnaire that takes your basic information, you no longer have to call back and speak to a live agent. NJDOL staff will complete your application, using information provided by the University.
If you haven’t yet completed the automated input questionnaire, please call today or tomorrow, April 24, at the latest. A few callers who complete the questionnaire get to speak to a live agent, and others are promised a callback; you should follow either of those options if you can—your claim will be filed quicker. But if you only get through the automated input system and are told to call back tomorrow or someone will call you, NJDOL has promised to use data submitted by the University to complete your application.
It may take until next week for your claim to be filed; staff will have to match your information saved from the automated questionnaire with data provided by the University. You can check your claim status by following these instructions from UHR.
We want a record of those who completed the automated phone questionnaire, so we’re asking any faculty who have to apply by phone to fill out this google form, letting us know approximately when you got through the automated system. Some of you completed the questionnaire multiple times; just write down when you first completed it.
Many of you who tried to apply by phone faced the frustration of calling repeatedly and spending long periods on hold, so we’re deeply thankful to NJDOL for working with us to develop this expedited process.
2. Who to Contact if You Have Questions about Being Exempt from Work-Sharing
If you received the confirmation email from UHR telling you that you are participating in work-sharing, but you think you should be ineligible because of one of the exemptions, we have a new contact for you. If you haven’t successfully addressed the question through your department, email firstname.lastname@example.org, cc your department chair and/or HR liaison (if you happen to know who that is), and explain your specific circumstances.
We know that some faculty who should be exempt weren’t given the chance to report, for example, outside employment (including freelance work and honorariums) performed during the work-sharing program. If you haven’t already, you should email both UHR and your department, so your specific situation can be addressed and you can be removed from work-sharing. Please continue to fill out the google form explaining your specific circumstances so we can track your cases (we apologize to those of you who filled out the form and didn’t get a response yet; our staff is still working to respond to all of your cases).
If you have NOT received an email from UHR telling you that you are participating, but you think you don’t have any reason to be exempt and you would like to participate, you should also email email@example.com, cc your department chair and/or HR liaison, and explain your specific circumstances. We have heard about a number of cases like this, apparently concentrated in the Libraries and SEBS. If you contact the UHR email address, they will tell you if you can be added to the work-sharing program.
3. Updated Instructions on Applying for Unemployment
UHR has again updated their instructions on filing a UI claim under our work-sharing program, based on your input. If you haven’t yet applied (including by phone), click here to get UHR’s instructions, and click here to get our annotated version that highlights parts where you need to pay special attention. If you are experiencing problems, attend one of the Q&A sessions listed above, and keep filling out this google form to explain your specific problem.
Check our annotated instructions to get assistance throughout the application, but here are a few tips about issues that only came to our attention yesterday:
— If you are applying online and repeatedly get a message saying a new account can’t be created, you should email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask University Human Resources to help you solve the problem. Please describe exactly what you encountered.
— UHR has clarified its instructions to find your “gross earnings for the past 12 months.” You should calculate your total earnings for the past 12 months from the day you apply, using information from the myRutgers portal and adding in any outside income. Don’t worry if you’ve already applied and are unsure whether you followed this instruction correctly. NJDOL requires gross earnings to be entered on its form, but this will not be used to determine your eligibility. As long as you are on the roster of participants in work-sharing that the University sent to the state, you will be approved, and anyone with earnings of $62,000 or above will receive the maximum unemployment benefit.
Again, have the UHR instructions and our annotated version of them handy when you apply.
We are deeply appreciative of your support of the work-sharing program. We know that tangling with the unemployment insurance system isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time, and we’re heartened that you are patiently working through the process in support of our shared goals for a fairer Rutgers. If you didn’t find the information you needed here, email us at email@example.com.
Todd and Becky
Todd Wolfson, President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Rebecca Givan, Vice President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
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