Free Enterprise - The FindLaw Small Business Law Blog

Can Seasonal Holiday Employees Get Unemployment?

Their hiring is quick. Their training is quick. And their time with your company is quick.

This is the life of a seasonal holiday employee -- working during the holiday crunch to meet business goals and leaving when it is done. Seasonal holiday employees do not have many rights based on the short length of their employment but what happens when that employment is done?

Whether he or she gets fired, quits or leaves at the natural end of their seasonal employment, many employees may think they are entitled to unemployment compensation. This thought is misplaced. Although the nature of the employment benefits may be unique, the rules regulating unemployment compensation remain unchanged.

Generally speaking, a seasonal holiday employee is not entitled to unemployment compensation unless required by state law or company policy. Additionally, a company does not have to give seasonal holiday employees sick days, paid holidays or benefits. The lack of benefits is more a product of the short work time than anything else.

One way to deal with potential issues relating to holiday seasonal employees is to be very clear in the hiring and employment process. Communication is key and informing your workers of the nature of their employment and their rights as an employee will make for a better employment for everyone.

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