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  • Staci Sweet

Unemployment for Seasonal Workers in Texas

In September I took a seasonal position with a temp agency. The assignment ended February 1st. I took back their equipment and later that day received an email entitled, ‘Employer Notification to Employees of the Availability of Unemployment Compensation.’ Up until that point, I hadn’t really thought much about applying, other than on the days when management went above and beyond with their micromanagement. Though I could write about how dehumanizing the experience made me feel, I’ll spare you the details.

After receiving the email, I immediately applied, thinking I’d be approved because ordinarily after temp assignments, depending upon the duration, you usually are. However, unbeknownst to me, I was not because according to the correspondence, I, “did not earn enough in [my] base period to qualify for benefits.” WTW? What is the base period?

Base Periods in Texas

The “base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the effective date of [the] initial claim.” [1] The site states they don’t, “…use the quarter in which you file or the quarter before that; [they] use the one-year period before those two quarters.” [2]

If you’re a nonseasonal employee, those dates work fine. But in the event you’re a seasonal employee, then those dates are detrimental to your livelihood, and here’s why.

How Base Periods Hurt Seasonal Employees