Unemployment Compensation

Section 31-227(d)(1) of the Connecticut General Statutes states:

“…benefits shall not be paid based on services performed in an instructional…capacity for an educational institution for any week of unemployment commencing during the period between two successive academic years, or during a similar period between two regular terms, whether or not successive…to any individual if such individual performs such services in the first of such academic years (or terms) and if there is a contract or reasonable assurance that such individual will perform services in any such capacity for an educational institution in the second of such academic years or terms….”

Considerations in determining whether a faculty member has “reasonable assurance” that s/he will be teaching in subsequent academic year or term:

• Whether there is a written contract or explicit promise for the following semester.
• Whether there is an implied agreement or mutual understanding that the employee will perform services in the same capacity during the ensuing academic year.
• Whether the agreement is conditional.
• If the assurance is conditional, then the administrator examines the claimant’s prior employment history – but only if a job offer has been communicated by the institution to the faculty member.
• This requires that the faculty member has been given some affirmative indication of rehire, either written or oral from employer.
• Where employment is dependent on course enrollment or other similar factors (such as bumping by full-time faculty members), a pattern of course cancellations resulting in no employment in the past would be substantial evidence of absence of reasonable assurance.
• If the employment history indicates that courses have always been available or have been cancelled only infrequently, then conditional factors would not preclude a finding of reasonable assurance.
• Reasonable assurance is determined based upon the factual situation as it exists at the time the claim for unemployment benefits is filed. 
• If there is no reasonable assurance at the time of the claim but the faculty member is subsequently offered a contract, s/he is disqualified from receiving benefits only from that point forward – would not be retroactive.

Please see the memo written by CSU-AAUP’s Attorney, dated 12/15/2010.