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Your Voice. Your Story.

Lost Employment

Are you having a difficult time finding work? Are you immunocompromised and afraid to go back to work? Were you unable or did you have trouble getting unemployment benefits enough help? Are you having trouble making a living? Continue this discussion on the LOST EMPLOYMENT FORUM.

Dolly
L

,

California

"By the time a COVID-19 vaccine is available and in-person classes are safe again, I will have to rebuild a following that I worked years to gain."

I’ve been a Yoga teacher for seven years. A few weeks before the pandemic shut everything down, I signed a contract to teach at a large retirement community–I was supposed to begin in late March. One day before the shutdown, my background check cleared for my teaching contract at a local community center–I was scheduled to teach four days a week. In addition to these new jobs that never happened, I lost ones I held for years because I taught high-risk populations (cancer patients and people with multiple sclerosis). By the time a COVID-19 vaccine is available and in-person classes are safe again, I will have to rebuild a following that I worked years to gain.

Laura
E

,

Pennsylvania

"I finally contacted my state representative."

Getting unemployment was almost impossible. I tried to apply every way I could. I went on the website numerous times. Getting through on the phone was absolutely impossible. I know people that called a hundred times and got no response. I actually don’t really know what actually was the reason I got through. I don’t know if it was patience, perseverance or if when I finally contacted my state representative, they actually created a case and expedited it through the unemployment system.

Albert
M

,

California

"I still haven’t gotten a single penny for unemployment we are on month six."

I wanted to apply for unemployment on March 11th, but because I had used it in the year prior I had to wait until April 7th before I could apply again. But then the pandemic unemployment assistance came right before that, which I applied for. I was rejected because my last date of work was prior to the pandemic. I am an actor, there are no auditions so I feel like I was absolutely affected by the pandemic and should have been able to apply. So then I reapplied for regular unemployment and at this point I had already left Los Angeles to go shelter in Sonoma County.

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David
O

,

Florida

"It sets up a community that becomes part of your daily life and that community connection is broken."

I was the production stage manager for Wicked on the Road. As the virus cases started to increase, nobody really knew what was going to happen. And I don’t think that we really put it together that we were gonna be one of those places. So I think we all were trying to just wrap our heads around what was happening. 

What they actually said to us at the time, we did not know and we only thought it was going to be about three weeks that we would be shut down. So that was the case for the first week we were out until we all started to realize, oh, this could be longer. 

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Jyl
N

,

Florida

"Florida's unemployment situation is an absolute shit show!"

I work at the hotel for a very large company in an affluent part of the Florida panhandle. The week after St. Patrick’s Day I got a call on my day off saying, “We are being told to shut down by the Government, so we are shutting down and we don’t know when we are reopening.”

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Kit
M

,

Rhode Island

"After they approved me, they locked me out of my account."

In mid-April, my manager called me and said, “hey, we’re furloughing you.” So I applied for unemployment the next day; they told me on Thursday I had applied on a Friday. It was and continues to be a horrific experience. I applied mid-April, I didn’t get approved until mid-June. It wasn’t consistent; it was just a lump sum. Then the next week after they approved me, they locked me out of my account. No one was manning the unemployment system. It was basically just set up and left to fend for itself. There was no one answering emails or phone numbers. It’s been at least a month now and I still haven’t heard anything. They owe me a couple weeks of back pay. But I can’t get a hold of anyone. I’ve tweeted at State senators and all that fun stuff.

Liz
C

,

Michigan

"They said, 'I make more sitting at home than I would be going to work.'"

My company was desperate for help, we tried to reach out to old employees to see if they wanted to come back. And they’re like, “No way I’m getting unemployment right now. I’m not coming in.”

Ryan
T

,

New Jersey

"I'm hedging my bets to get more long term growth and making myself uncomfortable right now. I don't want just a job. I want the job that's actually going to be a good job for the future."

I commute into New York City; I live in Jersey. I’d work as an analyst for New York and Company, the clothing company. So basically, it’s 9:00 to 5:00. You go in, do your work, come back, and then all of a sudden, everybody is working from home. And then all of sudden, everybody is furloughed and then laid off. It was a gradual stripping away of the reality set in and stages. That’s almost worse. It’s like waiting for the shoe to drop. But it’s like seven other shoes. The end of April was when I was officially laid off. I was furloughed for about a month and then working from home started about the beginning of March. 

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