File for Unemployment

Part-time California Community College instructors are entitled to unemployment benefits when we are not working. This includes summers and breaks between quarters/semesters.
Click here for more information about filing for your benefits at

Here’s one hard-earned right part-time faculty can exercise two or three times a year, and yet few of us do: The right to draw unemployment pay between semesters and during the summer break (if we ever take a summer break!) is one of the few advantages of being employed as part-time, temporary instructors with no guarantee of “rehire”. For even if we have signed a contract to teach the following semester, we can still collect unemployment, since fluctuating enrollment and funding can break that contract at any time and leave us jobless.

This right, like all others, was hard won. Until 1977, neither migrant field workers nor PT instructors were allowed to collect unemployment benefits, and until 1989, few PT instructors who applied were granted unemployment. In 1983 began a five year court battle ending in the precedent-setting Cervisi decision in 1989, which held that an assignment that is contingent on enrollment, funding,or other program changes is not a reasonable assurance of employment, and therefore benefits can not be denied for that reason. Take advantage of this hard-won right! Apply for unemployment during your breaks!

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