New to this Board & need advice

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-24-1997
New to this Board & need advice
Sat, 08-24-2013 - 7:43am

I worked at a Staples store untl March 27th this year when Staples (corporate headquarters) laid off all full time employees across the U.S. in order to reduce losses.  Across retail, the brick and mortar stores are losing customers to, etc.  So instead of Staples closing X number of stores, they laid off the full time employees to keep the stores open and currently only have P/T workers up to 25 hrs./wk.  With Obamacare coming, Staples doesn't want to pay benefits either. 

Since March 27th, I've collected a severance from Staples and currently collecting unemployment insurance.  The other issue is I decided to go into real estate and took a course to get my license.  I'm now licensed in NY.  So guess what happened.  I just received a notice from the Dept. of Labor to go in on Sept. 5.  I already had my 1st interview which was more of an introduction and to tell me about the Dept. of Labor's services.  My unemployment insurance ends at Christmas.  So now that I have a license, a website, etc. can the Dept. of Labor stop issuing unemploymet?  What irks me is I PAID TAXES for unemployment.  Taxes were taken out of every paycheck while I worked at Staples for 13 years.  And now I can't collect? 

Considering I'm now an independent contractor according to the law & IRS, I'm self employed.  I have not received any commissions yet.  It takes time for a self employed person to market themselves, get clients before collecting a commission.  Anybody here with advice or suggestions on what I should do?  Short of contacting a lawyer?  By the way, put yourself in the shoes of a NY State Dept. of Labor employee and go to and would you cut off unemployment insurance or not?  My unemployment benefits were used to pay for legal fees ($400.), training ($495.), a wig to cover my bald spot ($450.), professional photo ($80.), transportation, 2 dresses ($150.), 1 pair shoes ($70.)., etc.  I have receipts for everything so I can claim it as business expenses on next year's income taxes.  But between now & Christmas, if I can't receive unemployment, it will be a hardship.


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2006
Fri, 08-30-2013 - 5:07pm

You paid nothing into unemployment.  Employees do not pay unemployment taxes of any kind.  Only employers pay into unemployment.  If the basis for your anger is that you think you are not getting what you paid for, you need to find another reason to be angry.  You have paid nothing into unemployment. Staples paid into unemployment. Your payroll taxes had nothing to do with contributions to an unemployment fund.  You paid federal and state income taxes and Social Security taxes, none of which has anything whatsoever to do with unemployment.  Staples made all the unemployment-related contributions involved in your unemployment compensation.

In any event, while you're waiting to get your real estate empire off the ground, why not apply for a part-time job at Staples to tide you over since you already have experience there.