Unemployment on the Rise in Connecticut

The Hartford Courant reported on September 19 that unemployment in Connecticut rose to 6.5% for the first time since 1993.  Of course, this is not good news for employees.  More than ever, employees need to understand their rights in the workplace, including their rights to unemployment compensation.  Here are a few basics:

1.    If you quit, you are not entitled to unemployment compensation unless you quit for sufficient cause attributable to your employer.
2.    If you are terminated, you are entitled to unemployment compensation unless you committed willful misconduct.
3.    If you lose at your first hearing, you can appeal to the Referee and that person will review the case from the beginning and will not give any deference to the Administrator’s decision.
4.    If you received severance pay and had to sign a release of claims to get it, you can start collecting right away and need not wait until your severance pay is spent.

The Connecticut Department of Labor website provides more detailed information on this topic.


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  1. J. Levine says:

    The statistics are unsettling, to say the least. Another good site for information on a broader (national) level is the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unemployment statistics are located here: bls.gov/bls/unemployment.htm

  2. Carol says:

    Unfortunately the unemployment statistics don’t show the whole entire picture…they neglect to include those who have been unemployed for years and basically have never been able to replace the job that they lost.

  3. Kit says:

    Thank you for this valuable and concise information. I was particularly interested in number 4.

    The fact that an employee who signed a release of claims is eligible for unemployment benefits from the day of termination – and not after all severance has been exhausted – seems to be a little-known fact. I learned this one the hard way when I was instructed by my employer not to file for unemployment benefits until after all severance had expired – and believed it! (Sorry, I am a newbie to layoffs – my first in 30 years.) I prevailed, but many will not because they are not aware of the exception in Connecticut.

    I wonder if this exception is in Connecticut only, or does it apply across the country? Only in certain states? Any way to find out which states?

    • rhayber says:


      I believe this is the norm around the country because most unemployment systems use federal money and so probably have similar regulations. The only sure way to find out would be looking at the regs of each state. I find most of my clients do not know this rule. Thanks for your comment.

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