Looking ahead to the end of this school year, many districts will be sending letters to their employees giving them reasonable assurance. Employees working under continuing contracts are considered to have reasonable assurance and are found ineligible for unemployment benefits during the summer months as long as their contract is finalized for the upcoming school year and no other mitigating factors that could cause the employee to be eligible for unemployment.
Reasonable assurance provides an employee of a school district with written notice that it is the “intent of the district to have the individual return in the same capacity during the upcoming school year or term.” This means that a person with written reasonable assurance, no matter what position they are in, has the understanding that while they will be unemployed during the districts traditional break, they will be returning to work for the district when the next school year or term resumes.
The key to reasonable assurance is the statement “in the same capacity”, which means that an employee must return in the exact job capacity they were prior to the break. A cafeteria employee who works only part time must return as a part time cafeteria employee. These individuals may be found ineligible for unemployment benefits during the summer months if they are given reasonable assurance in a written form. The forms of assurance that are acceptable include: contract, letter of reasonable assurance, or board approval. Reasonable assurance is only valid from the date it is actually given to the employee, so it is best to provide the assurance prior to the last date of the current school year. It should be noted that reasonable assurance does not apply during the active school year. It is only applicable during breaks between terms, ie Winter, Spring, and Summer break.
Feel free to contact a Sheakley unemployment account manager with any questions you have about reasonable assurance or substitute employees at 800-877-5055 x2056