What should I do when staff asks to be let go to collect unemployment?

I run a small business and was not planning to lay off any of my staff, but one of my employees asked to be let go so that he could earn more from the relief package than I was paying him, so I did. Now that I am allowed to reopen, he is telling me he doesn’t want to return until his benefits are exhausted. I don’t want to take him back at all anymore. And since he is declining the offer to get his job back, is he still entitled to collect unemployment?
No good deed goes unpunished! However, this is not uncommon — some people are choosing not to look for a job until their benefits are exhausted because they are earning more than when they were working. And, one never knows what financial pressures someone may be dealing with — the extra income, even though only temporary, could be more important to someone than returning to work in a long-term job that pays less. That is their decision, and doesn’t mean that you have to hold their job open for them. If you do offer to rehire this person and he declines, well, he’s putting his eligibility for unemployment at risk if you notify the Department of Labor.

I was laid off and my last day on the payroll will be Aug. 31, but my last day of actual work is May 31. Which date do I put on my resume as my last day?
The date that the company is listing as your termination date is the one you need to use so that there isn’t any discrepancy when a new employer does a reference or background check. Departure dates and salary continuation dates for severance purposes are usually different, unless there is a negotiation where the company will use a future date as the termination date and not the last date worked. It’s advantageous for you to use the Aug. 31 date, because it generally looks better to be looking for a job while you have a job, as well as for negotiating leverage with a prospective employer. Just confirm with your employer which date they will use and get it in writing.

Gregory Giangrande has over 25 years of experience as a chief human resources executive. E-mail your questions to [email protected] Follow Greg on Twitter: @greggiangrande and at GoToGreg.com, dedicated to helping New Yorkers get back to work.

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