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Unemployment for Adjunct Faculty

The California Education Code classifies part time faculty as “temporary employees”. Temporary employees have no contract and can be dismissed without cause. The Cervisi decision of 1989 ruled that a part time teaching “assignment that is contingent on enrollment, funding, or program changes is not a “reasonable assurance of employment”, and, therefore, part time faculty can apply for unemployment compensation when not working.

The Faculty Association urges all part time faculty to apply for benefits between Spring and Fall or between Summer and Fall and during the winter between Fall and Spring or between Fall and Winter Intersession .


Apply for benefits immediately after completing your last class of the semester. If you are teaching at PCC, this means you can apply after your last final exam. If you are teaching at another college that finishes after PCC, you cannot apply until you have finished your last class at that school. That school will also be the school that you claim as your last place of employment.

Contact the California Employment Development Department (EDD) at either or call 1-800-300-5616. Recent experience finds that applying on-line is most effective — phone lines are usually busy. File immediately because your claim begins when you file, not when your job ends. You can not collect retroactive payments.

If PCC is your last place of work, you will provide EDD with the following address:

Pasadena City College Human Resources
1570 Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91106-2003

The Human Resources phone number is 626-585-7123.

If you have further questions, call the Faculty Association at 626-585-7261 (we will respond as soon as possible, but we may have limited staffing during the summer). Please remember that the Faculty Association offers the best information available, but only the EDD can make official decisions regarding your claim.


What is the best way to apply for unemployment benefits? Most people apply on-line. Go to and click on “File a Claim for Unemployment”. When you apply on- line, an EDD representative may schedule a phone interview of confirm information on your application.

If my dean has scheduled me to teach a class, is this a guarantee of work? No. Even if you have been scheduled for classes in the fall, a part time faculty member has “no reasonable assurance” of employment. A part time faculty member‟s class can be cancelled for low enrollment, budget rollbacks, or rescheduling of contract faculty. The college has no obligation to offer part time faculty a replacement class.

On your unemployment application, or if you speak directly to an EDD Representative, you need to explain that you are a part time faculty member who has no “reasonable assurance” of future employment. You can refer to the Cervisi ruling to support your claim. Even though the Cervisi ruling is almost 20 years old, EDD representatives may still not be aware of its application to part time faculty.

What should I do if my claim is delayed or denied? Do not be discouraged. Unsuccessful claims do not mean that you do not qualify. Instead, a denial of a claim often means that the EDD has misinterpreted your status. First, contact the EDD and ask about your claim. Often claims have been denied because of incorrect entries on the application form. If your claim is still denied, you should appeal. Appealing is time consuming, but you will almost inevitably prevail and you will receive all your legitimate claims dating from the time you initially applied for benefits. For information about appealing, consult the EDD web page, or call the Faculty Association for information.

What is the Faculty Association‟s union number? The FA has no number. Put 0 or 1.

Good luck.

Preston Rose
Part-Time Faculty and Vice-President, Faculty Association

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