I accepted a temp/contract employment offer a few weeks ago. One of their internal departments has been backed up and they are slow in getting me into their system. Although I have an written offer letter with a tentative start date, by the time I start - including a drug and background check - at least a month will have elapsed. This is unusual because as a long-term freelancer, I won't be a full-time employee.
Prior to the offer, I was applying for unemployment compensation with my state. Although I'm not actually working, there are certain requirements. One of these requirements is to continue looking for a job until you return to work. Since I have an offer, I cannot look for work. Yet, because of the company's delay, I have not returned to work - so I'm not getting paid. It is a waste of unemployment funds and I'm hamstrung by a company I don't work for. Just to clarify, I'm including this information about unemployment to emphasize that the company's delay can have serious consequences.
I know that it's not the fault of the hiring manager or recruiter, but I am nervous about waiting another 2 weeks to start. For one, I don't want to be accused of fraud by the state for applying for unemployment insurance even though I have a job offer. (And I am not sure that the state will continue to process my claims, given that I have an offer, even though I haven't returned to work.) I am tempted to renege on the offer but I think it might be an overreaction. However, this delay is a problem. Given that the start date has passed, I am tempted to restart my job search. There may be other recruiters who can get me into a new freelance gig faster than I would with this one.