If an employee quits due to a change in policy that severely reduces their income, can they still be eligible to collect unemployment?

My employer recently changed a policy and is now deducting large amounts of money from my paycheck for warranty claims. I have no control over the amount and could end up having a large portion of my pay deducted. I ca not afford to pay my bills if the chargebacks continue. Is this change in policy enough for me to leave and jusity applying for unemployment?

Asked on November 29, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, if you quit for this reason, you would almost certainly not be entitled to collect unemployment. Employers are allowed to change the terms and conditions of employment, including wages, benefits, and compensation, more or less at will. Even facing a potential large paycut from chargebacks is generally not considered enough to qualify as having been "constructively" fired, or forced to quit (that's usually reserved for things like being transfered from day to night shift, or to a location 2 or more hours away). If you leave due to a pay cut, it would most likely be considered voluntary resignation.

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