My hours have been cut back from 40 to 28 can I work and get unemployment?

My hours have been cut back from 40 to 28 can I work and get unemployment to
make up the difference.
Can I quit to look for a new job and still get unemployment?

Asked on April 19, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you cannot work and get unemployment. While a 30% reduction in you earnings may be enough to nominally consider that you have been "constructively terminated" (see below), 28 hours per week of employment would still be too much earnings--when you work while applying for unemployment, they reduce your unemployment benefits by your earnings. At 28 hours per week, you'd be earning too much, even at minimum, to receive unemployment.
You *may* be able to quit and get unemployment. An employee can be considered to have been "constructively" (or effectively) terminated if they lose a sufficiently large part or piece of their compensation. Generally, it has to be around a third or more, so at a 30% reduction, you are on the cusp--while  you might qualify as constructively terminated, it is not definite.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.