Under what conditions can you quit your job ans still be eligible tor receive unemployment benefits?

After a year of employment I was offered an office manager position, with a pay increase. After 6 months, I was demoted, with a pay decrease (back down to my original pay, although I moved for this position and increased my bills 4x). With the opportunity to receive the office manager position again with in another 6 months. I held my head up high and worked hard and was offered the office manager position again, only this time with no pay increase. I am beyond upset. Can I quit this job and receive unemployment benefits?

Asked on November 28, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No--if you quit or resign, you will not be eligible for unemployment. Unemployment compensation is only available when--

1) You are terminated, but not for cause (e.g. laid off, or fired, but not specifically "for cause," such as for theft, insubordination, absenteeism, etc.).

2) You are "constructively terminated," which means that the employer makes it impossible--not just undesirable--to do your job. Typical examples include transfering a day shift person to night shift; transferring a worker to a location 2 or more hours further away, creating an unreasonable commute.

Otherwise, if  you leave employment voluntarily--even when you have legitimate grounds to be disappointed and upset--you may not receive unemployment compensation.

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