Am I eligible for unemployment benefits?

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Am I eligible for unemployment benefits?

In March of 2017 my supervisor told me that I would have to start working 40 hours a week beginning in April. I was hired as a part time employee at 20 hours a week in March of 2011. My hours were increased to 24 a week later that year and increased to 32 hours a week sometime later and my status was converted to full time in 2012. I was asked if I wanted to work 40 hours a week a few times between 2012 and 2016. I declined the offer. I continued to work 32 hours until March 2017 when my supervisor informed me that I would be required to work 40 hours. I met with the head of Human Resources and my supervisor but was told 40 hours would be required. I was the only one in the department not working 40 hours. I worked 40 hours a week for two weeks until I went out for surgery at the end of April and returned mid July. I worked 40 hours for a few weeks but found it was more than I could handleI was 63 years old in a very physical job. I informed my supervisor that I would leave the company and ended my employment on October 8, 2017. I am questioning if I would be eligible for unemployment compensation even though I quit the job? I felt that I was being forced into working more hours than I could handle or that I wanted.

Asked on May 14, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, the law does not recoginize being asked to work more hours as "constructive termination": that is, as something which justifies you in quitting while receiving unemployment. Only if you are subjected to conditions which the hypothetical average reasonable person would find intolerable might you be able to resign while receiving unemployment; however, the average person would not find going from part- to full-time, or being asked to work 40 hours  a week intolerable.


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