Am I eligible for unemployment benefits?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 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.

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 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.

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