Can my boss make me quit if I can’t find a new babysitter in a week?

UPDATED: Feb 21, 2012

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Can my boss make me quit if I can’t find a new babysitter in a week?

I have worked for my employer for almost a year. I have 2 small kids under 6 and my babysitter quit suddenly. I asked my employer if I could adjust my hours to allow me to leave at 4 pm temporarily while I found new childcare (understanding I would not be paid for the time I miss). My boss told me that they will allow me one week to find new childcare or I have to quit. Can they actually say I “quit” if I can’t find proper childcare in their timeframe and do I qualify for unemployment?

Asked on February 21, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

No, they cannot make you say "I quit" if you can't make the shift(s) or hours that they schedule you  for. On the other hand, if you don't work the hours they tell you to, they can fire you; and moreover, if they fire you for that reason, they can consider it "firing for cause," since you would be disobeying employer instructions and/or be leaving work without authorization. Being fired for cause has the same effect, for unemployment insurance purposes, as resigning or quitting: it makes you ineligible to collect.

An employer is not required to accomodate employee childcare needs, unfortunately.

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