If my employer wants to cut my hours and pay, can I just not agree to this and get unemployment while I search for a new job?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If my employer wants to cut my hours and pay, can I just not agree to this and get unemployment while I search for a new job?

Hello,I am a music teacher for pre school kids. I work a total of 40 hours a week for a private pre school company. I travel to 7 different schools a week and work from home making lessons 11 hours a week.I was just sent an email saying, “a new school will be getting music… and you can stop working from home come then”. The new school will give me at most 3 more hours but I will be losing 8 hours that means. On top of that, I get sick very often from working with so many children, the last thing I want to do is add another school and see even more children with more germs.

Asked on May 11, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

While a sufficient reduction in hours/work will allow you to apply for unemployment benefits and receive at least partial benefits, it does not appear you qualify: if I understand the way you describe your hours, you currently work "40 hours" per week, will get "at most 3 more hours from the change," but will "los[e] 8 hour"--that means you that will still have approximately 35 hours of employment. That is almost certainly far too much to qualify for partial UI, though to be sure, you need to calculate your pay and compare it to your maximum potential benefits; I have included a helpful link, to information put out by your state, at the bottom of this answer.

You certainly cannot quit and get umenployoment insurance (UI). Other than partial UI for a sufficient reduction in wage (see above), UI is only available 1) for involuntary separation from your job--being laid off or terminated (as long as the termination is not "for cause"); or 2) when the job has been changed in a way that makes it effectively impossible, so that you have been "constructitvely terminated"--such as being transferred to a location too far away to reasonably commute to, or being switched from the day shift job you were hired to night shift. However a mere reduction in hours does not qualify as constructive termination; nor does your fear of germs from children, since 1) it would generally be considered an unreasonable fear (millions of people work in schools/with children) and 2) you have voluntary put yourself in a field/career where you work with children.

From what you write, therefore, it appears you could not collect UI.

Here is the link: http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/forms_pdfs/ui/PR-94.pdf

 


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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption