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(California)

My employer recently announced a massive layoff at the call center I work at and those affected would receive 30 days pay (without actually having to work), a severance package and access to unemployment benefits. A select group of individuals, myself included, have been spared a layoff notice but are being forced into a new overnight schedule that would be impossible to work with. I am in the middle of completing a teaching credential program (which my employer offers a tuition reimbursement program for) and will begin my student teaching requirement soon after these changes are to take affect at work. My current work schedule does not conflict with this but the new hours will. I have asked upper management if there was anything I could do to keep my regular hours or trade positions with another employee who was losing their job but they said "no" and if I couldn't work the new schedule they would take that as job resignation. Teaching is my chosen career and since I cannot accept the new hours, I am forced to quit. Quitting though means no severance pay or unemployment benefits. Is there any way I can still get unemployment benefits? Would this qualify under "constructive termination"? I cannot afford an attorney if my employer disputes my application for unemployment benefits.



Hi,

This is a very annoying thing about unemployment .. quitting to complete school is generally disqualifying .. because it is deemed a voluntary quit for non-compelling reasons .. HA!

But in your case it is the employer altering your work schedule and you have tried to get the employer to accommodate. Considering that you have attended school concurrently .. it may be arguable.

California precedents might help you make your decision.

Another consideration is you are attending school and relying on the employer's tuition reimbursement program.

I don't know what the requirements are, but is it possible that this change in hours is unreasonable if it could financially hurt you with regard to getting the reimbursement?

Don't you have to complete the courses and or maintain a certain grade to qualify for the reimbursement?

California also has some legislative exceptions to the common rule of disqualifying .. you might want to see if any are applicable to you .. since you are working on a teaching credential there might be.

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