Am I being forced to quit when my employer offers me a job 50 miles away.
by Tina M
(Woodbridge VA. )
Well, I've been working for a company for a year and was hired to work in the Va Office. I just found out that the lease will not be renewed and that I'll be laid-off in a couple of weeks.
Since then I was told that I would not be laid off but offered a position in the main office that's 50 miles away. Why did they changed there minds about laying me off. Driving 50 miles one way in thick traffic will take me at lease 2-hours commuting time one way.
The bosses don't even make the hump to come down to visit and the office is less than 50 miles from the main location. I just want to know if they're doing it so I won't be able to collect unemployment for whatever reason. What are the rules in VA for something like this?
Let's take a look at Virginia's statute dealing with disqualifications. Pay close attention to 3(b) and C(2)
3. a. If it is determined by the Commission that such individual has failed, without good cause, either to apply for available, suitable work when so directed by the employment office or the Commission or to accept suitable work when offered him. The disqualification shall commence with the week in which such failure occurred, and shall continue for the period of unemployment next ensuing until he has performed services for an employer (i) during 30 days, whether or not such days are consecutive, or (ii) for 240 hours, and subsequently becomes totally or partially separated from such employment.
b. In determining whether or not any work is suitable for an individual, the Commission shall consider the degree of risk involved to his health, safety and morals, his physical fitness and prior training, his experience, his length of unemployment and the accessibility of the available work from his residence.
c. No work shall be
deemed suitable and benefits shall not be denied under this title to any otherwise eligible individual for refusing to accept new work under any of the following conditions:
(1) If the position offered is vacant due directly to a strike, lockout, or other labor dispute;
(2) If the wages, hours, or other conditions of the work offered are substantially less favorable to the individual than those prevailing for similar work in the locality; or
(3) If as a condition of being employed the individual would be required to join a company union or to resign from or refrain from joining any bona fide labor organization.
I also took a look at Virginia's Unemployment Precedent Manual
You'll need to go to Voluntary Leaving then section 150. I could not find a specified increase in distance that is a threshold for good cause, but I did read a decision that denied a person because he actually accepted a job at the employer's new location, 100 miles away and when he couldn't sell his house after nine months and decided the job wasn't working out for him anymore he quit....and they denied his benefits even though he took the damn job because the alternative was to be laid off.
Virginia is not one of those sympathetic states. They have a UI recipiency rate well below the national average, but this is not to say that if you quit...since they're not going to lay you off, that 50 miles would not be considered good cause. I'm just saying I can't find a decision right now to definitively verify it would be good cause.
It may very well depend upon how far you presently travel to work.
If anyone else knows, speak up and post a comment.
If you do decide to quit...DO NOT quit until you're expected to go the extra fifty miles...that would be premature. Quitting in anticipation is a mistake.