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Can a Reduction of Overtime Hours Make a Job Unsuitable

by Kerry
(( working in ) Red Wing MN)

Initial agreement for employment was 72 hours one week 60 the next ...72,60 and so on. This employee was unaware that wages would drop to 60 one week 48 the next to match union workers at the same job site. I am temporary worker 1300 miles from home.

Hi Kerry,

Basic Problem: You're still working overtime and that is what has been reduced.

I will not presume you have a written agreement guaranteeing OT. Besides, someone might expect you to be able to prove the temporary employer has chosen not to comply with a written employment contract and that you first made all possible effort to get them to comply.

Very few employers individualize the at-will employment experience with offer letters .. but most have a pile called the employee handbook .. or what ever paperwork you sign for the temp job.

My own husband can now attest to the fact an employer may not be above intentionally misleading prospective employees at time of hire with regard to thew terms and conditions ..

And he can also tell what my UI advice was aftewr hew ignored my suggestion to email and document the favorable terms that led him to accept his new job.

(I'm not sure if MN may have some public policy exceptions to the basic premise of at-will employment means but it never hurts to learn something new about being an employee to take into the future.)

I will presume on your behalf however, that you want to know if you would have good cause to quit because the employer has changed the terms and conditions of hired .. whether written,
or verbally implied, making the job now unsuitable and giving you the possibility of collect even less money at home on unemployment.

I certainly wouldn't quit myself because I know there are lots of UI decisions which say a reduction in overtime hours is not good cause to quit and receive unemployment.

But, there is a potential avenue you may want to explore if the hours ever fall below regular full-time.

You accepted a job 1,300 miles from home based upon what you were told at time of hire about the hours and compensation making accepting a job that far from home. Distance from work is not a small point.

Many people leave home to find work, but few would leave home to work if the distance and pay would be a financial drain.

The problem is placing and proving who is to blame for quitting .. prior to quitting.

Minnesota is one of 40 states where statutes say the quit must be attributable to the employment to be with good cause, (meaning MN is also a state where you would find specific provisions for any exceptions allowing benefits for good personal cause).

To quit and collect, even for good personal cause, you basically must shift the burden of quitting to the employer before you leave the employment .. because it is only while you are employed that you have the ability to exhaust alternatives to quitting.

Through no fault of your own .. is just another way of saying unemployment is a legal-like blame game .. and OT is not our right to expect .. just the OT pay rate thanks to the FLSA.

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