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Can employer let me go but say I resigned because I need to leave work early for nursing school

by Karen

Employer going to have me work as a temp until they can hire someone to replace me - they will not let me leave early 4 days a week to attend nursing school. However, they are saying that for unemployment I am resigning - how can that be if they are letting me go - hiring me as a temp until they find someone - then letting me go again. Will I be able to collect unemployment after they let me go from temp position.

Hi Karen,

Quite frankly, I am confused as to what has happened here.

First, an employer is not required to let you leave work early to attend school and quitting work to attend school is almost always disqualifying, but it sounds like you asked the employer if you could leave work early for school and they fired you for asking. That is something I would argue as a discharge without good cause .. unless you gave notice to quit.

Secondly, it sounds like after terminating your employment (with benefits?) they then said they would keep you on as a temporary worker until .. you start attending school or they hire someone to replace you.

Is this what happened? Karen, details matter, especially, in Florida where they are denying claims .. just because they think they may get away with it when claimants don't know to appeal.

Did you ever tender a resignation letter .. after they decided not to let you leave early for school?

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more info
by: Anonymous

They are requiring me to resign and then they are going to have me work as a temp until they find a replacement. I do have to leave because school hours conflict with my current hours. So they will have me work as a temp but they will not let me be a part time employee. So, would I be able to collect after they let me go from being a temp employee through a temp agency?


Probably not. Leaving work to attend school is disqualifying except under certain circumstances .. in some states.

They cannot "require" that you resign. Resigning is our choice. Make sure your letter of resignation states the facts of why you are tendering it.

To collect unemployment, you MUST be able and available for work. Limiting your availability for work keeps you from accepting "suitable work".

Although I think that you should let the employer do the "separating" for an opportunity of a discharge without good cause, limiting your choices for more work makes being denied due to the eligibility condition that you must be able and available for "full time" work in Florida.

Another thing to consider is that when the temp assignment ends .. it is the temp agency that will be the separating employer. Just because the assignment ends doesn't mean you don't have to take another assignment .. although it might appear as a "lack of work claim" if you refuse another assignment ... you will then have an issue of "refusal of suitable work".

Additionally, if you file after the temp assignment ends .. it won't negate the fact that you voluntarily quit the "permanent job. Florida's disqualification for quitting or a refusal of suitable work is 17 weeks and to earn 17 times your weekly benefit amount in subsequent employment and then have a qualifying separation before you will be able to collect benefits anyway.

Exactly how early do you need to leave 4 times a week?

early hours
by: Anonymous

Actually it is only one hour - they switched me to a contract employee - it will do for now - thanks much for the comments

similar situation
by: Cameron

First off thanks for all the great info on your site. Secondly my wife is in a similar situation. She gave her company a heads up that she was going to be starting nursing school and they agreed for her to stay on part time and were excited. She was fulfilling all of the needs of the job and then out of nowhere was told they needed the position to be full time again and gave her a 2 week severance. Another kicker is that she has a bachelor's degree as well and that I work full time.

Is this too much stacked against her to even attempt to apply with
1)her limiting her hours(although she and her boss agreed on it and she never actually resigned)
2)Her having a bachelor's and going back to get an associate's in nursing
3) me working full time?

Thanks for your help!

Hi Cameron,

In some states this wouldn't be a problem for your wife .. because the employer agreed to the change in conditions of employment to enable her to go to school .. and this the discharge would probably even be qualifying in Florida because it was not good cause and misconduct wasn't the reason. Of course if they first asked her to go back to full-time it would then be considered a VQ .. even if a constructive quit.

But let's just say she can get past all that and be found eligible .. the remaining problem .. in Florida is that an eligibility condition to collect regardless of whether you were working full or part-time is that you must generally, be "able and available" to accept suitable "full-time work". There is not a statutory provision which defines the issue, but it is interpreted somewhere in case law .. which is a problem in Florida.

I surmised this information by checking the USDOL Nonmonetary Chart (table 5-10)

But as I said FL Unemployment case law or the "unemployment precedent manual" is something I have never been able to find online .. I know they have one .. all states have one, but only some make it public.

If you happen to get a hold of it .. please send it to me so I can use it and send everyone else to it because it's like a missing puzzle piece.

In the meantime .. the only place I know of that the average person might be able to find useful Florida unemployment decisions to find out how they interpret and access them at no charge for 24 hours is

You still might be able to email the decisions to yourself .. and I'd like to get my hands on those as well .. for use on this website.

By the way, your job shouldn't have anything to do with her unemployment claim on this issue because benefits are not a charity or entitlement .. they are the result of winning a legal claim that you lost your job through no fault of your own per a state's unemployment statutes

by: Cameron

Great thanks again for your help. Yeah they never asked her or gave her the option of going back to full time so hopefully this may help us out some.

I'll keep an eye out for Florida's unemployment precedent manual and if I get the opportunity while talking to them I'll see if I can get a copy or where I may be able to find one.

Thanks again!

Similar situation
by: GY

I'm kind of in a similar situation. I live and work in California. I started working full-time for an online sales business in October 2011. A few months later I decided to try applying for grad school and let my employer know my of my decision and actions. Fast forward: I was accepted to two schools in NY and chose one to attend in Fall 2012. I also informed my employer of this and told them that I was planning to leave (or resign) at the end of June 2012. They never came up to me and discussed with me the terms of my resignation and were iffy about the exact date, neither confirming nor not confirming. Finally this past Friday I got into a discussion with my supervisor which turned into a meeting with my boss and they explained to me that they might let me go early in mid-June instead of end of June as I planned. Do I qualify for unemployment if they terminate me without agreement?

I'll assume that when you submitted your intent to resign, you meant June 30th.

If the employer terminates prior to this date you might be eligible for a week or two of benefits .. minus the one unpaid waiting week most state UI programs require.

Even though some states come down a little differently on this situation, whether CA does or not, the primary thing that would make you ineligible after your resignation is the reason for it.

Attending school is a good personal reason for quitting a job, but it's being a full-time student that generally makes you unable to still accept suitable work .. therefore you're ineligible to receive UI benefits in almost every state if you're a full-time student unless the state also has a part-time worker provision and you can establish a history of being a part-time employee.

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