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Can I collect unemployment if fired for not going back to school?


I have a question. I was given an ultimatum- either I resign or I will get fired because I am not willing to start all over with a new Bachelor (I already have one, just not in the field I am working in right now.) When I got hired, they knew my educational background and that I wanted to continue with my MA. However, now they say that I have to go back to school for a BA in their field or they will fire me. They only gave me 4 days to let them know. What should I do? Does their reason, that I don't want to study, fall under the category of misconduct? Would it be better to resign or let them fire me?


That's a new one.

I guess I would have to ask a few questions first.

How long have you been working for them.

At the time of hire, was getting a bachelors in their field a condition of hire?

Did you receive a promotion that might have made getting the degree a condition?

Otherwise, you just make very sure you get it in writing or documented in some way that you are being fired for refusing to go to college to pursue a degree in their field and that this was never a condition of hire.

They can fire you, but given the information you have provided to me thus far, I don't believe it would be for misconduct unless there was some sort of agreement by you to pursue that degree.

Don't quit and even if they allow you to quit in lieu of discharge .. make sure your resignation clearly voices that for which you are quitting instead of the choice of discharge .. with all the details .. just so the damn thing can't be used against you when it comes time to respond to your claim.

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Jul 07, 2010
by: Anonymous

No they are not willing to pay anything for a degree. I found the original letter when I first signed for the job. They talk about a probation period and that I would have to comply with any changes in the state law, etc. And I guess now they told me that a degree in that area is a requirement... and so, if I don't get it - that will be their reason for firing me. I guess if I don't resign, they will put it in a way that it will be considered misconduct... right?! If I did resign, should I include things from the past? I got sick because of the work place previously, and made them fix it (took pictures). Also, there are no security cameras or anything, and there was an incident where one of the customers threatened to hit me, etc. Or should I leave these things alone?


I need to ask ..

Have you read any of the CA benefit determination guide?

If you would like to discuss this with me, I am available.

I will tell you that those other things don't appear to relevant to the reason at hand .. now do they?

Jul 06, 2010
answering your questions...
by: Anonymous

Well, I have worked there for two years now. There was no promotion or anything. They just changed the rules - or what they told me, the state laws. They said that if I didn't study in that field and get the required degree, they would loose their license. I do not remember signing anything or receiving anything that said I had to study in their field when they hired me. The problem is, they will put whatever they can to make it a misconduct, I am sure. They told me the reason for firing will be my unwillingness to go back to school. I have tried to pursue a Master Degree in my field of interest, and they made it almost impossible for me - not giving me the days I needed, etc. So, I was able to only take one course so far. But - not in their field. So you would recommend for them to fire me rather than for me to hand in a resignation letter?

No, I'm not saying it better to be fired than to quit.

I'm saying that if you do quit, the burden to prove good cause for quitting becomes yours and that's just what you have to do .. Prove it.

Just like an employer must prove good cause for firing someone and the only good cause is misconduct as prescribed by the unemployment laws of your state.

An employer does not have to make pursing a bachelor or a master degree easy .. that's an irrelevant fact.

The only thing you need to do is find out if you signed any type of agreement to pursue a bachelors in the employers field upon hire.

If you work for a non-profit it is possible the state is mandating some type of degree for whatever it is you do .. but I would think the employer might offer an alternative position.

Tell me, are they willing to pay for the degree?

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