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Can I collect unemployment if have been fired for not agreeing to a new time schedule?

by Michelle

I took my current job (going on two years now) for four main reason: 1) Not commission based, 2) Only 2 weekend days required/month, 3) Position added to my experience within my degree, and 4) Not a salesperson/ sales based.

Over the past year, due to economic conditions, I have given a little bit in each of those fields; I have begun working as a 'salesperson' which is also completely out of my degree of study (though told it would only be temporary), have begun working extra weekend days (as requested by employer), and have moved to a more commission based pay. I made these concessions on a temporary basis, trying to be flexible.

Today, my boss told me that I needed to agree to work every weekend and work a at a new job site an hour away or lose my job. I am also four months pregnant, which makes me fear that if I say NO to the changes that I wouldn't be able to find another job until after the baby is born. If I say no and get fired, will I be able to collect unemployment or will it be equivalent to 'quitting' because I COULD have worked, but I was unwilling/unable to do so?

Thank you for your help.

Hi Michelle,

Another great question because you are anticipating the possibility of a problem.

The previous changes in the condition of employment that you have accepted show acquiescence. This is a problem for lots of people simply because the changes were accepted.

Therefore, I think it's best to focus upon the most recent change pending.

If you refuse the transfer .. my guess is whether the employer fires you or not, it will be seen as a voluntary leaving. The question is whether you will be able to prove that it was a constructive discharge or whether the employer's action gave you no alternative, but to quit.

I finally found the Illinois unemployment precedent decisions resource .. This search result page opens in a new window.

I think you should start with "refusal of work" and then move on to voluntary and misconduct.

There were some "distance to work" decisions under the refusal heading. Another thing you might look for are decisions relating to experience and training.

The heading titled IDES.PDF has an extensive Table of contents which may give you some other ideas as to what to look for.

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Fired for having a baby
by: Lori

I started my job as a nurse in Illinois in august. I found out in September I was pregnant. I told my manager at 12 weeks. She said everything was fine and I talked to HR, they explained how to add the baby to my insurance and file for short term disability. At 37 weeks my manager called me in her office and told me I have to talk to a specific person in HR. This person informed me that upon the birth of my baby they would pay me my vacation time in a lump sum and I would be let go of. I filed for unemployment and my hospital protested it so I have an interview June 9. What should I expect? Am I qualified for unemployment?

Well I would sure hope you are entitled to benefits. Do you happen to know on what grounds they protested it?

Gather up all that paperwork I assume you received from the employer when they paid you out .. and terminated your employment .. offer to fax to the interviewer whatever will prove your employment was terminated.

I think I'll be safe to assume the employer is going to try to make a case for you quitting.

That is .. unless you left something out.

Hours cut due to new skedule
by: Mary

I've worked for this company for almost 4 years now. always had the same schedule. now all of a sudden they are saying they can't give me very many hours due to new schedules being put into place which calls for a so called SHOWTIME.

now i'm lucky to work 19 hours a week. i can't work any other hours due to i have a grandson i have to take care of.also, i can't drive at night. my boss is trying to get me to quit by making me do things that i usually don't do. i'm just a cashier. can they do this? can i get unemployment if i quit? i live in PHOENIX,AZ.

Hi Mary,

Since I have no idea of exactly what has changed nor the efforts you have made with regard to letting the employer know of why the changes in the conditions of employment are adversely affecting you .. I can't speak to if you MIGHT get unemployment if you quit.

But if your hours have been cut substantially, you do have the option of filing an unemployment claim since you may be entitled to partial unemployment benefits because of the fact that your wages would also be less if working less hours.

It may be because she's pregnant....
by: Anonymous

If I were Michelle in Illinois, I'd explore the possibility that the employer has just found out that she's pregnant, so assumes she's going to be taking time off during her pregnancy or leave for an extended maternity leave when the baby comes, or maybe something to do with increased health insurance rates if she's covered by the employer.

Employer may feel that she's not going to be around in 5 months anyway, so why not choose her among all the others to offer circumstances that he feels will make her resign. One more "or"... depending on the field she's in, a pregnant woman trying to sell widgets to men may not be employer's choice.

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