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Can I get unemployment in california if I get laid off or quit because they want to lower my pay rate?

by Steven
(Pittsburg CA)

I am in california and my job is going to lower my pay by $3 an hour soon. If I do not accept this and get laid off or quit I don't know how it will work I have never been in this situation before. Can I get unemployment? I make $18.54 an hour now and they want to lower it to $15 an hour. I live about an hour away from work and have. Good out of bills and child care. About how much would I make if I did get unemployment?

Thank you for any and all help.

Hi Steven,

I've read some stuff that indicates for good cause to exist the reduction need to be around 20 percent, which unfortunately for you is about 3.70 an hour.

Let me tell you what I think really sucks about employer who opt to lower wages vs. instituting a work share program which is an option in California.

A worksharing program is what a moral employer would do for their employees. Instead of reducing wages just under the amount that prevents an employee from establishing good cause to quit or collecting partial unemployment benefits, a worksharing program pays employees unemployment benefits based on reduced hours.

Normally collecting partial benefits is impossible unless you are earning less than what would be your WBA on total unemployment.

A worksharing program allows for benefits when hours are reduced by at least 10 percent (in California). So if things are so fricking bad that an employer feels moved to reduce wages, why not instead reduce hours by 20 percent so the employee can recoup some of the lost wages in benefits.

Let me tell you why. They are only concerned with their bottom dollar and shifting the burden of bad economic times primarily to the backs of their employees so when they gear up again they can recoup faster.

This infuriates me. Every single state could institute a program like this, but only seventeen have. And when they do have one .. nobody knows about it.

Oh and by the way, I estimate you'd be getting around $370 a week ... give or take a few bucks.

Sorry for the tirade, but Steven, I think you're between a rock and a hard place.

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