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Can I quit a part time job I took after being laid off from my permanent job (Suitable work)

by Lori
(Pennsylvania)

I'm in PA. I got laid off in March from my customer service position. I figured I'd try a part-time job to help with my expenses. At the interview I was told 15-20 hours per week. When I went in on my first day I had been scheduled for 32 for the first week. After 28 days I quit because of a miserable situation with the office manager. I have NUMEROUS instances that show this person's behavior and attitude, but 2 are: throwing away the notes I had laying on the desk. These notes were 6 pages of "how to" notes given to me and the other "newbies" at a special training session. I was trying to keep them handy for when I had a minute or two to review or just to refer to. She never asked who they belonged to, never asked me to not leave them on the desk, just threw them out. I turned around and they were gone. Found them in the garbage - where they dumped the dog/cat poo. Not in the office can. #2 is a client returned a call but didn't know who had left them the message. I wrote their name down, put them on hold and was asking a co-worker in the vicinity if she knew anything about the message left for this client. Office Manager came over and took the paper out of my hand, walked away with no words and went and picked up the phone and began speaking with the client. This job was 30 miles from my home for $8 per hour. I was used to working 2 miles from home for $14.73. I wanted experience in an animal job - love animals, thought this might let me begin another career avenue. I didn't expect to have every move I made be criticized in this position, which is the case. I have been honest with Unemployment and my benefits are currently being reviewed. I'll appeal if needed. Just didn't feel it was financially worth the obvious dislike the manager felt. What are my chances of maintaining my benefits?






Hi Lori,

I'm hoping you didn't focus on the attitude and behavior of the office manager.

What is suitable work? It's hard to pin down because most states don't give details about the reasons a job may not be suitable.

This is what Pennsylvania's statute says:

(t) "Suitable Work" means all work which the employe is capable of performing. In determining whether or not any work is suitable for an individual, the department shall consider the degree of risk involved to his health, safety and morals, his physical fitness, prior training and experience, and the distance of the available work from his residence. The department shall also consider among other factors the length of time he has been unemployed and the reasons therefor, the prospect of obtaining local work in his customary occupation, his previous earnings, the prevailing condition of the labor market generally and particularly in his usual trade or occupation, prevailing wage rates in his usual trade or occupation, and the permanency of his residence. However, notwithstanding any other provisions of this subsection no work shall be deemed suitable in which (1) the position offered is vacant, due directly to a strike, lockout, or other labor dispute, or (2) the remuneration, hours or other conditions of the work offered are substantially less favorable to the employe than those prevailing for similar work in the locality, or (3) as a condition of being employed, the employe would be required to join a company union, or to resign from, or refrain from joining, any bona fide labor organization. ((t) amended May 23, 1949, P.L.1738, No.530)

And by the way, notice how the word employee is spelled. If you are searching PA Law you might want to mispell that word also.

When I read these things, I then ask myself .. how far is too far? How much less is too much less? Prior training and experience? Do they mean certifications or degrees?

What I do know is that your better course is to focus on the distance, the pay which is substantially less, or something that an employer said or mislead you about at time of hire, but that would not include working more hour than the part-time hour agreed upon because then you are admitting that you are limiting your availability for full-time work.

These types of questions really need to be answered by the people who have an experience with the issue .. because most states aren't all that forthcoming with the information we would need to make any kind of informed decision about whether to quit or not.

Lori, I would greatly appreciate it if you could update your submission with what happens with your benefits.

It is really the only way some light can be shed on some things.

Chris

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