(Bay Area, California)
My name is Rusty and I was recently hired at a car dealership as a service adviser. I’ve been there three months during which time I have not yet seen a commission check partly due to 40% of daily sales are free to customers, in the form of special deals, making it quite difficult, if not outright impossible to earn a commission. (no one is spending money in this economy)
Recently they have hired two more service advisers, which makes a total of six and have shortened our work week from five days to four, making us work the fifth day as an outside sales caller (cold calls, henceforth CCs) to possibly build accounts for the dealership.
This CCing and account building was not part of my job responsibilities nor my job requirements. None of this was part of the job interview. They do not pay me for my time CCing and make me use my own vehicle.
With the addition of two more writers, and one less day for possibility of commissions, it is making it even more difficult to make a small if any commission.
If I quit, based on the reason that they did not include these responsibilities in my job description, would I be eligible for unemployment? OR, if I were to refuse to do the work which was not included in my job description and I was fired for that reason, would I be able to collect?
My previous job was as a service adviser for another dealership that had to close its doors do to the failing economy. I earned $65,000 annually and got $1900 in unemployment during the time that I was without work for three months.
Considering that I have only worked for this new dealership for three months, and it is now becoming apparent as to how they are using their employees for additional responsibilities without additional benefits, is there any possibility that I would be able to return to my original unemployment status while looking for new work? Would I be able to return to 1900 a month for unemployment? Or would my unemployment (if I could receive it under these circumstances) be recalculated to a lower number because this current job pays me less?
I am seriously considering quitting or refusing to do the work and be fired based on the poor pay and increase in responsibilities, but only if I am eligible for unemployment. I have another job possibility down the line, but at this point it is no guarantee.
Any help and information regarding unemployment and my eligibility under these circumstances would be greatly appreciated.
It’s a good question and it brings up a central issue people ask about quite often .. “Do I have good cause to quit?”.
I hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to restate what I think I heard .. If I’m wrong you’ll have to let me know.
You were hired on as a service adviser for which you do have a “written” job description. You were working 5 days a week .. (base plus commission or hourly?), but recently the employer has cut you back to 4 days a week (by the way, were you told at time of hire that you would not receive commission on “specials”) and you are now required to work the 5th day unpaid and use your own car for “sale calls”?
How long have you been working under the “new conditions”?
If I got it right, I suggest you read Misconduct MC255 I also suggest you read VQ 5 for the elements of what good cause are in California. The guide is a great resource for anyone who needs to understand how decisions are arrived at .. except for the fact that most states don’t allow benefits for personal compelling reasons unless it is somehow connected to the work (refusal of a request for leave or accommodations, etc.)
Rusty, there is one thing an employer must do .. they must pay us for our time. If this employer fires you for refusing to work one day without pay and use your personal vehicle for sale calls and you don’t get unemployment … you didn’t tell me something .. like you’re salaried.
If you are salaried .. it could change how your situation is viewed and I think you would have to pin all hopes on a “substantial change in the conditions of employment” only.
And I not sure the changes would be enough to prevail.
Read the guide, if you have more questions .. ask.
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