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Can I receive unemployment if I was dropped from full time employment to part time, as well as having my wages lowered?

by Amber
(Upstate NY)

Can I receive unemployment if I was dropped from full time employment to part time, as well as having my wages lowered?

After having an approved schedule that allowed to to take classes to earn my degree for the past year and a half, I was told I needed to change my schedule to Monday through Friday or I was fired. The position I was in was "changing" and they needed someone who could be there for those hours (I was working Friday through Monday, 4 days at 10 hours each).

I was then told that instead of being fired I had the option to be demoted to a different department, but that I could keep the same hours I had previously had. The pay would be lower, but I was "guaranteed" the same schedule.

Once I agreed to this demotion, I was then told that I wasn't needed for those hours and would be dropped to 20 hours at the most. My pay has now gone down to about 1/3 of what it was, and I've lost my benefits, including health insurance, making it impossible to pay my monthly bills. Am I eligible to receive any amount of unemployment until I am able to find a new job?

If I had known they were going to drop my hours so drastically, I would have let them initially fire me, so I could file for unemployment while I find a new job.


You do know that the employer will most likely fight your unemployment in any event with the fact that this all began with your school schedule interfering with the needs of the work.

Just wanted to get this little hitch out of the way before I show you the other information you should consider before quitting a job in NY which doesn't require by statute that leaving a job needs to be attributable to the work .. although I consider that a moot point unless you
know of specific instances of case law to support your position for leaving.

If you had let them fire you because you were not willing to try to adjust your school schedule or quit school to keep the job, you most likely would have been denied anyway .. because that is really a quit .. not a discharge since you would have been the one to make the choice.

But instead they made you an offer to accommodate your need to retain your then current and approved schedule so you could continue to go to school.

The employer then substantially changed the conditions of that accommodation that in effect made it an impossible situation for you anyway, but no longer because of the school schedule, but because of the substantial change to the conditions of employment which is causing you financial hardships.

What do you think they are hoping you do?

If you quit everything is contingent upon your ability to prove things ..

Although there seems to be no specific provision regarding quitting to attend school, you are well advised to take a look at DOLETA's chartbook (Table 5-12)

School poses certain problems for you in those two little columns of the chartbook.

So, follow the following links and apply what you know you can prove to be true about the work .. not school and make the decision for yourself whether you now have good cause to quit your job in New York .. because this is dependent upon what state we're talking about.

Partial unemployment in NY. If you can collect partial benefits .. I always recommend doing so vs. quitting because it equates to more money per week than benefits for being totally unemployed.

The differences between voluntarily and involuntarily quitting a job in NY

And then continue to explore other relevant issues you see present in your own situation.

How New York Unemployment Benefits are decided.

Sections of interest might be 700, 1400, 1600, and 2000.

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