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childcare/new job

by liz

Hi Chris, My hours were 9-6 and I don't make it back to my parents home till about 7:15 to get my son. My parents live up the road from me so they were helping me with child care, before and after school, They are in their 80's and it got to be to much for them. I asked my boss if he could modify my hours a bit, and he refused. All the day cares in town close at 6:00.

I was told in December 2016 that my position was ending January 1, 2017. I interviewed for another position within the company where the hours would be the same, I was verbally told they would give me the job at the same pay. In the meantime, I accepted another offer from another company that I could work from home doing the same kind of work starting February 6 which I accepted, therefore I do not need my parents to watch my son anymore.

I followed for unemployment in PA, and got a check for the two weeks between from the day I quit to the day I started my new job. Although I'm working, I file biweekly benefits, just to keep the claim open for the year, not to receive monies since I am working. 3 months have past and unemployment sent me a letter today wanting me to explain why I quit. Do you think I had a legitimate reason to qualify for unemployment, based on the law before. I think what is happening is that my company told them I quit and unemployment may want to go after me for the 2 weeks I collected, and also to close my claim. I want to be eligible in the event this job I have doesn't work out. Plus the job I have, I'm technically a 1099 and receive a monthly stipend, so I would not qualify for unemployment from them if it doesn't work out.

Section 402(b) of the Pennsylvania UC Law provides, in part, that a claimant shall be ineligible for benefits for any week in which his/her unemployment is due to voluntarily leaving work without cause of a necessitous and compelling nature. A claimant who voluntarily quits continuing work has the burden of proof in establishing good cause for quitting; and, that such cause was real and substantial, leaving the claimant no other alternative. The burden is on the claimant to show that, prior to quitting continuing employment, he/she made every reasonable effort to maintain the employer/employee relationship.

I want to be careful what I write on that form. Any basic advice? Thank you for this blog. It's amazing.

Voluntarily Quitting to Accept Another Job, or Child Care Issues

I'm thinking it's likely you will have to repay those two weeks of benefits, but I have no idea why it's taken Pennsylvania this long to adjudicate, or come back to the issue and reason for the voluntary quit.

Pennsylvania doesn't require a voluntary
quit to be attributable to the fault of the employee, however, that's often still what a person needs to prove, if they want to get to good cause for a personal reason to quit. Compelling and necessitous .. a phrase explained by "The burden is on the claimant to show that, prior to quitting continuing employment, he/she made every reasonable effort to maintain the employer/employee relationship.?

Child care issues might be compelling, but only made necessitous, when an employer, once you make them aware of the actual child care issue .. still refuses to adjust a work schedule .. even for the new job at the same rate of pay.

Here's the problem I see with your good cause to understand if you can satisfy the PA unemployment department.

You voluntarily quit two weeks in advance of starting the new 1099 (Independent contractors are self employed and not covered employment when certain conditions are met) for another full two weeks.

I would not see this as being a big problem had you given your employer a two week notice and continued working until you changed jobs or had the employer ended the employment when you gave notice, Unless of course you were paid through the end of your notice, or the other job offer had been withdrawn.

Compelling and necessitous- When child care is the cause, a person is still expected to prove they made efforts to maintain the employment. That is how it's possible to show when the employer was unreasonable to not adjust a work schedule to help you maintain employment. Of course, an employer is within their rights to refuse, being it is at-will employer because they need any cause at all to refuse, or terminate employment.

Examples of efforts regarding childcare. Documentation that credibly shows the child care facilities in the area were called, or checked out on line and no child care facility offered services after 6pm. Or if there was one some kind of calculation that might prove the extra cost of nighttime child care would cause financial harm to the employee .. because the employer refused and the new job didn't come with a pay raise to wash that argument out.

As for accepting a new job even people who follow their spouse because they took a new job, have been denied because they didn't prove their spouse took a job that was in fact a better job vs. a unilateral move to a financially comparable job. Even when a claimant is the trailing spouse who has to quit their job to "preserve family unity" have been denied for quitting too soon, even if they argued they need the time to find housing and get a household packed up.

Compelling and necessitous .. literally means .. no other reasonable choice to make, but to quit a job. And don't forget people .. this is PA we're talking about who doesn't necessarily require a quit be attributable to an employer .. just compelling and necessitous.

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