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cutting my hours

by Diane
(Bayside, Queens, NY)

I am a cashier in a large supermarket...i kind of screwed up on the cash register and they put transferred me to another section of the store (starbucks)...I am 60 years old and at this age I am not young enough to remember how to make these drinks...they told me my chances of going back on the register were slim to nothing...I go to bed at night and wake up so depressed...I loved my job as a cashier and now I actually hate it...I guess I screwed up the register because I had my Mom on my mind..she was just diagnosed with leukemia....they are only giving me 4 days a week and 4 hours a day....I cannot live on this do i go about quitting and collecting unemployment...I started this job the beginning of November...I was on unemployment from July until November

Hi Diane,

I'm going to repeat back what I think you told me and then I need to ask a question.

You were a cashier and I'm assuming you worked more that 4 days a week and more than 4 hours a day.

You made a cash handling mistake of some kind and for that they transferred you to a different job, which you are having a hard time learning.

The transfer and the reduction of hours was basically a punitive measure for the cash handling error.

Now I need to know if you had ever been written up for previous cash handling errors and if you are required
to handle cash in your new job.

I also want to know if you made your employer aware of what was distracting you .. that you made the mistake.

I also need to know if you have gone to the employer and told them that you do not feel capable of doing the new job.

I also would want to how long you have worked for this employer and if you think your age has anything at all to do with your treatment and if you have said anything to the employer which might imply this.

Diane, the rules don't change when it comes to quitting and getting unemployment for anyone no matter what their circumstances .. if you quit .. you have to be able to prove that you quit and the good cause was attributable to the employer and the good cause must rise to a level that any reasonable person .. very similar to who you are would also have quit.

I see potential for proving that this employer has treated you in ways that might rise to this level .. but it does not negate the fact that you have to act in a way to first allow the employer to "correct" the offending behavior.

Have you gone to HR .. Have you read the employee handbook .. or since you work in a supermarket .. are you a member of a union? Could you go to a union rep for help to get the employer to act appropriately?

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