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Florida employer forcing me to return to full-time work after being part-time

by Angie

I currently work 3 days a week (24 hours) and have family take care of my two young children while at work. I have been with the company 12 1/2 years. In January 2008, I came back from FMLA as a part time employee. Employer is now stating I must return to full time due to workload. However, I am unable to find suitable childcare for my children the other two days I would be returning. I have also been told I would occasionally have to work long hours (long past a standard daycare's operating schedule). Would I be eligible to claim unemployment in Florida?

Hi Angie,

I'm not sure. Florida does not have a part-time worker provision that I'm aware of, but I do know that the issue is interpreted.

So what's the problem? Florida does not have any information that explains how their unemployment law has been interpreted.

In some states it has been difficult for people that have a history of part-time work only to be able to collect and here's the part that I think will be the problem for you.

Without a provision that allows you to collect unemployment on part-time wages and allows you to only search for part-time work the normal stance of a state is that you can only collect the benefits if you make yourself available for full-time work.

In other words if you quit because the work will now be full-time it would probably not be with good cause .. since that is what you have to make yourself available for to collect unemployment.

The possibility lies in the
fact that you have been working part-time for almost two years now and the employer is offering you an ultimatum which changes the conditions.

Your issue is childcare, but since a quit must be attributable to the work the reason for quitting must be because the employer will not work with you on the childcare issue. Your objection sounds like it is to the extra long hours on some days .. overtime.

You would have to establish that you sought all reasonable alternatives to quitting. Asking the family that now takes care of your children 3 days a week to pick the kids up and care for them on those extra long days, call a number of daycares to inquire about their hours, find out the cost of the daycare.

Present the information to the employer and tell them you are willing to work fulltime, but you need an accommodation from them for this personal problem you can't overcome.

I've made an assumption that you are a single parent??

Present this information to the employer.

You must exhaust all alternatives available to you first and then turn to the employer to help you stay employed. It is the employer that you must be able to point at as the culprit that caused the quit.

Understand? And then you need to provide some proof to the state that you did exhaust all alternatives and did make efforts with the employer so that you could manage working full-time again.

You are eligible to claim, but getting them is something altogether different.

By the way, this was not a general question about unemployment:)

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