I live in Arizona, where I have a seasonal job up at Lake Powell during the summer months and after which I return to Phoenix for the remainder of the year. I am able to collect unemployment from this employer and am truly thankful for it; it is increasingly hard to find a “winter” job since I always let any potential employers know I will only be able to work for them for a few months. In February I was able to find a job working from home on my computer and since it was a “remote” job I was hoping I could continue to work for this company even when I returned to Lake Powell. There was a 30 day training period, during which I was only getting 20-25 hrs a week and my pay for which was actually less than I was receiving from unemployment. I was in the middle of week 2 of training when I found out I would not be able to access a “wired” connection to the internet (required for the remote position)from the employee housing provided by my summer job, which I was due to start at the end of March. I was going to have to resign less than 2 weeks after finishing training. I wrote an email to my “winter” job boss and explained the situation to her. I was completely honest with her. The job was a remote center sales position, and a requirement was to be rather pushy in getting a credit card number from the callers to “complete the sale” I did not particularly enjoy it, I don’t have a salesperson personality and hate being pushy, I always found that technique rather rude. I did not especially like this job, but I was not going to quit it until I had to. I stated that I “did not want to quit, nor could I afford to.” In my email I asked if there was a different position I could fill for the remaining time before I had to resign, where I would not be wasting anyone’s time or effort in training me for a position I would only be available to work for 2 weeks after finishing, like if someone had been out sick and needed help catching up their paperwork. Anything, really. I was offering them to get the most out of me while I was available. I sent the email and later that day I got a call from my boss and was told that there was no other work for me that I could do with them and they only wanted employees who could give them 100% and she wished me the best of luck. Everything in the conversation went along with the “hey, you’re fired” theme. I wasn’t a huge shock, but then her last words to me were “so I’m going to go ahead and accept my voluntary, then” It wasn’t a question she was asking, she was telling me, and i said “oh” and we hung up. I should have called her back but I was taken by surprise by that; I had not offered my voluntary. I went back and re-read my email like 20 times and the point I was making was clear on that. The last thing I wrote in the email was I would continue the training classes unless otherwise directed to another position. I had continued to apply for my weekly benefits during this, to receive the difference in pay (like I said, the pay was less than my unemployment benefits, at least during training) until I received my notice that I was disqualified due to a voluntary quit. Without these last few weeks of benefits I cannot even afford the trip up to start my summer job. I’ve appealed the decision already, and I guess I’m just looking for any advice or encouragement for my situation! Thanks!
Chris’s Response – This is why I say it is important to be careful before accepting a job, to make sure it’s suitable
If you mean it doesn’t pay to accept any job that you get offered .. then no, not always because before you accept any job, you are in control of scrutinizing any job you apply for from all angles of the criteria for suitable work, to make sure it’s something you can do over the long haul.
The problem of a voluntary quit, if not reasonably attributable to the work, or the employer and without proof that the work may of been unsuitable because an employer also misled you at time of hire about the terms and conditions to make this judgement call to quit when benefits are hanging in the balance is most people don’t know it’s the last separation that controls the payment of benefits going forward .. even on a claim where the last employer is not a base period employer.
I really don’t have any advice for winning the appeal, because although it may not of been the usual sort of voluntary quit, it was you that was trying to alter the terms and conditions of hire before you even completed the training .. for the job you were hired to do .. even if you did offer to do something different that didn’t require the “wired connection” and that’s not a reason that I can see as being attributable to the work, or the employer, within the confines of the things that go into determining “suitable work”.
And the employer did what I’d expect them to .. cut you loose before your employment was able to become a liability with regards to UI and potentially being an employer in your next seasonal employment benefit year.