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Honesty doesn't pay, does it?


(Arizona)

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.

Chris


Comments for Honesty doesn't pay, does it?

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Mar 15, 2015
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refusing job will disqualify benefits as well
by: author of post

Ahh, but had i refused the job then that in itself would have disqualified me from benefits, which was the only reason I accepted it after learning the pay rate. From this point forward I'll just apply for jobs I'll never qualify for during the winter.

Mar 15, 2015
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yeah, but
by: Author of post

To "refuse any offers of employment" automatically disqualifies one from Arizona unemployment benefits, which is the only reason I accepted the position after learning the pay rate and true job description. I guess it would be in my best interest to only apply for jobs I'll never qualify for during the winter......

Mar 16, 2015
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Any offer?
by: Chris

An unemployed person shouldn't refuse any offer of SUITABLE work. Which is why I tried to link to the page that has the criteria as explained by the DOLETA. If it't broken, let me know and I'll fix it.

Mar 16, 2015
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any offer
by: author of post

cut and pasted from AZUI instructions
I took a screenshot but can't upload it here



Did you refuse any job offer or referral to work?

Refusing a job offer or referral to work – you turned down work that was offered to you or you did not report to an employer that you were referred to from the Employment Service office.

Mar 16, 2015
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AZ UI Administrative Code
by: Chris

I was going copy and paste something myself from the AZ UI regulations, but they disappeared and no way am I paying $11 for a paper copy of the AZ administrative code, so I can continue trying to explain the word suitable is always important when you accept it .. or even when you quit a job that has somehow been made unsuitable, but still in such a way as to be attributable to the work, or the employer.

Buy Arizona Unemployment Law Here! (No, this is not an affiliate link it's a public service announcement)

Actually it make good sense to me, that when you recertify for each week you claim entitlement to benefits, they ask the question that way. I can easily imagine what could happen if the word "suitable" were included.

There'd be unemployed people everywhere thinking they had some sort of right to interpret the meaning of the word suitable to continue collecting benefits.

When in fact, answering the more direct question truthfully, or untruthfully .. is what allows the dept. to throw up the flag and investigate.

And whether the reported refusal was of a bona fide offer of "suitable work" or in the case of an subsequent separation, investigated for good cause to quit, or when not reported, good cause to quit and misrepresentation of a material fact when recertifying .. usually under penalties of perjury after the next quarter's wage records are compared against those collecting benefits last quarter.

But like I first tried to explain - the issue of suitable work is addressed by DOLETA who basically runs the show through guidelines and advisories to state programs and gives us that criteria for suitable work.

Whether we choose to consider the fact that there are precedent UI court decisions out there which basically interpret one word in a law, or regulation and it's meaning so those administering the law know how to apply the law to individual cases .. is up to the individual.

So, you can split this hair about suitable all day long, of a job, or offer of one being relevant, or not .. anyway you see fit, but that doesn't mean I still don't know quitting and then stating reasons which bring in suitability of any job still doesn't need to be proven to be attributable to the work .. or employer.

Otherwise fault is naturally going to be attributed to the employee who may of had good personal cause to quit.

Suitable work shows up no less than fifty-nine time in just one DOLETA Chartbook. Around the 22nd time is where you can find the criteria for SUITABLE work.

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