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I was laid off because the owner of the company wants to pay somebody less. I have worked there 5 years. can icollect unemployment? Florida

by Clay
(Gainesville fl, US)

I have worked at a mattress store in Gainesville Florida for five years. I have held various positions from delivery driver to sales manager. I was informed yesterday that I will be replaced in the beginning of March. The owner has offered me two days a week at work as a sales associate until May then I'm done. His reason is that he wants to pay another guy less money. This has taken place just before our busy season and i am currently paid by commission only. This is very unfair because I have been a loyal employee for five years and I have made huge sacrifices for this company and I am being denied the opportunity to work when there is money to be made. What recourse do I have if any? Will I be able to collect unemployment benefits? Please help. Thank you



Clay G.

Hi Clay,

You haven't been laid off yet.

When it does happen, you might consider working those two days a week and making a claim for partial unemployment benefits until you are totally unemployed in May.

You haven't been laid off yet and it would be unwise to do anything until it comes to pass or it would become a voluntary quit issue. This is not to say that when you do begin to work only two day a week you couldn't quit with good cause, but the advantage to hanging on is that Florida disregards 8 times the federal weekly minimum wage before they start reducing your weekly benefit amount. This would be a little more than $52 extra dollars a week...while you're looking for full-time work the days you aren't working.

As far as other recourse you may have... I'm not so sure, but I would at least take the time to discuss it with a Florida employment lawyer knowledgeable about Florida's labor laws with regard to employment practices.

I am truly sorry to hear about your situation Clay. Unfortunately, the boat your in is a little crowded these days.

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