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Number of hours worked has been cut back.

by Mary

First of all, I work in Wisconsin and live in Minnesota. I am still currently employed as a Real Estate Receptionist/Salesperson, but due to the economy, my boss has cut back my hours from 30 hours per week to 15 hours per week in order to save on overhead. This has caused me financial hardship, and even though I am still employed, I'm wondering if I am able to collect some type of unemployment and where?


Hi Mary,

You should definitely file for unemployment. You may be entitled to partial unemployment benefits .. If I were you since you work in WI .. that's where I'd file. The unemployment law in WI are much more favorable to the unemployed.

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Dec 04, 2009
My Question is.......
by: Mike

The real question that i have is whether or not she would be entitled to full benefits due to 50% reduction in hours. I would think that any reasonable person would quit a job where their hours were cut in half. I guess you would have to ask your employer for more hours, and go through the "due diligence" aspect of things before you actually quit.

Just my .02


You get full benefits for "total unemployment". You may get partial benefits for a reduction in hours.

I always advise due diligence before quitting .. even when it is possible to argue that it was reasonable not to pursue it. But states usually have thresholds which are defined in precedents as to what is a substantial change. I think it is wise to first find out what those thresholds are.

It's always good to have a resource which better defines what good cause to quit a job is exactly because of the variances in the laws from one state to another even when the "issue" is the same. You can investigate further at this resource. WI Decision Digest

There is a difference between quitting because of a reduction in hours and quitting due to a reduction of pay.

Personally, it doesn't make sense to me to take the plunge to quit until you estimate what your WBA would be if totally unemployed and then what you could expect to bring home on partial benefits. Especially when you will have 15 hours extra a week to look for another job.

All states first disregard a specified amount of your earnings before they start reducing the benefit amount for partial benefits .. but of course there is always the potential that even with reduced earnings partial benefits would be a moot point if you earn more per week than your WBA would be for total unemployment. Benefits replace lost wages, but only around 50 to 60 percent of what you made per week.

The decision to quit a job is a personal one that should only be made when you feel confident you have the necessary case to get benefits.

By the way, the resource I use which has all the states formulas for total and partial unemployment benefits is linked to on this page

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