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Quitting in interest of institution

by Dr Eugene Alexander
(Nassau County, NY)

I am the Academic Dean, part time (20 hrs or so a week)of a small 2 yr college. I've been rather ill with asthma, and while I "may" be able to return to work by mid-late March, 2011, I will have to curtail my hours, create more flexible hrs, etc. in order to return at that time.

Those conditions will impose a hardship on the institution and on the other three administrators at the college. I will stay on under those conditions, but am willing to step aside "if" the college president feels she needs more coverage than I can offer. However, she is desperately afraid her UI rate my increase if she uses the word "fired".

Under conditions outlined above, can't I quit and still collect unemployment insurance as my quitting would be in the interest of the institution?


Misconception, misinterpretation and a failure to learn about unemployment insurance.

It seems to remain a problem both for employers and employees alike and when the employer and the employee combine their efforts to both come out winners .. I think this might be approaching .. collusion and a state might call that fraud.

There are very few situations that are considered win/win where the party that basically winds up paying, is the state "general fund" which is created by a portion of all employer taxes paid for unemployment insurance. This requires a non-charging provision.

First of all, if she's concerned about her "rate" .. I guess I'll have to assume that the employer (a college) has elected to be a contributing employer or if a non-profit or doesn't know whether they are a "contributing employer" or a "reimbursing employer".

If the college is set-up as a non-profit .. a non-profit usually has a choice as to how they want to pay for any benefits paid. This is usually done either by a payroll tax on all individual employees earnings each year equal to the maximum weekly benefit of the state X 26.
The rate of tax is affected by the claims paid or, as most non-profits elect .. by reimbursing the state in
full for any claims paid during the prior year .. or in short they get a bill.

The tax rate is usually referred to as the "experience rate".

The problem for your employer whether you quit or they terminate your employment due to an inability to accommodate your schedule due to your illness is that many states even with a specifically formulated provision for voluntary quits for a worker's illness don't have a corresponding "non-charging" provision for an employer .. and in the case of "non-profits" they may even have to pay an additional stipend to a state, such as in Pennsylvania, to become eligible to use those non-charging provisions when it's time to pay up.

You, as a New York employee should be more concerned with how you might be able to collect unemployment benefits in this situation than whether the employer will have to pay for your benefits.

Fortunately, I have no interest in explaining unemployment tax to employers .. that is something an employer can pay a company to do .. reduce their tax bill. Additionally, I do not profess to have a better than average grasp on the subject of taxes.

But, I do like to help employees understand the non-monetary issues of any situation from their side.

If you are found monetarily eligible then the state always moves on to whether you are "otherwise eligible" and this is the non-monetary "merits" of a claim both initially when filed and continues throughout because you must file continuing claims for each week.

See Section 1655 of the NY Unemployment Interpretation Idex It is all to do with voluntary quits for health.

By the way, max weekly benefits in NY is $405 dollars a week .. times 26 .. if the employer wants an estimate of what the total liability of the claim would be to them if you can't work something out the monetary formulas are located in the PDF titled Monetary Entitlement

By the way, let me know when they deny your benefits for voluntarily quitting your job because you believed it would be in the best interest of the institution.

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