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Unemployment Benefits and School: Can I quit my job in Pennsylvania because my employer is changing my shift and will interfere with my school schedule?

by Anonymous

My current employer has changed my shift, which I am unable to work because of my school schedule and children. When I was hired the employer was aware of my school schedule. The supervisor who had hired me has recently left and now a new supervisor is changing my shift times. I have looked throughout the company for a position that I could work, however the positions offered are out of my education level. I recently had a conversation with one of my managers and I felt harrassed. I am offered work however it is during my classes and I don't want to quit school because I only have one year left. Should I quit? if so how? and would I be eligible for unemployment?

Hi Anonymous,

Unemployment benefits and school is sort of like mixing oil and water. I'm going to make an attempt to explain the problem here for anyone who finds themselves in your situation and so anyone in any state in the United States can figure out their own situation.

No matter what state someone is from, the first place I go to get information is the United States DOL, specifically, the ETA (Employment and Training Administration) Right here. (Once you are there, click on the current year, then click on Nonmonetary Eligibility and then go to Table 5-12.

The first column usually answers the question, but if it says NO it's misleading, so you then need to check the second column.

Quitting work so you can continue to attend school is disqualifying. Not only that, some states consider attending school even if you had
a qualifying job separation and were entitled to benefits, disqualifying.

The entire subject of unemployment benefits while attending school can seem contrary to logic, but we all need to remember exactly who it is that pays for unemployment.

Let me tell you what this means to me .. you have to find another reason to quit.

Pennsylvania allows unemployment when you quit for compelling and necessitous personal reasons, but this requires of you to show that you exhausted all reasonable alternatives to quitting first.

So even though Pennsylvania does allow benefits for quitting for personal reasons, they also require that before you quit, you have made efforts to preserve the employment and shift the burden back to the employer (Attributable to the work).

The one thing you did mention is "Children". When there is no apparent direct path, you may have to meander your way through.

So, first, because Pennsylvania does not have a precedent interpretation index I'm providing a link to The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania

This enables you to search PA unemployment decisions.

I suggest you first enter a search query for "unemployment childcare" and then start reading decisions. You will notice a whole lot of denied claims because the claimant was unable to prove the required elements for compelling necessitous personal reasons all of which needs to be done before quitting. Then you might try some other queries relevant to your situation.

If anyone feels weird about exploring other ways to quit and get unemployment .. you wouldn't make a good employer .. they create situations to support a denial of unemployment everyday of the week.


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