Qualifying for unemployment

Let’s say you’re getting laid off but your employer offers you a position in another state. If you refuse to relocate, does that mean you’re effectively quitting and therefore don’t qualify for unemployment compensation?

Most likely not. You have to be offered a job of similar stature and structure in order to be deined.

For instance, I worked at a company where we had a bookkeeper. She worked M-F (9-5pm)

The owners decided to let the company run 24 hours, (It dealt with airlines and we added Hawaii to the mix, so we had to stay open till 3am Honolulu time, so he figured let’s run the business 24 hours.

He wanted to move the bookkeeping position overnight as there wouldn’t be a lot for that employee to do. She refused, though she was offered the same type job, same title, and more money. She quit and filed for unemployment. We disputed it but she won.

The arbitrator said the difference in hours alone was enough to qualify her for unemployment.

I would think it is very unlikely that any unemployment arbitrator would deny you benefits.

HOWEVER be very careful from now on. H/R could try to get you to sign a paper saying you are voluntarily leaving the company.

Try to get it in writing that you are NOT being allowed to stay on at your company in your present capacity. Do this in an email or other documented form.

Thanks, Markxxx.

When I described my situation to my friend, he said, “Oh, they’re playing that game with you, eh?”.

At one job I had, my pay was cut by a third. Pissed off, I walked without notice. Filed for unemployment and received it. Sadly for them, I was the best person in that position they’ve ever had.
Their loss.

Conditions will vary from state to state based on respective UI codifications, but as an example here in California it is possible for those who quit their job to receive UI benefits if there was “good cause” for the separation and the claimant made reasonable attempts to keep the job. What constitutes good cause will also vary based on established precedent within the jurisdiction, but I think a reasonable person would view the option of losing one’s job or being forced to move out of state to be good cause for voluntarily separating employment, generally making them eligible for UI benefits.

IANAL, my own interpretation of what the state has to say on their website: http://www.edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/default.htm