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  1. #1

    Default Quit to Due Change of Hours, and Denied Unemployment

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: Idaho

    I had worked for my employer for 2 years and was an excellent employee. I was made a manager and given a substantial raise within the first year. When I filled out my application, I listed my availability as 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. as I have a toddler who goes to daycare and there is no daycare in my area that opens before 6:00 a.m. They agreed to my schedule and all was fine until the corporate office declared a mandate that all people in my department begin work at 4:00 a.m. with no valid reason other than "because we say so". There was NO WAY I could leave for work at 3:30 a.m. as there was no daycare available and I would be in bed at night before my son.

    I informed my boss that I was unable to work those hours and he said he'd "find someone else" and that he understood. I gave 2 weeks notice and never came in at 4 during my final 2 weeks. I filed for unemployment and was denied. I am currently appealing and have a hearing in less than 2 weeks.

    It is my understanding that you can quit for good cause relating to the employment itself and not for personal reasons - so wouldn't THEIR change to my schedule be good cause. It was not a change on my end (i.e. my sitter quit or daycare facility closed down or changed their hours). There was no reason for them to change my hours based on my performance as I was an excellent employee and that was reflected in my raises as well as production and labor costs I was able to keep my department in. The employer admitted that the change was on their end and I did nothing wrong other than being unable to work those hours.

    While I did quit, I believe I had no choice. I can't leave a toddler at home alone and they knew I couldn't work those hours so I was basically FORCED out of my job. They offered me no other positions or to work with my in any way - and admitted that to the unemployment office.

    I have a family to support and am my wits end and need the unemployment benefits until I find other work. I need to know if I have a valid argument or what laws may apply to my situation so that I can bring them up during my hearing. I contacted an attorney, but he blew me off and told me my time would be better spent looking for work (which I am - but I'm in a smallish town and jobs in my profession aren't many).

    Doesn't the fact that the company agreed to hire me based on my stated availability and work me ONLY during those hours for 2 years constitute an agreement of sorts? Wouldn't THEIR new corporate mandate with NO NOTICE TO ME (I was expected to start the new schedule the following day) give me good cause to quit?

    Any information would be helpful! Thanks a bunch!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Quit to Due Change of Hours, and Denied Unemployment

    It was for personal reasons you quit. If you had family assistance, they should have cared for the child until you found a new job. If you did not, I still do not see you prevailing.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Quit to Due Change of Hours, and Denied Unemployment

    Idaho does not seem particularly friendly to the notion that difficulty obtaining child care should be deemed to qualify somebody for unemployment. Regulations indicate "Child care must be arranged so as not to restrict a claimant’s availability for work or for seeking work", and the statute governing personal eligibility, Idaho Statutes Sec. 72-1366, indicates,
    Quote Quoting Idaho Statutes Sec. 72-1366(4)(a), (5)
    (4) (a) During the whole of any week with respect to which he claims benefits or credit to his waiting period, the claimant was:

    (i) Able to work, available for suitable work, and seeking work; provided, however, that no claimant shall be considered ineligible for failure to comply with the provisions of this subsection if:

    1. Such failure is due to the claimant's illness or disability which occurs after he has filed a claim and during such illness or disability, the claimant does not refuse or miss suitable work that would have provided wages greater than one-half (1/2) of the claimant's weekly benefit amount; or

    2. Such failure is due to compelling personal circumstances, provided that such failure does not exceed a minor portion of the claimant's workweek and during which time the claimant does not refuse or miss suitable work that would have provided wages greater than one-half (1/2) of the claimant's weekly benefit amount; and

    (ii) Living in a state, territory, or country that is included in the interstate benefit payment plan or that is a party to an agreement with the United States or the director with respect to unemployment insurance.

    * * *
    (5) The claimant's unemployment is not due to the fact that he left his employment voluntarily without good cause connected with his employment, or that he was discharged for misconduct in connection with his employment.
    You didn't share with us the basis for the denial, which puts us in the position of trying to guess. One possibility that occurs to me is that, as you apparently resigned without first attempting to find a way to care for your child during the early morning work hours, the ALJ may have concluded that you had not established "compelling personal circumstances" (noting that the statute appears concerned with ongoing benefits; there may be a different standard applicable to new benefits claims). Many parents find ways to care for their children so that they can work unpleasant shifts and, while that may not have been possible under the facts of your case, it would not have been unreasonable for the person reviewing your application to hold that he cannot find "compelling personal circumstances" unless an actual effort is made to find appropriate professional or family-based care prior to resignation. It would be helpful if you shared the basis for the denial.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Quit to Due Change of Hours, and Denied Unemployment

    The denial was based on their claim that child care is a personal reason.

    I can see their point if it was a problem with my child care (sitter quit, etc.), but the issue arose because the employer made changes with no notice to me. I was told I HAD to start my new shift the following day and therefore I didn't even have a chance to find alternate care. Even if I found alternate childcare, his current provider requires 2 weeks notice to remove him so I would have been paying for 2 different providers during that two week period.

    I don't see that I had any other option but to quit. What were my options? Leave my child at home alone? They were not willing to work with me at all, and was told if I couldn't do it, they would find someone else. Period.

    I don't see how it is reasonable for an employer to make such a demand.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Quit to Due Change of Hours, and Denied Unemployment

    Quote Quoting UnemployedAgain
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    The denial was based on their claim that child care is a personal reason.
    You didn't respond that you made any effort to secure child care, so are you intending to confirm my inference?
    Quote Quoting UnemployedAgain
    I was told I HAD to start my new shift the following day and therefore I didn't even have a chance to find alternate care.
    Yet you managed to work during the period after you gave notice, arriving late every day, without being fired. (Yes, you can be fired after you give notice).
    Quote Quoting UnemployedAgain
    Even if I found alternate childcare, his current provider requires 2 weeks notice to remove him so I would have been paying for 2 different providers during that two week period.
    Possible, but... you appear to be again confirming that you didn't look.
    Quote Quoting UnemployedAgain
    What were my options? Leave my child at home alone?
    Had you explored the possibility of having the other parent care for the child, somebody in your extended family, a friend, or looked for other options, then you would have been able to go into the hearing and say, "I tried every option before quitting," and the hearing officer might have said, "Based upon the fact that you made a reasonable effort to find child care and were unsuccessful, and your employer's statement that you would have been fired had you not agreed to the earlier start time, I find that you have documented compelling personal circumstances that warrant your receiving benefits despite having voluntarily quit."

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Quit to Due Change of Hours, and Denied Unemployment

    This is a tough one. I think there was a drastic change in your work schedule, but ID might not care. The one thing you do know is that harping on the child care aspect isn't going to win you benefits.

    Think about your letter of resignation, and what you said to the deputy. Is it remotely possible that it wasn't so clear that the employer instigated the schedule change?

    I quit over a "substantial change," and I had trouble getting benefits. My hours were reduced and I lost my full-time benefits. In AZ quitting over a reduction in hours is disqualifying for the most part, but losing benefits can be qualifying. The deputy making the first decision zero'd in on the disqualifying factor only. The other ALJs at my two hearings played symantics as to wheather benefits were wages and what "terms and conditions of work" meant. It took me 363 days before I got my first UI check.

    Save your money, cut your expenses, try to get food stamps and any other assistance you can get because it may be a really long wait even if you are absolutely right.

    Your story about being poopooed by an attorney isn't uncommon. Many states have fee caps in these cases, so attorneys don't want them.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Quit to Due Change of Hours, and Denied Unemployment

    Your opinion does not form the basis of law. This falls under the guideline you should never have children you cannot take care of. You might be eligible for social services.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Quit to Due Change of Hours, and Denied Unemployment

    I refuse to believe there is NO daycare that could accommodate you in your area unless you live in a town that has no hospital, no police department, no 911 call center, no fire department and no single parents. All of those professions require less than traditional schedules and I'm sure not everyone working in those professions where you live is married. Not with the divorce rate hovering at 60% and the number of people who didn't even TRY to get married before they had children is sky high.
    If you wanted babies all to yourself, you should have created them by yourself. Until you do that, children have the right to BOTH parents, especially since you found them suitable to procreate with.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Quit to Due Change of Hours, and Denied Unemployment

    The claimant isn't at the ALJ phase yet. That's in two more weeks. She has every opportunity to get her argument correct, and her proofs in order. This isn't a lost cause just yet.

    Quote Quoting UnemployedAgain
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    I filed for unemployment and was denied. I am currently appealing and have a hearing in less than 2 weeks.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Quit to Due Change of Hours, and Denied Unemployment

    Quote Quoting chyvan
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    The claimant isn't at the ALJ phase yet. That's in two more weeks. She has every opportunity to get her argument correct, and her proofs in order. This isn't a lost cause just yet.
    Nobody said it was. But it would be a simpler matter, and might not even be under appeal, had the OP documented a search for child care and explained her child's special needs.

    What term do you prefer for the person making the initial determination? Or are you just quibbling?

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