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  1. #1

    Default Employer Forced Me to Work Off the Clock and I Quit W/Out Giving Notice

    My question involves unemployment benefits for the state of: Washington

    I was on unemployment a couple months ago but got tired of all the red tape, I was spending more time answering their questions than I was looking for work. Out of desperation I took a warehouse supervisor (hourly) job through a temp agency which is not my normal line of work, but at the time there was still a question about my unemployment eligibility and I wanted to just end the whole issue.

    It was clear from the beginning of the assignment that the agency "expected" me to work off the clock for a minimum of a 1/2 hour per day, up to a full hour or more on other days to handle employee related issues, orientations, dress code inspections, performance evaluations, consult with dock managers, relay info back to the agency, and other duties associated with a supervisory role. They weren't at all concerned when I pointed this out to them and even went so far to say that I came in early by choice to perform these duties even though it was obvious the job could not be performed at the start of the shift because this was a production environment and work began on the button. It was also not uncommon to work during lunch and breaks, and I had to be available via cell phone 24 hours per day, on my dime of course. Whenever they conveyed to me what they wanted me to do, they firmly stated "we expect you" to do whatever. After three weeks when it became clear that not only were they not going to do anything about it, but it was in fact going to increase from 10 employees to 25 for the Christmas season, I quit w/out notice.

    Of course now I can't find a job either because this agency informed other agencies w/out my permission about quitting, bad job market, or both. I will need to reopen my unemployment claim. But in their eyes, will it appear that I quit w/out good cause? I want some opinions before I even attempt to deal with these people. It's great to know that congress is doing everything they can to extend benefits, while the state of Washington does whatever it can to deny benefits. Some system!

    P.S. I wondered if I had legal grounds for a lawsuit against this employer, but of course nothing was ever in writing. They paid me 3 times via direct deposit and did not send me a paystub. I have to go in there for a print out which I am not comfortable doing. And finally, the employer I was assigned to reported the hours worked, not me. I signed in/out which was based on the official shift start/end times, not when you began/finished work. This agency and their customer were very careful.

    Thanks for any help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,521

    Default Re: Employer Forced Me to Work Off the Clock and I Quit W/Out Giving Notice

    I don't know about Washington specifically, but in most states you will not qualify for unemployment. If you were being required to work without pay, you had legal recourse (filing a complaint with the state DOL) and you could not have legally been fired for doing so. (You would have had legal recourse if you had been fired, too.) Instead, you chose to quit so that instead of some income you had no income. Few states will pay you for that.

    The agency does not need your permission to share truthful information about you.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Employer Forced Me to Work Off the Clock and I Quit W/Out Giving Notice

    Well then, bankruptcy forum here I come.

    Of course, I have one other option. I had a warehouse job just before this that I quit because of an injury (not acquired on the job). But I did have emergency room documentation of the injury and can just say the work got to be too much and couldn't do the job for physical reasons.

    If they can share truthful info about me, can't I still file a complaint about them?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,521

    Default Re: Employer Forced Me to Work Off the Clock and I Quit W/Out Giving Notice

    Sure you can. It would have been more effective if you'd done it before you quit, but you're not barred from doing so.

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