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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I recently resigned from my job and applied for California

Resolved Question:

I recently resigned from my job and applied for California unemployment. I left the company for 3 reasons: 1) The Company downsized considerably and as a result the workload (and hours) increased dramatically. 2) My department implemented a new rule that prevents employees from taking vacation while simultaneously refusing to pay the vacation time as compensation. These two reasons create a serious issue for me: because I am working longer hours I am now unable to attend my religious services; similarly the paid time off limits prevents me from requesting certain religious holidays off which wasn’t an issue before. As a third reason my job responsibilities are changing from that of an accountant to an analyst which is a role I have no training on. I had presented these concerns to my manager but unfortunately no special accommodations can be made. I believe I have “good cause” to quit (Title 22 CCR 1256-23(c)). As expected CA UI sent me an appointment to discuss my claim: They wish to discuss: ‘Why I am no longer at this job?’, ‘What caused me to quit?’, ‘Why did this cause me to quit?’ and did ‘I request a leave of absence or discussed this with my supervisor and if not why not?’ – Can you please provide any suggestions and/or recommendations on how to present my case to the assessor? Is there anything I should be cautious about expressing because it may be misinterpreted? Anything I can or should provide the assessor with to make my case? Thank you.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

I see this question has been waiting quite a while for an answer. Do you still need assistance?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hello - yes I stiLl need help. Thanks.
Expert:  socrateaser replied 3 years ago.
Hypothetical Answers:

‘Why I am no longer at this job?’

A: First, because the employer modified its vacation pay policy to eliminate compensation, which was not part of our original contract. Second, because the reduction in compensation makes it impossible to meet my current expenses [the actual loss of two-weeks pay is only -4%, and -20% is the standard for refusing a new job offer -- connecting the pay cut to mere dissatisfaction with employment may operate against you]. Third, I am a very devote person, and my employer was aware of the fact that I used vacation time as a means of attending important religious functions. This makes the loss of vacation time more than an issue of mere money. Finally, the employer offered me a "take it or leave it" new job description as an analyst, rather than as an accountant -- also not part of our original agreement. Moreover, the job description, as I understand it, is substantially below/above my level of qualifications. [while you could use lack of training or experience -- that's not as important as showing that the job either is far below or above your qualifications in general. If the interviewer believes that the job is a good step up for you or effectively the same sort of job as you were already doing, then that could disqualify you.].

‘What caused me to quit?’

A: I explained all of what I've just told you to my employer, and I was summarily dismissed. My supervisor told me flat out, "If you don't take the new job offer, you'll be fired."

‘Why did this cause me to quit?’ a

A: When I realized that the employer was not going to accommodate any of my requestions, and was about to fire me, anyway, I figured that there was little point in remaining.

‘[D]id I request a leave of absence or discussed this with my supervisor and if not why not?’

A: I didn't need a leave of absence, because I'm perfectly capable of doing the job that I was hired to do under the original hiring conditions. And, yes, I discussed the issues with my supervisor/HR, but they just looked at me and said, "This is the offer -- if you don't accept, we will have no choice other than to let you go."

Is there anything I should be cautious about expressing because it may be misinterpreted?

A: If you act like you know the law, especially by citing it or using the catch phrases (e.g., "good cause"), the interviewer may believe that you have created facts to fit the requirements. So, be a good little worker bee, like everyone else who thinks that they know the law but actually doesn't.

Anything I can or should provide the assessor with to make my case?

A: If you have a smoking gun (e.g., email that says, "Unless you accept this offer, we will have no alternative but to terminate your services."), then offer it up. Otherwise, there's probably nothing that will make a difference. Win or lose, you'll probably have a hearing with an administrative judge, so, this is only round one.

Hope this helps.

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socrateaser, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 34859
Experience: Retired (mostly)
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