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N Cal Atty
N Cal Atty, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 8093
Experience:  Since 1983
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My employer is moving from Glendale to Culver City, which is

Customer Question

My employer is moving from Glendale to Culver City, which is a commute that I cannot comit to. Would that entitle me to unemployment benefits if I dont relocate with him?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  SavyLawyer replied 2 years ago.

SavyLawyer :

Hello, and thank you for contacting the just answer team.

SavyLawyer :

Possibly, yes, because your employer moving to a place that you cannot reasonably get to is arguably a layoff, as opposed to you quitting. However, just to be on the safe side, it is better if the employer formally lets you go because they are moving (making sure it is not for "Cause").

SavyLawyer :

There is a risk, if the employer wanted to fight the unemployment, that they could argue that you were not let go and in fact quit because you didn't like the commute. It would then come down to what the hearing officer thought was reasonable and whether or not you quit or were constructively terminated when the employer moved.

Customer :

He specifically indicated that he will not be laying anyone off because it would cost him money to lay us off

SavyLawyer :

Likely due to the unemployment issue (also because he would have to hire and train new staff).

Customer :

because he would have to contribute to unemployment benefits

SavyLawyer :

How much farther is this new commute?

Customer :

so I am more than positive he will dispute the unemployment benefits

SavyLawyer :

How much farther is the commute? Are we talking 15 minutes or multiple hours?

Customer :

20 miles versus the 5 miles I am commuting now

Customer :

And, I am a student, and I work during the day and commute to school at nights, and the new location will not allow me to make it to class in time in the evenings

Customer :

So your answer is strictly a maybe and it depends on the hearing officer

Customer :

I already new that ... but I wanted to black letter law as to whether or not there is a specific distance that would make it "reasonable" to commute

Customer :

I am sorry to say, but your answer was something I learned first year of law school.

SavyLawyer :

Unfortunately, yes. The issue is that the new commute really isn't enough to say that you couldn't reasonably continue. I cannot promise that they will take in to consideration your taking classes at night (they are not required to), and if your employer is going to fight it, you could have a fight on your hands.

SavyLawyer :

There is no black letter law on this. If you are in law school now, you would know that often, there is no exact rule out there, and it becomes the perview of the hearing officer (or judge or magistrate) to make the call.

SavyLawyer :

If you are unhappy with my answer, I will opt out so that someone else can take a look at your question.

Customer :

Yes, I know that much. But isnt there prior cases we can look into as to how the hearing officers have decided in such situations?


 

Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 2 years ago.
http://www.edd.ca.gov/uibdg/Voluntary_Quit_VQ_150.htm
states
An individual who leaves work due to distance or other problems of transportation to work does so with good cause if a reasonable person genuinely desirous of retaining employment and similarly situated would have been compelled to leave work after having sought without success all reasonable alternatives by which to provide transportation to work. Transportation to work is the personal responsibility of the employee unless special circumstances or local custom reasonably require the employer to furnish transportation.
///
///
Because travel time is subjective, depending upon the claimant's situation and labor market area, there is no hard-and-fast answer for "how much time should the claimant be required to spend in traveling to reach work?"
///
///
Employer Moves
When the claimant's employment moves to a place to which it would not be possible or practical for the claimant to commute, the claimant generally will have good cause for quitting.

In P-B-232 (previously cited), the employer had no more work for the claimant at his facility in Salinas but the claimant could have continued in employment at another of the employer's facilities 24 miles distant. The claimant would have received the same rate of pay but her hours of work would have changed to require some night work.

My answer is that you might be eligible for unemployment based on the employer having relocated, but these are decided on a case by case basis so I cannot predict the outcome. But you do appear to have grounds to apply.

You can get a free consultation from some of the employment lawyers listed at
http://lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/firm/Employment-Law----Employee/Glendale/California

http://www.travelmath.com/drive-distance/from/Glendale,+CA/to/Culver+City,+CA
states it is 19 miles to drive from Glendale to Culver City, which is similar to the 24 miles mentioned in the case cited above in which benefits were approved.

I hope this information is helpful.

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