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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I was denied unemployment because I was a Shared-Work participant

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I was denied unemployment because I was a Shared-Work participant and I quit and it was ruled that I did not have good cause to quit. I appealed because my work hours were reduced by more then 25%. I was hired as a full time employee working 40 hrs/week for 63k/year for a year and a half and was moved to part-time hourly with a minimum of 15 hrs per week at $40/hr in November. In January I worked less than 15 hours per week. I stated my reason for quitting was my pay was reduced by more than 25%. How likely do you think it is the state will rule in my favor?
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. I am very sorry to hear that your hours were reduced and you were denied on your claim for unemployment benefits.

Determinations of whether an employee had "good cause" to quit for the purpose of unemployment benefits are made on a case-base-case basis in consideration of all the unique facts of each particular claim. So, nobody can say for certain what the result of your particular appeal will be.

This limitations noted, I think an individual appealing under the circumstances you describe would have a very high chance of prevailing and having your claim approved, as reductions in wages of more than 20% generally constitute good cause for an employee to quit.

What you will need is proof of the decrease in your hours, so be prepared to present paystubs that document the decrease. If you can demonstrate that the reduction in hours was resulting in a financial hardship, documentation of that as well would be beneficial to your claim, as it would tend to indicate that your decision to quit and search for other employment was reasonably necessary. Ultimately, what you need to show is that an individual reasonably desirous of remaining employed would have quit under similar circumstances, so financial hardship further supports that quitting was something you had to do.

Again, "good cause" for quitting is determined on a case-by-case basis, but since reductions of more than 20% in an employee's wages generally constitute good cause, I'd say the chances of a successful appeal under the circumstances you describe are high. You will need to present proof of your reduction in hours and, if applicable, proof of any financial hardship (i.e., a bounced check, overdraft fees, late credit card payments, etc.) to show that quitting was reasonably necessary under the circumstances.

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes to you and thank you so much for coming to Just Answer.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you. I'm curious to know if you think my enrollment in the Shared Work program will negatively effect my ability to quit due to reduced wages?
Melissa,

Thanks for your reply. I think I see what you are saying. So, were you already receiving unemployment benefits under the shared work program that made up for the deficiency in your wages? If so, did this fully compensate for the deficiency in your wages based on what you were earning when you were initially hired full time?
Melissa,

Thank you very much for your positive rating but I would like to discuss this with you further. Specifically, can you respond to the questions I posed directly above? I'd like to more thoroughly understand what you were receiving from the shared work program.

Thank you again.

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