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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 18791
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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I have been employed by the same firm for 22 years. The company

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I have been employed by the same firm for 22 years. The company has undergone a number of changes, most notably a reduction in staffing while increasing work load. I went from a staff of 4 to just 2. I worked roughly double the hours, which resulted in my ending up in the hospital for a heart condition (possibly related, possibly not). Subsequently I was responsible for making some clerical errors which cost the company some money. I was then presented with a "performance agreement" which laid out a number of tasks (basically impossible), which I failed to accomplish. I was then presented with a choice: either allow them to terminate me, which would result in being non-rehireable by the parent company, or to choose retirement, which is the choice I made.
I'm wondering if I have any recourse as to unemployment benefits or medical care, since I and my family have ongoing needs in this area. Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks very much.
Thank you for your question today, I look forward to assisting you. I bring nearly 20 years of legal experience in various disciplines.

If you voluntarily retired rather than forcing the employer to terminate you, that is going to be seen as a voluntary resignation and disqualify you from unemployment. I wish I could tell you differently here, but that is just the law. Virginia doesn't recognize the concept of resignation in lieu of termination for purposes of unemployment like some states do, so there just isn't any legal argument that you can make to obtain it in your state.

As for medical, unlike a termination where COBRA is required, retirement is an optional COBRA situation for the employer. They don't have to offer it. If you are under the age of 65 it is too early for medicare, so you'll have to pay for you own coverage through a local or online health insurance program. Again, I wish there were numerous options available to you here, but there just aren't. All of th available options are options you must pay for, which means finding your own source of coverage.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Does it make any difference that I reside in Maryland?

I'm sorry. You put Virginia, which I'm assuming is where you work.

If you were living in Maryland, your unemployment would be controlled by them.

Maryland actually does go through the process of determining whether or not a situation was a termination or a resignation/retirement. You should file for unemployment and make the employer attempt to argue that you voluntarily retired while you argue that you were given the option to either retire or be terminated.

I will not guarantee you unemployment, but Maryland at least listens to that argument.

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