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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 27201
Experience:  Former judicial law clerk, lawyer
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If I inform my employer that new working conditions are intolerable

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If I inform my employer that new working conditions are intolerable and ask them to correct that, and they don't, and I subsequently get fired, can I collect unemployment? The issue of the working conditions is a recent requirement to be on call 24x7 every 5 weeks. We are expected to take calls all night, take calls all day, perform our ACTUAL work, and respond to calls in less than 5 minutes. During these weeks, I seldom have time to stop for lunch or dinner, and frequently get only 2 or 3 hours of sleep each day. In addition, I get questions from other managers as to why my assigned work is not completed. I have told my employer these conditions are not workable, and they have done nothing to correct it.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

In your situation, it is likely that you would be eligible for unemployment. For one thing, you were let go for reasons other than misconduct, which typically would make you eligible. Asking for a change to work conditions is not misconduct. Also, even if you had quit, an employee may still be eligible for unemployment if the employer makes a substantial change to the employment that would induce a reasonable person to quit. In that scenario, the employee has to make reasonable efforts to keep the job - but you did. You told them that the conditions did not work and asked them to make a change. So, you should meet that requirement. As long as you are available to work and actively seeking work, you may be able to get unemployment

Also note that, if you are not an exempt employee, and your employer did not observe all wage and overtime requirements during the weeks that you were on call, you may have additional claims against them. An employer cannot terminate an employee in retaliation for complaining that the employer is breaking the law

If you have any questions or concerns about what I've written, please reply so that I may address them. It's important to me that you are 100% satisfied with the service I provide. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so that I get credit for answering your question. Thank you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX good information. Just one more question, if I quit instead of being terminated, stating that the reason are the unreasonable working conditions, would I still be eligible for unemployment compensation?


If they said "Quit or you're fired," then you really didn't quit. If you quit in protest of the working conditions, the state would look at the terms of the employment when you were hired, how they changed them, whether a reasonable person would have left and whether you made reasonable efforts to keep your job before quitting. A substantial increase in workload + hours, without any increase in pay, could be considered a substantial change in the terms of the employment. The state makes the determination on a case-by-case basis.

Here is more information on good cause and voluntary quits in Maryland.

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