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Mr. Gregory White
Mr. Gregory White, Teacher
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 5223
Experience:  M.A., M.S. Education / Educational Administration
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I work in a private non-unionized school, and was told that

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I work in a private non-unionized school, and was told that if I should be fired or laid off, I cannot collect unemployment. Is this true?
As a worker, you would be entitled to unemployment if you lose your job through no fault of your own. If you are laid off, that is a different issue than if you are "fired." Being laid off due to economic issues with the school (also referred to as being "rifted"), should not cause any issues with your collection of unemployment benefits.

However, if you are fired due to a performance issue or insubordination, etc., then your place of employment (even a private school), may choose to fight your unemployment claim. Often they will not, but at times they will and then it will be up to the discretion of the state (and possibly a mediator) to determine if your unemployment claim would be valid.

Hopefully you do not find yourself in this situation. On a personal note, back in 2009 I worked for a private charter school in Illinois and was rifted from my position due to the economic issues at the time. I had no trouble with unemployment from the state of Illinois until I was able to acquire another teaching position in Indiana.

If you are laid off from your job, immediately sign up for unemployment with your state - a search at your state Website will tell you how to do this. They will let you know if there are issues and what further information you may need to provide in the issue. They will contact your employer to verify the reason for your unemployment status and will then look back at your pay history that is on file with the state to make a determination on the amount that you will be paid.

Regardless of your state, the best place to start if this happens would be with your local unemployment office.

All the best - as a fellow educator, I can empathize with everyone out of work in the education field. Let me know if you still require any additional information - if not, please be sure to hit the accept button so I receive compensation for my advice. Take care and have a GREAT week!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I read yesterday that if I experienced extreme work changes at my place of employment, I may be able to quit and collect unemployment (i live in Texas). Last year I was making almost $60,000 per year, this Fall, I was demoted from "teacher" to aide with a 60% cut in salary. The reason was because I had missed too much work in the previous school year. My husband was very ill during that time, and was in and out of the hospital. I have no living relatives close in proximity, so I had to be the caregiver during this time. He died April of last year. Surely, there is something that I can do?
I am so sorry to hear about your husband. Truly all of my sympathy goes out to you.

Yes, you might still be able to get unemployment since they reduced your pay so drastically. The only hitch I could see was that they determined to do so due to your missing work issues and not due to a reduction in force issue.

The only ones who will be able to give you a more definite issue would be your state unemployment office. I would call them and explain the situation and they will be the only ones who can make a determination (no one on here is going to be able to tell you for sure one way or another).

Here is a state unemployment directory - select your state and find the contact info needed. Give them a call and explain your situation and let them know that you are wondering if you are eligible for unemployment if you resign due to an extreme reduction in pay and position from the prior year.

All the best..... I hope it works out for you and you are now able to get back on your feet after the struggles you faced last year!
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