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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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If my position is being eliminated but offered new position

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If my position is being eliminated but offered new position with half the pay and dont take it, does my employer have to lay me off?
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question. I am very sorry to hear that you are faced with this situation.

To clarify, are you concerned with how your separation of employment is labeled for the purpose of retaining eligiblity for unemployment? Or are you concerned more generally about your employer's right to lay you off?

I very much look forward to assisting you regarding this matter.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

eligibility for unemployment

Thank you for your relpy. I think I need a little bit more information.

What is the nature of your work? Is the new job similar in terms of job duties or very different?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

not sure if youre getting my reply, cause i dont see it coming up on screen.

I am very sorry but I have not received your most recent reply. I am still waiting for your response to my questions about the nature of your work and the nature of the new position.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

ok, so I am a Operation Manager for a subcontractor we work in cable industry. I get paid $800 base pay + $200 mileage pay. Im being offered a support position which pays $500 and it is similar to current position but there eliminating certain duties and responsibilities.


Thank you very much for clarifying this for me.

Generally speaking, a claimant must prove that they are unemployed "through no fault of their own" in order to receive unemployment benefits. Where a claimant refuses a job offer, they must demonstrate that the refusal was with "good cause" or else the EDD will reason that they are unemployed "through fault" (since they voluntarily passed up a decent opportunity) and deny the claim.

An employee will be found to have refused work with "good cause" if the work was at a substantially reduced rate of pay. To this end, the EDD states as follows in their Benefits Determination Guide:

"An employer is often forced to reduce wages for economic reasons. However, the fact that the employer's declining business necessitated reducing employee wages, does not impose a duty upon the employee to accept the reduction. In cases involving wage reductions, good cause is measured by the reasonableness of the claimant's actions in relation to the circumstances existing at the time of quitting.

Title 22, Section 1256-22(b), Comments provides:

. . .f factors other than a pay reduction influence an individual's decision to leave the work, all such factors are evaluated to determine whether a reasonable person genuinely desirous of retaining employment would have left the work. . . . However, a pay decrease of 20% or more, taken alone, is a substantial reduction in pay to establish good cause for leaving work where the employee is notified of a transfer or demotion to another position with the employer. Pay includes the basic wage, shift differentials, board and room furnished by the employer and guaranteed overtime. Pay also includes fringe benefits such as vacation pay and insurance if such fringe benefits are currently available or set schedules and information to value fringe benefits for the former and other position are available."

As noted above, reductions in pay of more than 20% are a "substantial reduction in pay to establish good cause." Since you indicate that your pay is being reduced by more than that percent, refusal of this work would ordinarily be with "good cause," and so even if you quit an individual in your circumstance would likely remain eligible for unemployment.

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, I would be most grateful if you would remember to provide my service a positive rating, as this is the only way I will receive credit for assisting you.

Finally, please bear in mind that none of the above constitutes legal advice nor is any attorney client relationship created between us.

Very best wishes to you.
Patrick, Esq. and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Sorry, it appears there was an error in the formatting of my answers. The italics should end beginning at "As noted above, reductions in pay..."

Please let me know if if you have any further concerns.

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