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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 100941
Experience:  Lawyer
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I am in a probationary period with my new employer

Customer Question

Hi, I am in a probationary period with my new employer (Optometrist in Alberta). I was employed as an office manger but now he wants me to work on pre-testing, reception, and selling glasses on the shop floor. This is not in my contract and I don't feel comfortable doing those jobs otherwise I would have applied to become a receptionist, pre-tester, or a sales person. Will I be able to claim unemployment benefits if I leave? Thanks!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

How long have you worked there for?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
5 weeks
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

You would be eligible for EI if you can prove that you were constructively dismissed in most cases.

When an employer does something that fundamentally changes the nature of the employment so that it drives the employee to quit, this may be a case of constructive dismissal. This is usually the case when the employer reduces wages, cuts hours etc. It is also the case where the employer's conduct makes it intolerable for the employee to continue working.

But it also depends on how much you've contributed to EI. If you've not worked elsewhere and have only worked for 5 weeks that will not be sufficient.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I worked for three years till March 18th this year and then started at my current job on Aug 18th. I was receiving EI in between March and August albeit for about three weeks because of my lay off package. I have just spoken to him again and he is adamant that I have to also work in these other roles that I do not feel comfortable working in. These other roles are not mentioned in my contract.
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

Then this is constructive dismissal and you are eligible for EI so long as you can prove that this is constructive dismissal.

You can call EI and run the facts by them to see what they say.