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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20357
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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Can I collect unemployment if my employer and I both agree

Customer Question

Can I collect unemployment if my employer and I both agree I am not the right person for the position? A mutually agreed upon seperation?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 8 years ago.

In order to be able to collect unemployment compensation benefits, you must have been either terminated or quit for "good cause." It isn't clear from the facts that you have provided whether or not you have "good cause." Good cause is generally something like harassment or abusive work environment, illegal activity approved by employer in the workplace, job conditions or duties materially changed after acceptance of the position, or unsafe working conditions. On the other hand, if your employer does not object to your receipt of unemployment compensation, then you will get it.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
This answer is pretty vague - but to add more information - the 2 operations managers were promoted the same time I was hired. In other words, when I was hired, they were not managers - then the GM and the owner made this decision after. I would not have accepted employment under these conditions had I been aware of it.
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 8 years ago.
Hello again,

The answer is as specific as it can be based on the fact that I cannot read your employer's mind and do not know the specifics of what they have said to you about termination. I have provided you with the law and the possible outcomes. There is nothing in the facts that you have provided that appear to rise to the level of "good cause" for you to quit. If the State doesn't find that you quit for good cause and you are not terminated, you do not get unemployment compensation. So, as I said before, if you and your employer both feel that the situation isn't working because of the dynamics with current management, then try to get them to agree to not object to your receipt of unemployment. If they agree, get it in writing.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

So if they agree to it and I get it in writing, that will enable me to collect while I am searching for another job? What if they do contest it, will the agreement in writing hold up? Are your answers specific to the states you're licensed in or are they applicable in Massachusetts?


Thank you. I am not being difficult, just really trying to understand everything before I make any decisions.

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 8 years ago.
Hello again,

Although each state administers their state programs, unemployment compensation law is federal and uniform throughout the States. So it doesn't matter what state you are in, the legal rules and conclusions are the same. Yes, if your employer signs something that says they are acknowledging that they are terminating your employment and that they will not object to your unemployment compensation application, that could be used in a hearing if they change their minds. Just as a thought here, is it impossible to look for another job while you are still employed there? When you do speak to your employer I wouldn't necessarily advise that you say the word quit in your conversation. You might just present it as a discussion about how you don't know if you fit into the management scheme that is currently in place, and then see what your employer says from there. It would be much clearer and better for you, if your employer makes the decision to terminate versus you saying I'll quit if you don't object to my unemployment. See what I mean?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I broached the subject once already to feel them out, and the owner wanted to try to make it better for me so they changed the job responsibilities - supposedly. However, the only thing that really changed was what I believed were my responsibilities. It wasn't a week later that I was placed in the position of having to refuse to do something because of the family dynamics.


There are 7 front desk associates (a hotel) - 2 of them are the managers/family members of the general manager. They both took vacation at the same time, approved by the general manager of course. Another front desk clerk was also granted vacation at the same time. Keep in mind that both of the front desk managers also work full time on duty at the front desk. 2 full time people gone, plus a part time person gone. The manager/son of the general manager put someone on the schedule to cover who is notoriously horrible at their job and unreliable. This person called out all 3 days of the weekend. I was put in the position suddenly of being the backup person when I was just told a week ago that my job wouldn't encompass this. I had a wedding to attend on Saturday and stood my ground with not accepting this as my responsibility. I did not, and would not have, granted vacation to that many people at one time. I should not be the person to be called in this situation. Not only did the GM put me in this position, but she told the day person on Saturday to call me to see if I could work, thereby making me look bad to the hourly staff for saying no when they were forced to cover the shift.


I am livid and not happy about being the middle man/fallguy.

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 8 years ago.
Hello again,

Based on the additional information you have provided, you may very well have a "good cause" reason for quiting. If your job duties or conditions changed considerably after you took the job and they were not what was presented to you prior to your accepting employment then that might satisfy the good cause. It does look like the employer made some effort, but maybe not enough. It might still be worth it to go back and say it still isn't working and see what they say. Ultimately it is your decision though how you handle this tough issue.