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Brandon, Esq.
Brandon, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1953
Experience:  Has received a certificate of recognition from the California State Senate for his outstanding legal service.
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I worked for a university for eighteen months. After the first

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I worked for a university for eighteen months. After the first month of employment there, things began to change and after six months my job was defunct. I asked them if they would RIF me and end the position, and they said they would not do that even though the job was gone. They decided then that I would be an administrative assistant to several people and allocated the funds to that salary.

Six months went by and this job did not appear. I came to work every day but there was nothing to do. Every once in a while I would ask about the job and the new responsibilities and my boss said that he would get around to getting everyone together and talking about my new job.

Then another couple months passed. By this time all there was to do was the stuff I was trying to make up myself to do. I spent the last month making meeting appointments for my boss and filling out his expense reports. When I say that I mean that there were possibly three appointments and two expense reports.

I never received an updated job description or any kind of counseling about what to really do about this job. My boss said the reason he didn't ask me to do more for him was because it was easier for him to do himself.

So finally I decided it was time to stop going there. I had used up all my vacation and sick leave, which I was taking mostly because there was nothing to do when I was there. I said to my boss, well, it seems like it's time for me to end this; and he said, yeah, it's too bad but there really is no work for you to do here.

I feel that at best we mutually agreed it was time for me to live; at worst he was freezing me out and refusing to lay me off or fire me because he either wanted me to quit or was afraid to say he made a mistake.

In any event I filed for unemployment and gave the reason as "lack of work."

The adjudicator called me today and I have to call him back tomorrow. What are my chances of getting unemployment, and what should I say?

The chances of you receiving unemployment are very high. To receive unemployment, you need to prove that you lost your job through no fault of your own. A lack of employment easily qualifies in this category. Unfortunately, if you admit that you "quit" this becomes much harder. The best thing to say in this instance is that you kept coming in to work but there was no work for you to do and you were not getting paid as there was a lack of work. If you admit that you were receiving a salary for not doing any work, and you quit because you felt bad about this then you will not receive unemployment. However, this does not seem to be the case here. You can state that you were laid off and your boss stated "there really is no work for you to do here." This out to be sufficient to get unemployment if your boss does not fight it. If your boss chooses to fight it and states that you quit, then you would need to show that you were not getting paid. This lack of pay would also qualify you for unemployment as it would be what is known as constructive termination.


If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to ask. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi again:


Would it be enough for me to say that this was a mutual decision? That is in fact the truth; it is not true I was not getting paid. I was paid and would have continued to be paid as long as I kept going to work. The problem was...there was no job to do there and we both knew it.


So can I say we agreed there was no work for me to do and that the job should end?

That would not be wise and you would be denied benefits under that scenario. If it was mutual, then you lost your job through "fault of your own." Think of it this way. If you quit, then you are denied benefits. If you were fired, terminated, or laid off, then you would receive benefits. The fact that there was no work for you suggests that you were laid off. No employer in their right mind wants to pay an employee for not doing anything. It just doesn't make sense. Of course, what to say is entirely up to you. All I can do is tell you how the EDD is going to react to what you say.
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