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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20400
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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I was hired for my job in August as a part time employee for

Customer Question

I was hired for my job in August as a part time employee for a non profit organization. There was a verbal agreement between my supervisor and I that I would work Friday, Saturday and Sunday's until until find childcare for my newborn. After working agreed shifts for three weeks my supervisor came to me and said he was drowning in all the work and needed me there more. I agreed that I could work m-f evenings but as my husband is active duty military there would be times where I may be later than normal or if he has to stay late due to his duty there would be times I would not make it in. We had a verbal agreement that this would all be fine. My boss informed me today my position would become a full time position as of November 1st. I did not apply or accept this position as it was listed as part time. I currently cannot work full time as I have an infant and no access to childcare and my husband is not available as he is in the military and his schedule is not always consistent. They gave me an ultimatum of taking the full time position and gaining child care by tomorrow at 5:30PM or my part time position will no longer be available. Would this be considered me quitting if I am not able to transition to full time (which I am sure that I will not be able to gain child care as we live in a rural area and all facilities are full). They are telling me if I don't take the full time spot I am quitting but I am not quitting I am being forced out of my position. Had I have known they were looking for a full time employee I wouldn't have taken the position it was listed as part time when I applied.
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 12 months ago.


Thank you for the information. Can you tell me for what purposes the issue of whether you are "quitting" or being terminated is being asked? In other words, are you concerned about your future job searches or unemployment benefits or what? Also, I need to know what State you work in.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I am concerned about future jobs and also if I will be eligible for unemployment? If a organization changes a job from part time to full time and I cannot fufill that change of job as I took it with the understand it was part time how can they consider it me "quitting". I'm fulfilling my responsibilities as a part time worker and I don't want to quit. I feel as if I am being forced in to leaving. I work in Washington state.
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 12 months ago.

Hello again and thank you for your reply. In terms of future job applications, this really doesn't have to be an issue. What I mean by that, is that you simply tell your prospective employer what the facts were in your leaving your prior job, e.g. the job changed from a part time to a full time and I could only work part time at that moment, so we parted ways. Your old employer isn't going to give a prospective employer a lot of facts because they don't want to be exposed to a potential defamation of character suit. They would just confirm that you worked there and what you did.

The bigger issue is unemployment. That is a very fact specific and more complex determination. Generally speaking, an employer has the right to change the terms and conditions of employment and the employee, if they are "at will", which you would have been since you had no written term contract, must agree to those changes. If they refuse to work under the new conditions (assuming they are legal), then the State would generally consider that a "quit." In other words, it would be the same as an employee not showing up to work when scheduled, even if they don't agree with the new scheduling.

That said, the State will look further into the situation. If the change in conditions were so extreme that a reasonable person would have had no choice but to refuse/quit, then the State would approve UI benefits. Sometimes, when there is a legitimate child care issue and the claimant (you) can prove that you had no other options for child care, that will be the issue that the State will agree makes your "quit" for "good cause" attributable to the employer. Otherwise, the other facts that you have provided would not be considered good reason to refuse the change in your conditions of employment and therefore considered a quit without good cause.

Even if this was a termination under State law, they would still deny your UI benefits unless they found the child care issue compelling since you refused to work the hours given to you. So, the only difference the quit versus termination makes for UI is who carries the burden of proof at an appeal hearing. You would with a quit and the employer would with a termination.

Please feel free to ask follow up questions if you have them. If none, if you could take a moment to leave a positive rating in the ratings box above, I will receive credit for assisting you today. Thank you

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 11 months ago.

Hello again,

I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any follow up questions for me from the answer I provided to you on the 25th. For some reason, the Experts are not always getting replies, or ratings (at the top of the question/answer page you are viewing or in the pop up box for this question), which is how we get credit(paid by the Site) for our work, that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I received neither.

Please keep in mind that I cannot control the law or your circumstances, and am ethically bound to provide you with accurate information based on the facts you give me even if the news is not good. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator.Please note that Site use works best while using a computer and using either Google Chrome or Firefox.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue,if needed. You can bookmark my page at:

Thank you.