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Old 04-20-2012, 02:16 PM
1 posts, read 2,795 times
Reputation: 10


In mid Feb 2012, my company downsized by 60% of their total headcount across all Depts. As a result, I was told that I will be taking on 3 more new roles from different depts, of which I am not qualified to do. At that time, I was 20 weeks pregnant complicated with a high risk pregnancy, already had a bad case of shingles due to stress, etc.

At the end of our discussion, we mutually agreed that I am no longer able to hold the position that it's morphed into so I left the company.

When I called and talked to the rep at NY DOL, he advised me to file for unemployment and check off both "lack of work/reduction in force" and "quitting" when filing for UI and wait for the determination from DOL.

But when I went on line to file the claim, I guess the system would only allow 1 selection, not both. At the end, only "lack of work" remains as the reason for my loss of employment.

I was contacted by DOL and have filled out a questionaire that explained the whole situation and they continue to pay for my benefits.

However, I just received a letter of Redetermination stating that I am disqualified for collecting benefits because I quited without good cause and they accused me of willfully misrepresenting my statement.

1. Why isn't there an option for "mutual" agreement of termination of employment? I was a controller and was already working as the CFO and Controller as the old CFO has left the company a few months back and they decided not to hire a replacement. Then they wanted me to take on the roles as the HR Manager, the IT Manager/Coordinator and the Legal Counsel/Coordinator. Wouldn't that change the nature of my original employment agreement? I would have no resources/training for these new roles. It seemed unfair to me that the company can just keep piling on additional responsibilities without any consequences and that's how they can push the employee to quit their job.

2. I have been working for over 20 years of my life and have never filed an unemployment claim so all this is new to me. Can DOL really accuse me of willfully misrepresented my statement when there's no appropriate options for me to check off or space/place for me to accurately explain the circumstance of my departure on their website? And even after I spoke with with a representative at DOL and followed his advice?

Needless to say, I feel traped and helpless and was being wronged. DOL advised that my only option is to file for a hearing. But before I do so, I would like to know if I have a case against the ruling and my ex-employer first. As I would rather concentrate on finding my new job (which is really challenging for a 28 week pregnant woman) if I don't have much chance of winning.

Any advice you can provide would be great!
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Old 04-20-2012, 05:53 PM
1,232 posts, read 1,360,028 times
Reputation: 2152
There is no such thing as mutual departure. Under the unemployment system, you either were let go due to a lack of work, you were canned, or you quit. The bureaucracy needs to stick you in one of those boxes. Leaving a job because the boss was giving you extra work to do won't cut it. Also, not being able to work due to pregnancy/sickness won't cut it either. That is what disability and the various leave acts are for. In the future, whenever you depart a job for whatever reason, you should follow up with a written email as to your understanding. Here, we are in the realm of he-said vs she-said. You will say you were let go, they will say you quit, so it is anyone's guess at to what will happen.
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Old 04-21-2012, 06:07 AM
Location: Manhattan
20,134 posts, read 26,425,454 times
Reputation: 9029
There is no such thing as mutual departure.
You beat me with PRECISELY the wording.

I was once asked to resign during a cutback and a deep recession and I demanded the request for my resignation be put on paper precisely so that I would be hassled at the Unemployment Office (you had to go in person back then.)

DOL advised that my only option is to file for a hearing. But before I do so, I would like to know if I have a case against the ruling and my ex-employer first.
Yes you have a case, but perhaps not a very good one given the impending birth. You have nothing to lose at a hearing, the administrative judges tend to bend a bit towards the claimant. But the burden of proof is going to be on you because the big belly iis going to tell the story that you wanted to stay home and have the baby safely but you wanted to do it while collecting Unemployment checks. You will have to counteract that impression. All you can do is try.

An alternative approach would have been to all of a sudden "get bad" at the job, to "forget" important things, get a snarky attitude, get all "hormoney" file your nails at your desk (that always works.)
In other words get fired but NOT for clear cause.

I'll give you a 25% chance at the hearing...not good, but better than none at all.

A big item might be WHO FIRST APPROACHED WHOM on the subject of your leaving. (Don't even TRY "mutual.")
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Old 04-21-2012, 06:29 AM
Location: Bergen County, NJ
1,603 posts, read 3,520,385 times
Reputation: 1837
File for a hearing !! You have a good chance at winning at the end.
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