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Old 04-11-2012, 05:05 PM   #1
EllenFrasier
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I want to get laid off - am I crazy?

Okay, even as I was typing that I know I was setting myself up for all the posters on here that jump on people and basically tell them their whole life is wrong, but I'm doing it anyway.

I have a job that I've had for 6 years. Right before Christmas, my boss was going to lay me off. She said she thought she could handle the business on her own and did not need any employees any longer. She had not paid her workman's comp insurance and had a huge fine and decided it was just easier not to have employees anymore. She wanted me to go on unemployment and continue to work for her under the table.

I told her I was not willing to do that and hoped that we could continue to have the same work schedule as before. It's not perfect, but at the time I really did not know what I wanted to do and still do not have another job lined up.

So now she is taking most of the assignments herself and leaving me with a skeleton schedule of hardly any work. So my paycheck is considerably lower. Can I collect unemployment if I stop working for her because the amount of work was decreased because she is doing it all? Or do I have to get laid off?

The aggravation of the job and putting up with her are not worth it for the little paycheck that I am bringing in. I could collect unemployment and stay home while I search for another job or figure out what I want to be when I grow up. At almost 50 years old, I better hurry up!
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Old 04-11-2012, 05:10 PM   #2
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This is the way I understand it...If you are only working part time now, you could file for unemployment..you would get a partial amount. But, you can not quit your current job and you need to be looking for a different full time job in the meantime.
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Old 04-11-2012, 05:13 PM   #3
NYCDiane
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I don't blame you at all. You should make sure of how your state's u/e benefits work. Also, don't leave or quit. She has to fire you. If you leave, she can fight your u/e and you won't get anything. If she fires you, have her put something in writing that she's letting you go due to a lack of work (just tell her you need it for a job reference to show you weren't fired for cause or something --- you DON'T need this letter for u/e unless she fights it)

Anyway, here's how u/e works in NYS: they look at your last years' salary in quarters (Jan, Feb, Mar) (April, May June), etc. They take the highest quarter and divide that by 40 and that's how they come up with your weekly benefit. See how your state does it so you'll know what you'll be getting. It's nowhere near what you were making AND they take out federal tax AND you don't get it immediately -- I think benefits kick in the 3rd full week after you stop working.

Anyway, good luck to you!
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:54 PM   #4
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I would probably just start the new job search. As NYCdiane mentioned that if you leave under bad blood or simply quit you risk the chance of you claim being denied.
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:03 PM   #5
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I remember your posts from before. She (your boss) sounded like a wack-a-doodle. I thought you were going to look for a new job.

You should talk to your state unemployment office. You maybe able to collect unemployment now. If you are then you continue to work the hours she has and get unempoyment for the rest. Most likely if you file one of two things will happen. She will lay you off or reinstate your full hours. I would guess either is better than the half schedule.

When my company was having problems years ago I volunteered to be laied off first. They ended up not laying off anyone at that time, but 8 months later laid off all 330 employees and moving to NC. I am now a stay at home mom, so it worked out for me. I will tell you I know a couple people who are still looking for work and it has been nearly 2 years. I'd ramp up the job search now if I were you.
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:59 PM   #6
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I know here in VA you can get benefits if your full time employer cuts your hours. My DH was on unemployment, then was hired as a full time employee only for them to cut his hours for lack of work. We had no choice, but to get the little bit of partial unemployment that is offered until he found a new job.

I would definitely start searching for a new job (it can take longer than you imagine) & look up info on your states unemployment website. I know here they only paid a fraction of what he used to make with full unemployment.
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:12 AM   #7
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Sounds like she is trying to push you out and get you to quit.
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Old 04-12-2012, 12:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EllenFrasier View Post
Okay, even as I was typing that I know I was setting myself up for all the posters on here that jump on people and basically tell them their whole life is wrong, but I'm doing it anyway.

I have a job that I've had for 6 years. Right before Christmas, my boss was going to lay me off. She said she thought she could handle the business on her own and did not need any employees any longer. She had not paid her workman's comp insurance and had a huge fine and decided it was just easier not to have employees anymore. She wanted me to go on unemployment and continue to work for her under the table.

I told her I was not willing to do that and hoped that we could continue to have the same work schedule as before. It's not perfect, but at the time I really did not know what I wanted to do and still do not have another job lined up.

So now she is taking most of the assignments herself and leaving me with a skeleton schedule of hardly any work. So my paycheck is considerably lower. Can I collect unemployment if I stop working for her because the amount of work was decreased because she is doing it all? Or do I have to get laid off?

The aggravation of the job and putting up with her are not worth it for the little paycheck that I am bringing in. I could collect unemployment and stay home while I search for another job or figure out what I want to be when I grow up. At almost 50 years old, I better hurry up!
Did you post about this when this first happened? I seem to remember this story. If so, I'm so sorry that it wasn't resolved. I'd hoped that your boss would have done the right thing. No advice for you just
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Old 04-12-2012, 01:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suz D View Post
Did you post about this when this first happened? I seem to remember this story. If so, I'm so sorry that it wasn't resolved. I'd hoped that your boss would have done the right thing. No advice for you just
Yes, I did post about this before, but mostly about the working under the table part. Of course, just like I do to others, it is easy to say "find another job"....well, it's not that easy. Not only because of the job market, but I have no idea what I want to do! I think I might have made a mistake by not getting laid off back before Christmas but I was kind of taken off guard and not ready for it. Now I am mentally prepared for being laid off and it's not happening. Blah.
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Old 04-12-2012, 01:42 PM   #10
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Have you thought about asking your current employer if she would revisit the idea of laying you off. She may still be receptive to the idea since there isn't all that much for you to do, but keeping you on because you nixed the idea a few months ago.

Like some PP have suggested, call your state's UE office. You might be able to collect partial UE while you continue to work part-time. Understand however, that the amount you collect will not make up the entire difference between what you were making and what you are making now.

As for quitting, it depends. Sometimes you can quit and still collect UE, but there has to be a really good reason why you quit.

BTW, no you are not crazy for wanting to quit your job. I think there are quite a few of us who would be very happy if they didn't have to work.
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Old 04-12-2012, 01:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EllenFrasier View Post
Yes, I did post about this before, but mostly about the working under the table part. Of course, just like I do to others, it is easy to say "find another job"....well, it's not that easy. Not only because of the job market, but I have no idea what I want to do! I think I might have made a mistake by not getting laid off back before Christmas but I was kind of taken off guard and not ready for it. Now I am mentally prepared for being laid off and it's not happening. Blah.
Please don't take this as being mean, I just want to present some constructive criticism

Ok, you say you don't know what you want to do. How is being unemployed going to help you figure this out? Do you think you will have some sort of epiphany? Seriously?
Basically you want to stay home and get a check? I'm just not understanding what getting laid off has to do with figuring out what direction you want to go in. What are you doing now to help you figure this out?
Going back to school? checking out career counseling?

Next, as people have mentioned your employee could very well fight any unemployment benefits and then what? You're laid off, no money coming in and still don't know what you want to do? not a good risk I'd be wanting to take.

So if I were you, I'd stop focusing on trying to get laid off. I'd start researching what might be a good occupation for me, how I realistically get that job and start saving every dime just in case the job I do have now doesn't pan out and unemployment doesn't work out. check out the job listings, does any thing catch your eye as possibly being interesting? what are your strengths? All these things you can do while being gainfully employeed.
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnM View Post
Sounds like she is trying to push you out and get you to quit.
This is what she is trying to get you to do. She is not going to lay you off unless she messes up again and doesn't pay worker's comp. insurance again and gets caught.

I notice you said you don't know what work you want to do. I would figure out what I wanted to do because it's obvious this job isn't going to be around forever.

Eliza61 has some great advice for you.
I hope everything works out.
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:43 AM   #13
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Crazy? No, but I don't think hoping to be laid off is exactly an honorable path either. You're trying to find an inroad to "working the system".

As I understand it, you have been treated badly by your employer. She's failed to live up to her responsibilities as a business owner, and now she's cutting your work/pay (I'm assuming you do some type of contract work and you're paid on what you accomplish rather than a set number of hours). I totally agree with the posters who say that she's cutting your hours in hopes that you'll either find another job or just quit out of frustration -- and, in that case, she doesn't need to pay your unemployment.

She sees you as a problem and hopes you'll just disappear. It's not a fair way to treat employees.
Actually, it seems that you, too, see her as a problem and are just hoping she'll disappear (though a lay off).

Has she done anything bad enough, anything documented, anything for which you could take her to court? If so, do it. She deserves it. On the other hand, if you know that she's wrong but have no hope of proving it -- and that's the more likely scenerio -- let it go and search for a better road for yourself. Yes, yes, easier said than done, but immensely better for your mental health. Life's not always fair.

Regardless, you should TODAY start looking for another job. Yes, yes, I know, easier said than done. But not impossible. Since you're not working all that many hours now, determine to use those un-utilized hours for job hunting. Even if it's part-time, it may be as much as you're earning now. You'll find something, and even if it's not ideal, remember that you're not happy now -- you're not likely to be in a worse situation even if you're forced to "downsize" your job. And if you don't like that job, you can keep looking. You sound like you're a bit depressed, have something of a defeatist attitude. I can see how you'd develop this, having been treated badly for some time at work -- after a while, it's easy to say, "This is all I can have" or even, "This is all I deserve" or "This is the only job that'll have me". So, hard as it is, you have to move past that mentally. You can do better for yourself!

Consider the reality of being laid off: You'll receive less money than you do now -- and you say that's not enough. It'll take away the aggravation of dealing with this boss on a daily basis, but it'll require you to search for work with different, aggravating people every week. It's not really a "win".

Another thought about her actions: If she'd laid you off back when your paycheck was big, she'd have paid unemployment for you on a big paycheck. She may still plan to lay you off, but she may purposefully be reducing your pay now so that she'll pay unemployment on a smaller paycheck.

The only way you could really improve your life by being laid off would be to use your time on unemployment to return to school and earn a degree that'd let you get a better job . . . but I don't have any indication that's in your thoughts.

I wish you luck, but I think you need to focus on shooting for a new, better job rather than hoping someone'll give you a check for leaving your job. This is all about YOU, not her. It's about you stepping out, looking for better opportunities, making a new chance for yourself.

I'll end with one strong warning: At some point she suggested to you that you work for her under the table. Do not do this. This is a person who's proven that employment laws mean little to her, so if she doesn't pay you, or if she's slow in paying you, or if she pays you less than agreed upon . . . you have absolutely no recourse. Courts wouldn't help you because you'd have entered into an illegal work agreement.

Last edited by MrsPete; 04-13-2012 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:38 AM   #14
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She asked the OP to work under the table - that's illegal, as far as I know.

OP, I'm not sure you'd have a cut-and-dry case if you quit and filed for unemployment. This really varies by state. My go to place for awesome workplace advice is AskaManager dot com. She takes email questions from readers and answers them each day. Really great information. Her site has an decent search function, so you may be able to find at least a general answer there.
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