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Laid Off Due to Departmental Budgetary Restrictions, Offered Lesser Position Virginia

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  • Laid Off Due to Departmental Budgetary Restrictions, Offered Lesser Position Virginia

    My question involves unemployment benefits for the state of: Virginia.

    I work in an IT Department. Today, I was informed that due to budget cuts, my department was forced to reduce by one position. I was choosen because I have the least amount of experience and the least amount of certifications and degrees (compared to the other staff members). I have received glowing reviews (written and recorded) in each of my review years, and this action was not due to any wrongdoing on my part.

    I was then offered up to the other departments (processing files and paperwork) and everyone wanted me. They chose one of the most difficult, stressful, and understaffed departments in the company (this is a fairly large company) to place me. The reason for this, is because I was originally working in one of these departments (although the department they want to place me in, is slightly different than the one I was originally in prior to the IT Department) and was promoted into the IT Department approximately two years ago (because of my skillset and intangible qualities). I was never given a raise (other than a small standard of living increase that everyone received) but did not complain because I enjoyed working in the department (I was being paid the same hourly rate in the IT Department that I was in the other department while everyone else was receiving a much larger salary). I feel as though because I am a good, intelligent worker with a professional attitude and strong work ethic, I am essentially being punished (while being used as an inexpensive tool to benefit the company).

    I do not want to work in that department, or any department in the company except for the IT Department. However, I have bills to pay and cannot afford to live without income. I want to work, but I do not want to work under these conditions. I have until Thursday to give them my decision.

    Am I eligible for unemployment benefits (I really want to find a job - this is the worst situation possible other than being fired)? What are my options (if any)? What recourse should I take?

    If I need to provide any additional information, I will happily ablige. I am sorry if I revealed unimportant details, I am feeling emotional and still have not fully organized my thoughts. I appreciate any information, comments, questions or advice that can be offered and greatly thank you for taking the time to assist me in navigating this new (if awkward) experience. I hope everyone is having a beautiful day!

  • #2
    Your employer has offered you another job, rather than fire you. If you quit it is very unlikely you will qualify for UI. Your best bet is to take the job and start searching for a job you want in the meantime. At least you'll be paying the bills until then. Good luck!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by lolcat View Post
      Your employer has offered you another job, rather than fire you. If you quit it is very unlikely you will qualify for UI. Your best bet is to take the job and start searching for a job you want in the meantime. At least you'll be paying the bills until then. Good luck!
      May I pose this question to you? If I were ill equipped to work in the other departments (for instance, they laid off one of the other IT employees with no experience in those departments) and they were not offered the job, they would then qualify for UI (my assumption). Now, because I have the skills to work in the other department, I am "offered" a position. I am not being guaranteed employment in the other position, so what is to prevent this from occurring in the near future? They have conducted a large number of terminations in a very short period of time. This is a pattern, not an outlier.

      I am more concerned with the security and of health of the company as a whole, than I am about the demotion (although the demotion is very frustrating as well). I am being reduced, volumes of terminations are occurring. The wording that was provided to me (NONE of this has been delivered in writing) was that I can accept the position, or I will be terminated. That does not seem like I am voluntarily resigning.

      If my only option is to remain in the company and I am exempt from UI then I will certainly stay and take your advice. I am just curious if details can alter this discussion in anyway.

      I am not attempting to question you, or disagree, I merely endeavor to understand all of my possible options. I thank you for your response and any future replies.


      EDIT: Additionally, does the fact that my position is changing so drastically (I will be doing NOTHING that I did in the IT Department) alter the discussion at all?
      Last edited by Unified; 01-31-2012, 03:26 PM.

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      • #4
        You can always call your state's UI and ask them. From the information you stated here you've been offered another position with your company, and that's what UI will look at.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by lolcat View Post
          You can always call your state's UI and ask them. From the information you stated here you've been offered another position with your company, and that's what UI will look at.
          I believe what I am alluding to is constructive termination. I will continue conducting research regarding the matter and await any responses or replies. Thanks, I appreciate your time.

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          • #6
            This is what you have to prove for a constructive discharge.

            http://www.dol.gov/elaws/eta/warn/gl...tive_Discharge

            In general, the term "constructive discharge" is when a worker’s resignation or retirement may be found not to be voluntary because the employer has created a hostile or intolerable work environment or has applied other forms of pressure or coercion which forced the employee to quit or resign. This often arises when an employer makes significant and severe changes in the terms and conditions of a worker's employment. What constitutes a constructive discharge is usually defined in state law and varies from state to state.
            Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

            Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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            • #7
              Unemployment pays a lot less than what you are making now and has no benefits. Can you financially afford to be on unemployment? Another consideration is that there is no guarantee that you will get a new job before unemployment runs out.

              Many companies prefer to hire someone currently working over someone unemployed. Perhaps your best choice would be to accept the other position while looking for a new job.

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              • #8
                If you decline this offered position, I would be shocked of you actually received UI. The state would much rather you work than collect UI. They do not care if you love your job or not. It is not constructive discharge or anything even close to return you to similar work you used to perform after demoting you as the most junior member of a department that needs to reduce size.

                If you are let go from this new/old job, and not offfered anything else, then you have a shot at UI. Turn down this job because you prefer IT or don't like the new department and you simply won't qualify for UI. You are not going to qualify based on the fear that you might possibly be let go from this new position at some time in the future. That is true of virtually any job.
                I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ElleMD View Post
                  If you decline this offered position, I would be shocked of you actually received UI. The state would much rather you work than collect UI. They do not care if you love your job or not. It is not constructive discharge or anything even close to return you to similar work you used to perform after demoting you as the most junior member of a department that needs to reduce size.

                  If you are let go from this new/old job, and not offfered anything else, then you have a shot at UI. Turn down this job because you prefer IT or don't like the new department and you simply won't qualify for UI. You are not going to qualify based on the fear that you might possibly be let go from this new position at some time in the future. That is true of virtually any job.
                  We just had a claim lost where the employee, due to a reorg was demoted from a manager to an asst manager. He declined the position and won unemployment. This was in PA. He was with a short time so we didn't appeal the decision but I was surprised.

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                  • #10
                    I think we can all agree, however, that we cannot guarantee that the state will grant UI if the poster turns down the job.
                    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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                    • #11
                      I wholeheartedly agree with that. After working over 10 years with unemployment I have learned to never think you know how a claim will turn out.

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                      • #12
                        I do believe, from what I have read, that many states are being more "conservative" (not granting as many UI requests) then previously due the economy & so many people applying for UI.

                        However, of course, you never know how any individual case will go.
                        Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                        Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Also, even if the OP hates the new job, it is always easier to find the next job with a new employer if you are still working. Stupid "rule", but one that most employers follow for some reason. People who currently hold jobs, any jobs, are more attractive candidates then people who are unemployed.

                          Agreed that quitting always reduces the chances of getting UI.

                          Agreed that "constructive discharge" may be a slim possibility, but based on what is said, not very likely.
                          "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                          Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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