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Written versus Verbal Agreements

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  • Written versus Verbal Agreements

    A year ago I had a written employment contract as a full-time employee. Two months ago I inquired about working part-time and my employer verbally said I could work 20 hours a week at the same hourly wage. Two weeks following that the CEO laid off everyone but me and then said I could only work if they called me in (i.e. she isn't giving me any hours). Is this fair? I didn't even think to get the 20 hours a week agreement in writing but I also have nothing in writing stating that the original contract ended. Any advice? Can I collect unemployment?

  • #2
    You can collect unemployment.

    But you have no other recourse. Why would you think that a verbal promise of 20 hours a week would trump a lay off that took out everyone else?
    Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

    I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

    Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

    Comment


    • #3
      The law does not require fair; the law requires legal. If everyone else got laid off and you were retained, even at part time, I'd be grateful I still have a job. Nothing in your post suggests anything illegal has transpired.You're free to look for other employment; in fact, if you are granted UI (and I don't see any reason why you shouldn't be) you may be required to.
      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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      • #4
        I don't believe she did anything illegal, and I did feel grateful for the offer of part-time. I am upset that I have now been told that I cannot work regular hours and can only work if I am called in (and in that case I don't believe I can collect unemployment because I was not officially laid off).

        Thanks for the advice.

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        • #5
          You do not have to be officially laid off to collect unemployment. If your hours are sufficiently cut, most states will allow you to collect whether you've been officially terminated or not.
          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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