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Can I be forced to resign?? New Jersey

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  • Can I be forced to resign?? New Jersey

    I currently work for a hospital in NJ where I was hired for the day shift 4 years ago. I have changed my hours on at least 4 occasions in the past to accomodate department need. Just this week I was informed by my manager that she needs coverage until at least 7 or 8 pm, as our census has gone up. (we are a Mon-Fri department, and there is no one who comes in after to "relieve" me and I currently work 7am-5pm) Having 2 children (5 & 8) and a husband whose shift varies by nature of his job, I am unable to work this late sue to lack of child care availability at that hour. I'm thinking that worst case scenario, she will let me go and I can collect UI until I find something else. However, I have been told that if I refuse to work the shift it will be considered my resignation. Do I not have any rights as an employee?? Do you know what hours constitute a day shift? I am still able to fulfill my obligation to work the DAY SHIFT, which is what I was hired for --can an employer force you to change your hours with complete disregard for the employee? Say it isn't so!!

  • #2
    A "day shift" is whatever the employer says it is. This is not an issue addressed by law. Short of an enforceable employment contract or CBA prohibiting such a change to your hours, the employer can change the hours as business needs require. If you are fired for not being able/willing to work the revised hours, you may or may not be able to get UI. It's going to depend on whether the state sees this as a "major change in working conditions" and whether or not you tried to accommodate the change, such as arranging for back-up/alternative child care if necessary.
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    • #3
      I concur with Patty. The determination will be up the person handling your claim. I would suspect through my experience with the NJ DOL&WD that your claim would be denied, but you never know.

      I had sort of a similar situation a few years back when we had to add a second shift. 3 people refused and were terminated for no call / no show. All 3 applied, 2 were denied, 1 was approved. I have no idea what that one said to get the benefits though.

      Why don't you give them a call and ask, it's difficult to get a straight answer but it couldn't hurt trying.
      "Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate'' - Sir William of Ockham, a.k.a. Ockham's Razor


      • #4
        Would it matter that there are no child care centers in my area that are open past 6:30pm? It's not that I haven't looked for other arrangements, they just aren't available. Also, my facility is not union.


        • #5
          No one here can say for sure, maybe. I've seen Jersey make some strange decisions both ways. Unfortunately unless soemone there will tell you over the phone you won't know until you lose your job.
          "Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate'' - Sir William of Ockham, a.k.a. Ockham's Razor


          • #6
            In my experience, you probably have a good chance of getting UI in NJ. the system here is great for employees and very difficult for employers.

            The Appeals Examiners are generally very pro-employee, and you get almost unlimited appeals if you lose the first time. Since the appeals go on forever, many employers give up and stop fighting it (speaking from experience here).

            Plus, the examiners seem to have a very loose interpretation of constructive discharge, so if child care is virtually impossible for you, the examiner might decide you were forced to resign and award you the UI.

            Any chance that you might want to come to community mental health? (Just kidding cbg, I'm not advertising for nurses). But hey, if you're an RN and want to learn about a very low stress job with no on-call or OT, feel free to PM me.


            • #7
              There was a case in Md. where the claimant was required to abruptly change the shift that she worked for years and did not have a chance to change her child care arrangements. It was determined she had a valid circumstance for leaving & was awarded UI. Young v. Evergreen Health Group, 31-BR-88.
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