How do I quit and still get paid?
September 21, 2005 7:50 PM   Subscribe

What are the chances of me collecting unemployment based on unfair labor practices?

I work at a place that often makes me work 6, 7, 8, and sometimes 9, and 10 hour shifts with no break. Is this cause enough to quit and collect unemployment? I can get copies of all the time card reports that prove my case. Do I have to have extra proof that they 'made' me? Does a schedule that shows me as the only one working for the entire time period prove that? Do I have to give notice? If I do give notice can I still recieve unemployment. For the record, I live in Texas and I've held this job for two years. I'm an hourly paid assistant manager if that matters at all.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (7 answers total)
Very low. I don't know about Texas specifically but most states give heavy favor to the employer. Even if you could prove it, and the time card probably won't do it, it probably wouldn't matter.

But maybe Texas is different.
posted by 517 at 8:07 PM on September 21, 2005

Check out the Texas Workforce Commission site for info on qualifying for unemployment benefits. I just gave it a cursory glance but an example of a qualifying reason for separation from your job is, "You quit your job for a good work-related or medical reason. TWC may rule good cause if the work situation would cause a person who truly wants to keep the job to leave it. Examples of possible good cause are: unsafe working conditions; significant changes in hiring agreement; or not receiving payment for your work. You should also have tried to correct the problem before quitting."
posted by amro at 8:21 PM on September 21, 2005

Chances are low, per amro's link.
Also, it is not clear that what they are doing is even illegal, according to this Department of Labor page. Looks like Texas doesn't have a law on breaks (and managers are sometimes exempt from these rules anyway).
posted by cushie at 8:33 PM on September 21, 2005

Back up a minute -- have you discussed this with your supervisor/manager? And if you have, to no avail, then maybe it's just time to quit and move on.
posted by davidmsc at 8:55 PM on September 21, 2005

Good luck, but your employer can make your life hell in the ways they can get your claim turned down even if they were in the wrong.

You could get into a situation where unemployment is given out, but then you're forced to pay it back, and the inevitable bankruptcy that follows. Don't risk it.
posted by wackybrit at 11:08 PM on September 21, 2005

Texas is an employment-at-will state, meaning unless you have a written contract the employer can hire or fire you at will for any reason. Here's what happened to us in a similar situation in another employment-at-will state:

My husband was forced to work terribly long hours for a large retail firm, as an assistant manager. He quit over this issue and immediately filed for unemployment. He was allowed to collect unemployment, but his former employer tried to deny it to him on the grounds he left of his own accord.

To make a long story short, about four months later it ended up that the former employer won - BUT we weren't forced to pay all the money back. Instead (and we found out this is their usual procedure) the court decided my husband can't collect any unemployment for a future job loss for the length of time he collected it for the job loss in question. I think he collected something like 15 weeks, so if he ever files for unemployment again, they won't pay for the first 15 weeks. We never paid a single cent back.

I hope that's clear. Try to work it out with your employer first. If you do decide to quit after that effort fails, go to the unemployment office near you and ask what the appeal procedures is if your employer fights.
posted by lambchop1 at 11:40 PM on September 21, 2005

The state of Texas doesn't require that employers give their employees ANY breaks. The law only says that if you work more than 40 hours in one week, you must be paid overtime. Note that it's 40 hours in one week - the state doesn't care if you work 4 10-hour days, 5 8-hour days or whatever.
posted by Serena at 7:40 PM on September 22, 2005

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