Do you get unemployment if you resign and they ask you to leave?
July 24, 2007 11:14 AM   Subscribe

If you give two weeks notice and your employer asks you to leave immediately, are you eligible for unemployment in Oregon?

Asking for a friend. She verbally gave 2 weeks notice and ended up leaving feeling like she'd been fired. She didn't sign anything but left with a check for all money owed to her.

She called the Oregon Employment Department and they told her to just file the claim and see what happens (?!), but she fears her former employer will contest her claim and doesn't want to deal with it unless she knows she'll win.

Any experience with this, or is there something in the law that specifically addresses this?
posted by peep to Work & Money (16 answers total)
posted by unixrat at 11:25 AM on July 24, 2007

Benefits are payable only if you are eligible. Common issues that require investigation and could result in you not receiving benefits include:

* Quitting your job;
* Being fired or suspended from work;

From here. The amount of goodwill left at the departure isn't taken into account; when she gave her notice, she quit. The employer might be liable to pay her for her notice period, but that doesn't come into UI eligibility.

The only way around it I could think of offhand is if she has solid evidence that she was being pushed out of the job before she gave notice, or "constructive dismissal". That's not just things being unpleasant; it's the employer actively trying to make someone leave. Constructive dismissal is very difficult to prove.
posted by mendel at 11:30 AM on July 24, 2007

If she was paid severance through her notice date (that is through the period she would have worked, had she been asked to), I doubt she's eligible for unemployment in the interim. Essentially, she's being paid salary for that period, with no expectation of attendance or work, which is a pretty common policy for employers who have reason to think employees who have given notice are security risks, or because they think that the lack of a prospect of ongoing employment makes employees working out notice periods less productive, and more likely to engage in gossip and other anti-productive behavior. Once her severance period is finished, she has essentially become a voluntary quit, and wouldn't be eligible for unemployment benefits.

If she was fired and paid only through her last day of work, she may be due unemployment benefits, and would be required to file for them. In most states, the employer has the right to contest her claim, and in some states, an employee who was fired may have a penalty period of several weeks during which they can not collect unemployment benefits, but after which, benefits are paid. Some employers prefer to pay unemployment benefits without contesting voluntary notice situations, if they believe the eligibility period will be limited. Thus, the advice given her to file and see what happens, as governed by the specifics of her case.

She'll collect nothing if she doesn't file, and would be due payments, so it's in her interest to file. Qualifying for unemployment benefits can also qualify her for reduced cost medical insurance, and other benefits, if her unemployment period lasts longer than she anticipates.
posted by paulsc at 11:37 AM on July 24, 2007

Oregon starts the clock at the time the claim is filed, not the termination date, so file immediately.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:39 PM on July 24, 2007

IANAL, but for what it is worth, it's my opinion that you are fired if you stated that you intended to terminate your employment on a given date, and were asked to leave before that date.

FindArticle pay article on the subject.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:46 PM on July 24, 2007

What's she complaining about? She got two weeks severance without having to work for them. I tried that with my last job but one. I went to their number 2 competitor, and I was hoping that they would walk me to the door. I had cleaned all my personal stuff from my cubicle, and was hoping not to get the half nelson on the way out. Unfortunately they wanted to make me finish my project, and I had to stay. I was bummed.
posted by vilcxjo_BLANKA at 2:50 PM on July 24, 2007

"Two weeks" is just a courtesy thing. Here's the guts of the conversation:

Her: I quit. I'm going to give you two weeks to find a replacement and train them to make this easier on you.
Them: No need. See ya.
Her: Boo hoo hoo.

She quit - it doesn't matter if it's there's two weeks or two minutes warning.
posted by unixrat at 2:51 PM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]

unixrat: Is it like that? or is it like,
Her: I intend for work here until X.
Them: Oh yeah, well GTFO. Now.

Seems to me it matters which way it went down. I'd guess her employment agreement or a written company policy should say in writing somewhere which way is the default at that company. She should see if there is such a thing at that company.

But the question wasn't about whether they owe her pay for the two weeks or not, it was about also getting unemployment. So, I just don't know. Go to the unemployment place. Worst that can happen is they say no.
posted by ctmf at 3:02 PM on July 24, 2007

I strongly urge peep & peep's friend to ignore unixrat, who does not seem to understand the question, the scenario, or written language in general. Peep: tell your friend to file the claim.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 3:43 PM on July 24, 2007

Response by poster: What's she complaining about? She got two weeks severance without having to work for them.

Really? That would be news to her. No she didn't. She is paid monthly and received the pay owed to her up to the date she gave notice, plus her accrued vacation time.

And unixrat, there was no crying. But thanks. I'll mark best answers after/if she files a claim, and update with the outcome.

On preview, it really sounds like this question is about me. Just in case anyone cares, it's not. I'm still happily employed.
posted by peep at 4:06 PM on July 24, 2007

why is everyone telling her to file?

she quit. you don't get unemployment when you quit. giving two weeks' notice is meant as a courtesy so your employer has some time to find your replacement before you leave. the employer didn't sound like s/he needed it, so asked her to leave on date of notice.
posted by violetk at 4:55 PM on July 24, 2007

just to clarify, when you quit, you need to be prepared to leave. if you need two weeks more pay, then you need to give notice two weeks later (with the courtesy two weeks' notice). is she upset that she didn't get that two extra weeks' worth of pay because she was expecting not to actually leave for another two weeks?
posted by violetk at 4:57 PM on July 24, 2007

You don't get unemployment when you quit a job.
posted by oneirodynia at 5:02 PM on July 24, 2007

Response by poster: Without going into extraordinary detail, she went in to give her two week notice feeling like she would be leaving on excellent terms. She was a model employee, has glowing reviews, etc., etc. As soon as she gave notice, it was like, "What? Fuck you, you can't quit, you're fired!" I mean in attitude, not actual words. If technically or legally this qualified as "fired without cause", she would be eligible.

I guess I was hoping someone would say this exact thing happened to them and "X" was the result, or that there was actually something written into the Oregon rules that would address this scenario. It appears not. Thanks for everyone who read and responded.

And to flatly say you never get unemployment when you quit a job is wrong. That I do know from personal experience.
posted by peep at 6:12 PM on July 24, 2007

Wow, I really was under the impression that if you quit you are not entitled to unemployment.
posted by misha at 7:20 PM on July 24, 2007

Anyone can apply for UI, the deciding factor is how the former employer responds to the letter sent to them from the state(at least here in Oregon). Some businesses choose to not contest the UI, especially if they were fired for reasons the business would prefer not to discuss.
posted by nenequesadilla at 9:10 PM on July 24, 2007

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