is an employee eligible to receive unemployment benefits due to a change in their pay structure?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

is an employee eligible to receive unemployment benefits due to a change in their pay structure?

An hourly employee is changed to piece work but their job is not terminated and full-time work still exists doing the same job. Can they quit and claim unemployment benefits? My initial thought is that they would not since they are not being fired and their current job remains intact with a different method of pay. I understand that they could perhaps qualify for partial benefits if their pay was reduced by changing the method of pay, however wasn’t sure if just changing the pay structure was grounds for being eligible to quit job and receive benefits.

Asked on June 3, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Kentucky

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, changing pay structure in no way qualifies someone for unemployment: you can be switched among hourly, salaried, piece work, or commission (or some mix thereof) at will. IF there is a sufficiently large pay reduction as a result (typically one third or more; 25% *might* be enough), that reduction might qualify as "constructive termination" (be effectively fired by the job being made untenable to the average reasonable person) and so enable the work to quit and claim unemployment, but if the total pay remains similar to what it had been, he or she cannot.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption