If I quit, will I be able to collect unemployment?

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If I quit, will I be able to collect unemployment?

They never paid overtime, always give us our checks late (sometimes as late as 8 days)and I am not being given the necessary information or responses to complete my job function. If I quit, will I be able to collect UI or do I have to first file a complaint with the labor board?

Asked on February 16, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you quit, you will not be able to collect unemployment insurance, since you will have voluntarily left your job. When a company violates labor or anti-discrimination law in some way, you are generally expected to remain working there (at least unless/until fired) while bringing some action or complaint.

In terms of the specific issues:

1) A company does not have to give you the information or responses you need--it's bad business and bad management to do this, but the law does not require companies to be well run.

2) You do have to be paid overtime, if you are not exempt from overtime (all hourly and many non-managerial salaried employees are not exempt; go to the Department of Labor website to see the exact criteria for who is exempt) whenever you work more than 40 hours in a work week. Failure to do so is violation of the labor laws (e.g. the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA), and you could either contact your state department of labor to bring a complaint and/or consult with your own attorney about suing.

3) Paying late is also a violation--at a minimum, of the implicit agreement between you and your employer, as to the terms and conditions under which you work; possibly also of your state's laws. If you ultimately get paid (e.g. just a few days late), it would be difficult to sue for this--you would not have suffered enough injuries or damages to justify a lawsuit. But if you end up suing over 2), above, discuss with your attorney whether you should add a claim for any late payments, too.


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