If I was promised a .25 cent raise and guaranteed hours to quit my second job but don’t receive this when I quit, can I get unemployment?

UPDATED: Feb 26, 2012

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If I was promised a .25 cent raise and guaranteed hours to quit my second job but don’t receive this when I quit, can I get unemployment?

I have worked here for almost 2 years part-time. I was promised as many hours as I want a week and a quarter raise to quit my second job so I did but have not received any if this and its been over 2 months. Can I collect unemployment since I ask for 30 hours and receive less than 20?

Asked on February 26, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

No, you may not quit your job and receive unemployment; if  you quit, it will be a voluntary separation from employment, and voluntary separation from employment makes you ineligible for unemployment compensation.

However, you may have a legal claim for compensation, under the theory known as "promissory estoppel." If the employer promised you a raise and more hours to get you to quit your second job, and you did quit your job based on that promise, and it was reasonable for you to rely on that promise (i.e. there was no reason to think that the promise was not  a serious one), then that may be enough to make the promise enforceable. If it is enforceable, you might be entitled to compensation for the extra hours and the raise you did not get. (For  example, potentially you could seek an extra 10 hours/week pay for all the weeks you wanted 30 hours but only got 20.) From what you write, it would be worth your while to discuss this matter with an employment law attorney to explore whether you have a cause of action.

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