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My employer keeps giving me bad checks I have received 4 checks in the past 5 months that has bounced. The last check that bounced they replaced a week later and it bounced again They finally paid me in cash 2 weeks after my actual payday. I told them it was ruining my credit and causing problems financially and that I could only continue work if I could receive a check that I could cash the day of payday. The response was they would have to speak to the owner and let me know. I have all these conversations through text message in my phone. I had to quit to look for another job because I couldnt depend on them and the drive is 30 minutes away from my home and using gas to go to a job where I don’t get paid was too much. Can I get unemployment for this reason?

Asked on March 1, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Mississippi


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, unfortunately you cannot. Your employer was paying you, even if some checks bounced and you sometimes (if 4 checks out of 5 months and you are paid semimonthly or biweekly, that would be 4 out of 10 checks, or 40% of the time) were paid late. Therefore, you *were* still employed and still had a job. As a result, your decision to leave the employer--even if a logical or understandable one--is still considered your voluntary decision to leave employment. When an employee voluntarily leaves employment, even for perfectly understandable reasons (not paid enough; spending too much money or time on communting and travel; etc.), he or she is not eligible for unemployment benefits. Only if they were not paying you at all (so you were effectively not employed by them anyone) and not merely late would you have been able to get unemployment.

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