YouM-Fll be denied unemployment pay if you turn down overtime work

Can They Do That?

Your Money

September 12, 2004|By CARRIE MASON-DRAFFEN

If I am fired for refusing to perform newly instituted mandatory overtime, will I be ineligible for unemployment? When I took the job, the company didnM-Ft tell me I would have to work mandatory overtime.

You could be fired even if you worked the overtime. In an employment- at-will state (which is just about every state), you can be fired at any time for any reason except discrimination on the basis of race, gender, etc., unless youM-Fre covered by a contract.

You wouldnM-Ft qualify for unemployment under your scenario. Unemployment insurance is a government program that provides a financial safety net for people who lose a job through no fault of their own. Your problem is too much work. You canM-Ft walk away and then blame the company for your income loss.

Talk to your supervisor to see if you canM-Ft work something out. Maybe you can cut a deal to work late one night and start late the next day.

Failing that, consider your job a bridge to finding one that better suits your timeline. However, be warned that overtime is a way of life in todayM-Fs workplace.

A lot of hiring that economists expected to materialize during the recovery hasnM-Ft. So with lots of work still needing to get done, companies are requiring workers to put in more hours.

Carrie Mason-Draffen is a columnist for Newsday, a Tribune Publishing newspaper. Email her at yourmoney@tribune. com.

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