Don’t Believe Your Boss and HR When They Tell You This

by Evil HR Lady on March 29, 2019

“You will not be eligible for unemployment because you are quitting,” said John’s boss and HR manager.

That makes sense, right? But there was a lot more to the story. John’s company wanted to transfer him across the country–from Indiana to Arizona. He turned down the transfer, and so they said he had to resign and wouldn’t be eligible for unemployment or severance–because they had offered him a perfectly good job.

Fortunately, John thought that was a bit suspicious and he sent me an email.

While it’s generally true that if you quit your job, you’re not eligible for unemployment, it’s not always true. While each state has their own regulations around unemployment eligibility, as a general rule, if the business is moving and it would be a hardship for you to work at the new location, you’ll be eligible for unemployment. Moving across the country would be considered a hardship. Moving down the block would not.

Armed with this information, John went back, and here’s what happened. He writes:

To keep reading, click here: Don’t Believe Your Boss and HR When They Tell You This

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Dara March 29, 2019 at 2:48 pm

Wow, Bad HR really is everywhere. It is unfortunate as it gives us all a bad name. I supposed that is the case in every career. Sigh.

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parker davis March 29, 2019 at 4:06 pm

Again, very very bad and incorrect information. You should stick to things you know, like what the Swiss eat for breakfast. You don’t live or work in the U.S.A., so please stop commenting about legal issues in our country.
While in a very very vague sense you may have some gems of correctness, but you are leading people in the wrong direction. Every state has different regulations for unemployment compensation. You may or may not be eligible for unemployment if you refuse a job move. Depends on state. Additionally, the writer seems to believe (and you let him believe) that collecting or not collecting unemployment has some relationship to severance. In many states severance is NOT a disqualification for receiving unemployment and you may collect both. Please, PLEASE, stop commenting about human resources and laws in a country you know nothing about.

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BethRA March 29, 2019 at 4:37 pm

What is wrong with you?

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Goober March 29, 2019 at 4:46 pm

He needs a hug. Badly.

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Evil HR Lady March 29, 2019 at 4:47 pm

Parker, I would ask that you actually read the whole article you wrote and you will see that I address every one of your concerns.

You really flunked reading comprehension on this go round.

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Holly April 9, 2019 at 11:27 pm

Hahahahaha!!!

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m March 29, 2019 at 6:56 pm

Dude, you have issues.

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BethRA March 29, 2019 at 4:40 pm

Wonder if having been caught lying had anything to do with their willingness to offer severance? Hmm…

Great advice all around, good thing John didn’t take their word for it (and, reached out to someone who knew what they were talking about)

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Kathy March 29, 2019 at 4:44 pm

The reverse is true also. When we were “early retired” HR said that if we volunteered to leave we would get severance and unemployment. We’d been warned that if we didn’t volunteer we’d just be laid off with less severance the next day, so our exit seemed forced. But the state said that we had quit voluntarily so we were not eligible for unemployment. I watched a manager break down in tears upon learning this, not because he needed unemployment, but because he had promised it in good faith to subordinates who trusted him and did need it. He didn’t know the information he had been given was false.

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Horse Tense March 30, 2019 at 10:35 pm

I really hope everybody who had a hand in that deception gets theirs soon. Sad story, and how often does this happen and the manager is set up to take the blame? Or fears for themselves and become complicit? I honestly don’t know how people can behave this way and call it part of their job, or say it is just business.

Always seems like it’s the places that expect blind loyalty too.

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Renee March 29, 2019 at 5:45 pm

It’s possible HR was lying. It’s also possible they truly don’t know any better. I come across a surprising number of HR folks who believe all sorts of things that aren’t true. “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” 😉

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Becky Mcintyre March 29, 2019 at 5:46 pm

In California, you can get unemployment if you relocate because your spouse relocates for a job. You can get unemployment even if you are fired, unless it’s for gross misconduct. Ridiculous, but California is “the pushover state” where everyone is a victim.

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Jessica (tc) April 2, 2019 at 3:57 am

I’m not sure about other states, but Minnesota has the same procedure in place for spouse relocation. A friend of mine relocated out of state due to her spouse’s job, and she was eligible for unemployment per the MUI policies: http://www.uimn.org/applicants/needtoknow/job-separations/index.jsp

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Mr Cynical March 29, 2019 at 9:42 pm

Abbreviated summary: “Don’t Believe Your Boss and HR”.

Bad bosses, bad HR? Pretty common. That’s why I rarely stick around long after my hiring manager moves on.

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MariaRose March 30, 2019 at 1:47 am

This article emphasizes the fact that one needs to know the labor laws in place in the geographic state you are in because of HR in a collision with the corporation heads will try by using specific wording to get employees to agree to sign a document giving away their rights. I had it tried on me several times but the company I worked for, trying to get me to fill a position to their benefit and not mine. The first time was when the two different companies decided to merge, I had to choose which one to stay with. I choose the one that kept me close to home. Later I found out, they had no intentions of keeping my seniority at the old place and I would have lost 20 years of pension if I had stayed. The second time, they tried to transfer me to a place 40 miles from home which would have taken me 3 hours travel by public transportation each way, They thought by threatening me to take the transfer, I would quit but I just refused to transfer and they closed that location 6 months later. You need to know your employee rights.

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SunnyDay April 2, 2019 at 6:52 pm

I was at a job where a professional department was laid off and they were offered “comparable” jobs working a night shift in a call center for a fraction of the pay. They were fed the same story-> take the new jobs or you will be voluntarily quitting and won’t get unemployment.
I really hope the employees found out that it was a BS line from an uninformed HR.

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