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Can I collect unemployment if my salary has been cut by 75%? Unemployment would be more?

Lockport, NY |

I've been employed 10 years in the same position. I work on commission/piece work only. Income varies every week but the yearly salary is about $32,000. A reduction in pay may be looking at $8,000. Could I collect unemployment if I quit my job? Would this be considered a "good" cause? Unemployment will give me some time to find a new job while I would be makiing a better income? If you made $32,000 per year are you required to take "any" job?

Right now my quarterly income is $8,000 Jan, Feb, Mar. I have 2 weeks vacation time left but unfortunately you are only paid minimum wage on that time. My weekly/biweekly pay exceeds minimum wage by double. My income is to be cut by next week.

If I know an end date, if allowed, when could I file for benefits?

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Attorney answers 2


You are not eligible for unemployment if you leave "without good cause". You have good cause if your employer makes a substantial change in the terms of your employment. If your boss is changing the percentage you earn on commissions, you would have good cause to quit and I believe you would be given unemployment benefits.


Adjustments down in pay can often provide valid grounds for an employee to leave their job and still collect unemployment benefits. Luckily, the Unemployment Website provides a listing of prior cases that you can compare yours to in order to determine if you are likely to qualify for benefits if you quit.

This answer does not constitute legal advice and you should contact an attorney to confirm or research further any statements made in this answer. Any statements of fact or law I have made in this answer pertain solely to New York State and should not be relied upon in any way in any other jurisdiction. Additionally, we also encourage you to reach out to us via Twitter (!/WhiteRoseGroup) or Facebook ( if you have follow up questions as we do not monitor questions after providing an initial answer.

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