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My employer is trying to make me quit instead of laying me off. What can I do about this?

San Francisco, CA |

I have been with my company for 1.5 years. I feel like they have been trying to make me quit for the last year to not pay unemployment. I am the marketing & web Mgr. A year ago they decreased my pay from $35/hr to $20/hr. They started to give me duties like take out garbage, maintenence (change light bulbs, fix doors, paint). Today they cut me to 4 days/wk. They embarrass me in front of my colleagues saying Im the garbage Mgr. No disrespect to janitors, but I was hired to do marketing & design their website. This is far from my job description. Now they started to load requests on me to a point that it is impossible to complete. I have been trying to find new employment without any success, & now with working 4 days I make less then if I were to collect unemployment. What can I do?

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Attorney answers 2


Let me answer this based on what I see as reality.

Absent a contract, all employment is employment at will. That means you can be fired at any time for any reason. At $35 per hour they could afford a lot of unemployment. Insead they reduced your pay and assigned your different duties.

A truly hostile work environment is actionable, but just because your employment no longer meets your expectations does not mean you have one. It would be helpful to have a lot more facts here. A lot more. Perhaps they are just trying to save everyone's jobs.

From a reality perspective, here is the deal. California unemployment is above 10%. The fact that you cannot find new employment is indicative of that. Although this is not ideal, if you have benefits (healthcare) and are above water in this situation (making ends meet) I would suggest you ride it out.

Thats about all I can say based on what you have provided.


If they are treating you differently because you are in a "protected class" of people -- e.g., because of your race, sex, age, disability, etc., you may have a claim for discrimination in employment.

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