Can I Be Denied Unemployment If I Refuse a Demotion?

by Luke Arthur; Updated September 26, 2017

When your employer wants you to take a demotion to keep your job, it can be disheartening, but it may be your only viable option at the time. When this occurs, you may be tempted to quit or get fired by your company for refusing to take the demotion. As a result of this action, you could miss out on getting unemployment benefits.

Quitting Your Job

When you refuse to take a demotion, one of the options that you could pursue is quitting your job. When you choose this route, you will not be able to qualify for unemployment benefits. The unemployment system does not provide any benefits for individuals who voluntarily quit their job. The system will not take into consideration your reasons for quitting, regardless of how unjust you thought you were being treated. Because of this, you may want to avoid quitting voluntarily.

Being Fired

If you simply refuse to be demoted, your employer could fire you. At this point, you most likely will not be able to get unemployment benefits either. The unemployment system is designed for people who lost their job through no fault of their own. If you lose your job because you refused to be demoted, this would qualify as your own fault. Because of this, the unemployment system would most likely deny your claim for benefits.

Laid Off Later

If you take the demotion and you are laid off at a later point in time, you may be able to receive unemployment benefits. In many cases, companies will demote employees that they feel are not in the long-term plans. Because of this, the company may be planning on laying you off at some point in the future. When this happens, you can file for unemployment benefits and receive them as long as the employer did not cite specific reasons for firing you.

Other Qualifications

Once you lose your job, you will also have to meet some other qualifications before you can receive benefits from the unemployment system. For example, you will have to actively look for employment after you lose your job. You must make yourself available for work and you have to be physically able to work. You will need to apply for unemployment benefits and continually look for new job opportunities. Once you get on unemployment, you will have to continually check in with the unemployment office and provide information about your job search.

About the Author

Luke Arthur has been writing professionally since 2004 on a number of different subjects. In addition to writing informative articles, he published a book, "Modern Day Parables," in 2008. Arthur holds a Bachelor of Science in business from Missouri State University.