Tuesday, November 09, 2010

If you collect unemployment, can you be forced to consider sales?

People collecting unemployment generally must be actively looking for work to remain eligible. (In Minnesota back in 2003, I knew of a case of someone who was forced to return compensation for failing to look.)

If you worked exclusively in information technology (particularly mainframe), I’ve wondered whether you could be forced to consider jobs in other areas like sales. For example, if you worked for twelve years in IT in the life insurance industry, could you be compelled to consider becoming an insurance agent (paid by commission and training bonus only)? This could have a big effect on your other “plans”.

There was a rule that you could not turn down an offer that paid 85% or more of your previous job.

There’s another issue, too: non-compete clauses. Typically, people can’t go to work for competing companies in the same industry, sometimes even if they were laid off (although that might invite legal challenges as to enforcement).

But another question is temperament. Can techies sell? Do they want to? What if they see it as pure hucksterism?

(See "BillBoushka" blog today Nov. 9 for story on National Labor Relations Board and intervention in a Facebook-related firing.)

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