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Can I collect Unemployment if I quit My Job in California because I didn't get a raise that was promised?

by Jamie Huberman
(San Diego, CA)

I was working in a cancer center in San Diego, CA for about two years. I quit because I ended up hating the job. My boss had promised me a raise for months and promised I would be published in a scientific journal. Neither happened, so I quit and moved to Oregon. I cannot find any work in Oregon and am looking to see if it's possible to collect unemployment benefits from California. I do not have a contract that was signed by myself or my boss with these arrangements, however, I do have an email written by my boss stating that the raise was promised but he could not afford it at that time and promised me in November I would be able to receive it, however, I never did... I quit in January 2009. Thank you for your help!!



Hi Jamie,

You may be able to collect if you stick to reasons that can be considered by the state.

An email promising a raise in November that did not materialize would be your strongest argument to show good cause existed.

Since you did not have a contract which promised your work would be published I don't think it would carry much weight except as additional information to show he didn't follow through with promises...verbal and or written.

Just because a person hates their job is not sufficient in and of itself. Many people "hate their jobs and continue for years in the job just because they need to make a living. As sad as this is, it is not good cause unless the hatred can be backed up with information that the employer (supervisor, manager, working conditions, etc.) are the root of the problem.

Employers appeal all kinds of unemployment claims, right, wrong or indifferent. They do this because they are playing the odds...so to speak. There are a lot of unwritten, variables that can effect the outcome of initial determinations and hearing decisions. One of the biggest variables is bias.

For example, even though I worked to help employers win unemployment hearings...I'm biased toward claimants, but I recognized that about myself and endeavored to maintain objectivity. I'm certain it's true for state employees also, but we are human and we do make errors in judgment.

If you're wondering why my response is wandering off in a somewhat philosophical direction, it's because when people ask if they can collect, they tend to want a yes or no answer and the truth is sometimes you just have to try and see how it works out.

I don't think I ever write anything on this website that doesn't stress the fact that it is an individual that needs to first make a determination for themselves. I suggest always that a person first check the statutes and then, if their state is kind enough to provide the information as to how they apply the statutes to make their own informed decision as to what they do next.

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