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How to Quit Your Job With Good Cause

I know I'm not the only employee to of ever quit a job for a reason that was statutorily good enough to collect unemployment .. so there's one unemployment benefit myth busted .. that's it's impossible  

However, I may be one of a relatively small minority, to of sustained a burden to prove I quit with good cause after an employer appealed the determination initially allowing the collection of benefits .. and once again after the subsequent dismissal of the employer's board appeal, to keep collecting until a benefit balance is exhausted, or finding another job .. whichever comes first.

I'm not bragging, I'm just making a point to explain why the moving party should comprehend that a burden looks backwards in time to what existed then to prove what was happening provided at least some good cause even in hindsight.

Meeting the burden to of had good cause to quit your job, is something best done before you quit with it, rather than trying to scrounge around and desperately look for it after you apply for benefits and claim the reason you quit is something you can also PROVE was attributable to the work itself, or the employer.

In other words, to voluntarily quit, you may actually have a good reason to of left your job voluntarily, but the unemployment laws and therefore the state agency administer the law want more than just you sad story, but PROOF (another word for evidence) that shows a neutral, fair and impartial third party called a tribunal hearing officer, or administratively law judge, can understand why and how the fault for quitting a job really wasn't yours.  

The first thing you might think about assessing, is whether you can reduce multiple reasons you quit down to a minimum of one, or two that work better for focusing on legitimate causes that work within the confines of state unemployment laws.

Head spinning yet .. or are you thinking what should I have done to quit WITH good cause?

Well, I have suggestions for those who want to find answers about how to connect good cause for quitting to what relevant in unemployment laws..

I do know one thing for sure, the burden to quit with good cause is a bigger burden than most employees imagine it is when they opt not to make any efforts that show they did try to preserve their job first, at least when they tell me they didn't try anything because they already know their efforts would be futile .. but can't prove that to be the primary fact needed..

The burden of proof is the difference between telling a story a story expecting they will assume it's true and proving it to the standard of unemployment law requiring it to also be the more credible truth of two different versions of the same story  One told by you, the employee with the burden and the other by your former employer's direct witness .. probably your old boss.

If you quit in lieu of being fired, you're on the wrong page .. at least if you didn't help to cover up your good cause you were actually fired with a placating resignation letter that avoids a factual .. and documented account of why you're resigning in LIEU of being discharged.

Common Reasons People Quit Jobs as it Relates to Unemployment Insurance Laws

DOLETA's Nonmonetary Eligibility Charts are an excellent free resource anyone can research to their hearts content.   Please note:  An answer about good cause can change because UI laws do vary state by state .. and states can also change it's own laws year to year.

The footnotes and the key, beneath each chart are important, as they often provide details about how the law, regulation, or precedent interpretation ends up working in a state.

Example of why people get confused?  

Quitting a job in California to follow a spouse who accepted work in Florida may be with good cause for a personal reason of quitting to preserve family unity.   And furthermore, the state of California, just like Pennsylvania doesn't need those special provisions that make exceptions for good personal cause because unemployment laws in those states (among a few others found in the chart above) do not require attribution of fault to the employer itself, or the work.  

But, if your spouse were to ever have to leave Florida for a new job, then they had better be a military spouse by the time they move back to California to work .. for any hope you might be able to collect Florida unemployment benefits.

This is DOLETA's  explanation of good cause.

Good Cause for Voluntarily Leaving—In all states, individuals who leave their work voluntarily must have good cause if they are not to be disqualified.

In many states, good cause is explicitly restricted to good cause connected with the work, attributable to the employer, or involving fault on the part of the employer. However, in a state where good cause is not explicitly linked to the work, the state may interpret its law to include good personal cause or it may limit it to good cause related to work. Since a state law limiting good cause to the work is more restrictive, it may contain specific exceptions that are not necessary in states recognizing good personal cause. (For example, an explicit provision not disqualifying an individual who quits to accompany a spouse to a new job might not be necessary in a state that recognizes good personal cause; it would be necessary in a state restricting good cause to that related to the work.) 

What  this explanation doesn't explain is .. how you are expected to prove the truth of your efforts to preserve by documenting your actions .. and  possibly having to counter document actions taken by an employer to avoid being perceived as the party at fault.

But again, this refusal of employees to do anything constructive to help themselves later after filing a claim shows up in the questions about the possibility of proving good cause to collect unemployment

I'm not currently answering new free question about quitting a job, but I do offer free referrals to professional hearing reps who might just know how to argue a whole lot better than you at a tribunal unemployment hearing when they cross examine the employer's direct witness to admit some awareness of any efforts you did make to preserve your job.

Please contact me  if you want to be referred to professional services of an unemployment, or employment specialist.

Q&As About Good Cause to Quit


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