Making The Decision to Quit Your Job With Good Cause




People will always voluntarily resign jobs for a lot of different reasons and then ask if I think they have good cause to do so, but they leave off the special sauce that tell me about what I know the good part of cause is.

Their reasons may be connected to health issues, no opportunity for career advancement, the need to preserve the family unit and follow a spouse to a new job in a too far to commute location, childcare issues that interfere with a work schedule,  substantial changes made by an employer to the working conditions, a belief they have a harassing bully boss, a reduction in pay, or hours, to name just a few of the general reasons people resign and abandon jobs at-will by their own choice.

Some employees are even pressured to quit, in lieu of being fired and don't know that for purposes of unemployment law .. the state UI agency should adjudicate this sort of quit as a discharge when you lack any choice in the matter about preserving the job.

But when you file a claim for unemployment benefits because you resigned by choice, it is you, who has forced yourself into proving a compelling and necessitous connection of your reason being relatable to the unemployment burden of proof.    Generally, this burden will require you to prove fault for your choice to be attributed to the work, or the employer.

The exception would be if there is a provision (exception to the rule), or an employment security act (state specific unemployment laws) allowing for good personal cause.

Fulfilling a Burden to Prove Good 
Cause Usually Occurs Before You Quit a Job

Employers appeal benefits after claimants of benefits are allowed to collect because employees can seldom provide the special sauce provided by written documentation proving their efforts  to correct, or preserve their job.

Employees tend to ignore this in favor of an interesting story regaling their efforts they think will prove their version .. to be the facts that matter.

So, this is why I tell you, it's the wise employee who meets their unemployment burden to prove good cause existed, prior to making the choice to quit ,that is better able to reason and weight their story the cause was attributable to the work, or employer via documentation.

The question of having good cause isn't about whether it happened as much as whether you can prove you made those much needed rational efforts to correct something the employer was doing, or continued to allow, that showed you had good cause to feel you had exhausted all avenues to get your employer to see reason .. or change their non-compliant and potentially, illegal ways.

Now ask yourself if you feel like you're being forced into quitting.

Could it be that an employer, instead of firing you for something other than misconduct may try to force your hand and the decision to quit to avoid having the burden of proof of misconduct .. assigned to them?

It is not as uncommon, because what is more common is an employee afraid to make efforts to save their own job that might rock the boat in an already rocky workplace..

Quitting and Unemployment Benefit Questions and Answers

Exercising a Workplace Right 

How Does Your State Construct It's UI Statutes?
It Matter To You If You Want to Quit Your Job

There are about twelve states who have constructed their unemployment statutes to say you might have good cause to quit your job due to personal reasons.  

The chart below is from one of those other unemployment law resources.  Namely the DOLETA State Unemployment Law Comparison Non-Monetary Eligibility Chartbook.

Before you get excited because your state is not included in the chart above and doesn't require attribution to the work, know the chart is prefaced by the following information:

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.)


If you want to quit your job with good cause, you have to understand it is avoiding those uncomfortable effort to first try to save your own job .. that causes more denials of unemployment benefits than when an employee is discharged .. maybe even when they are forced to quit .. in lieu of being fired.


Questions and Answers About Quitting

The Burden of Proving Misconduct

Employee Coaching & Hearing Representation

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