How to Quit Your Job With Good Cause to Collect Unemployment

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Let's face the one certain fact possible about good cause to quit your job.

It's not you, me, or your employer that has the jurisdiction to deny, or allows unemployment benefits whether you  just think you quit your job with good cause, or without it.

Initially good cause is decided by a claims representative whose job is to initially adjudicate whether you quit for a reason attributable to the work, employer, or for a personal reason the may be addressed in a provision found in law.

Because this claim adjudicator doesn't know your personal reasoning behind your choice to resign an at-will job, or even why employees get fired, the first thing that happens once you apply for benefits is the state unemployment department sends a notice of claim filed and generally to all your base period employers.

In a nutshell, by the time an appeal might be filed by you, or is always filed by an employer when you quit, it's because the burden to prove (or sustain) good cause existed when you quit falls to you, the moving party, at the first level unemployment hearing where the decision can override an erroneous initial claim determination.

What is the Burden to Prove You Quit Your Job With Good Cause?

When an employee voluntarily quits their job, they have exercised a right, all at-will employees have in this country.

When they file an unemployment claim .. voluntarily quitting raises a benefits eligibility question for unemployment law, about who was ultimately at fault for the choice to quit a job when objectively, it can be seen they were actually forced into leaving the job.

The burden of good cause isn't how you feel, but it's proof that you exhausted all reasonable efforts .. or documented attempts to preserve your job ..  if you're physically ill, sick of your job .. or just a badgering, bully boss who might of potentially crossed a line into discrimination .. or abuse of authority to just retaliate against you.

A workplace is full of personality and ego and that alone can cause problems, but even that doesn't mean everyone can get UIB's because of a problem.

Clearly, I have more points to make about how we can protect ourselves better while we attempt to prove good cause, through use of common sense, tactics and/or strategies borrowed from employers who document employee fault .. to a fault.

It's before quitting we create evidence of good cause.  Our reason might be a personal reason related to our health, thanks to a provision creating an exception to the rule that attribution of fault should go to the work, or employer.  

Or, our reason might begin and end with something that is entirely the fault of an employer, but you just don't have anything, but a story to tell, in an effort to prove what you say, is the most credible story ..

The point:  Getting unemployment benefits whether you quit, or get fired .. is a quasi-legal endeavor and that's how you need to think about benefits .. before you exit the front door of work .. for the last time.

Per DOLETA's Nonmonetary Eligibility Charts

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.) 


Q&As About Good Cause to Quit

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