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California Unemployment benefits and change of location because of lack of work

by Brian Morris
(California USA)

I Was living In Lake Tahoe California (a ski resort town) for the past decade. I have always had two or three jobs to keep a roof over my head because of the ups and downs of resort living. In July of 2008 I lost my full time job with a contract company working for the Resort @ Squaw Creek, a four star resort in Olympic Valley Ca. I also had a part time position at the Resort as a Banquet attendant, and I tried to help out in other departments as well to get some work.

The Resort is in a ski town and is very dependent on families and business bringing business to the Resort on a seasonal time line.
The past Few years because of economic pitfalls the Resort has been forced to restructure and layoff many of its full time and most of its part time employees.

I was looking elsewhere in the small town for other forms of full time/ part time work to help me survive in these iffy economic and struggling times. I trimmed back every bill and expense I had to the point of not eating in order to keep a roof over my head.

The Banquets department put most of its employees on notice to claim unemployment do to the lack of work and layoffs were eminent. I Have been on unemployment since November of 2008 and was watching my life and fellow workers fall to the hard luck times of the area. I spent all of my savings to keep a roof over my head while I searched diligently for any work I could get my hands on.

By February of 2009 with nowhere to go in Lake Tahoe I brought it to the attention of my family that the lack of work and promises of things getting better were in fact taking a toll on my ability to live in Lake Tahoe. I realized that I needed to place my self in an area that offered more work opportunity. I took the necessary steps to inform my boss that I could no longer support myself on the wages and unemployment checks and that I was putting in my notice to keep good standing within the company. This way if I returned or found a sister resort in Los Angeles that I could apply and get some work from
DH & R properties.

If I stayed in Lake Tahoe I would have been homeless in the middle
of winter and spring because of the lack of opportunity that the Resort at Sqauw Creek was offering me.

I am In Covina California and I am still looking for work. I just accepted a part time temporary position with Home Depot for $9 dollars an hour. If it was not for my family helping me to relocate i would be on the street. It has taken me two months, 100 resumes, and multiple applications to get this one offer of part time temporary employment in the big city. now try and imagine that in a small town USA.

Because i left a sinking ship in northern California to get on one a little more stable in Southern California my UN has been placed on hold.

The Resort @ Squaw Creeks HR department is declaring that they had enough work to keep me in Tahoe, when in fact, they are the ones who put me on unemployment in the first place.

Should i get representation? Do I need it? I cant afford it obviously.

I have not received a check from EDD since February.

Please advise

Brian Morris

Hi Brian,

Ain't that sweet of your former employer.

I don't think it's looking very good for you, BUT you may be able to pinpoint a reason the state of California will consider "compelling and necessitous" which I can't, because I lack your intimate knowledge of your circumstances.

I went to this page of the CA eligibility guide.
Voluntary Quit

I then went to VQ360 "Personal Affairs" and clicked "Financial Difficulties" because that's what jumped out in your story. The last paragraph prompted me to check some more.

So I read about leaving for other work, Removal from locality, wages and hours .. quite a bit actually.

I read a number of things that would prompt me to ask more questions about the job you quit.

I am suggesting you read too and if you find something that sparks some hope, feel free to post a comment to this page.

Do I think you need a hearing rep? It seems to me that with a little effort you would be best suited to find a good cause reason for the state and if you can't, then consider paying someone who may or may not be able to help you.

Here's the link to CA precedent decisions.

Oh, and by the way, if you haven't received unemployment since February .. do you have an appeal pending scheduling of a hearing?

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Oct 09, 2011
Tahoe is Tough
by: Janet

Tahoe is beautiful, but it is a tough place to earn a living. I grew up there and left after 45 years to find a decent job. I just lost my job and will be returning to Tahoe because I can live cheaper there than in the Bay Area.

Good luck - stay positive - I believe you did the right thing and good things are ahead for you.

Apr 22, 2009
Good Cause
by: Brian

I have been reading cases with similarities to my own. I have not found one yet that is my case to the T but it does seem that some of the cases in fact many from different categories share my situation.

What am I supposed to take from this?

Am I supposed to bring a case study to a hearing and show how my situation is similar to their situation and therefore I should be qualified?

This is confusing me, I am not a lawyer.

Send me links to the decisions you think might be useful.

Apr 22, 2009
My research has turned up some of the following as well
by: Brian

Good Cause

"Good cause" is defined in Title 22, Section 1256-3(b):

"Good cause" exists for leaving work, when a substantial motivating factor in causing the claimant to leave work, at the time of leaving, whether or not work connected, is real, substantial, and compelling and would cause a reasonable person genuinely desirous of retaining employment to leave work under the same circumstances. Generally good cause for leaving work is decided on the facts at the time the claimant left work. Unless there is a timely connection between any alleged reason for leaving and the actual leaving, the employee has waived what might otherwise justify termination of the employment relationship and has negated the required causal connection between any given alleged reason for leaving and leaving. The claimant may submit several reasons for leaving work, some of which, when considered individually, do not constitute good cause. However, if one reason which is good cause is a substantial motivating factor in causing the claimant to leave work, the claimant's leaving is with good cause.

Title 22, Section 1256-3(c) provides:

I believe that By giving notice to The Resort @ Squaw Creek, My immediate boss, that because they were not able to give me a full time position and that I could not find other work outside of the Resort to help me afford the normal costs of living, I was forced to make a decision to leave town. I gave them a two week notice and I fulfilled my duties to them so that I could maintain a good working relationship and reference with them.

My cost of simple living expenses was far above the 4 hour 1 day a week work that they were providing me. That along with the small amount of unemployment caused me to access my situation and head for higher ground, well, figuratively speaking. I was forced to give my landlord notice and I had no place to go. When you cant eat or pay for the necessities in life,let alone all of the other things like gas and transportation insurance or find a way to work so that you can pay for the bare minimum? Its time to get out.

I did not pack up and leave with out do cause. My family came to get me because I had nowhere to go. I am currently paying for rent to my cousin by doing chores and fixing things around the house. I am rebuilding my business and I am looking for work in one of the largest cities on the planet.

I accepted temporary work for Home Depot at far less than I have made in the past 20 years of my life. I am not a victim, I am a man that has been forced to change. I welcome the change and I am working aggressively to stop this cycle.

I feel that my story is being felt by others in this messed up economy. The stories of unemployment rising through the first 1/4 of 2010 are of no help to me as I continue to look for full time work.

Unemployment is sending me paperwork that will be more unpaid work for me in these times of trouble.
Its part of the game of life I guess.


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