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Can I quit a job after a week? Massachusetts

by Lillian Harrison
(Boston, Massachusetts)

I worked at a job for five years and the non profit closed the center due to the economy. They said we would all get unemployment and they wouldn't deny us. I went out and found a job right away that started two weeks after my original job ended. I never filed for unemployment for those two week. Now I'm one week into the new job and I absolutely hate it! I work in the daycare field and this place is a low quality daycare. And to top it off, I'm the only American there. Everyone else is from Russia with varying degrees of English proficiency. I was told by the director when I was interviewing for the job that this site would be an English speaking site (her other day care is Russian speaking). When I interviewed for the job, the site wasn't officially opened yet so I had no opportunity to see or meet any of the other workers. I'm finding it hard to communicate with my co-workers, so I'm fighting each step of the way to improve the quality of the daycare. My question is: Can I quit and still get unemployment? I haven't gotten a first paycheck yet and I've only been there a week. Thanks!

Hi Lillian,

Whether you get the unemployment benefits depends on whether Massachusetts thinks you quit this current job with good cause. It is the "last employment" which controls.

I'm going to refer you to the USDOL. Click the current year, then Nonmonetary and go to page 25.

Good cause may be found for voluntarily quitting this job if you can show the employer failed to give you enough information to let you know the job was "unsuitable". I think the advantage of .. or should I say the disadvantage of not being fluent in Russian is a considerable piece of information that may have influenced your choice to accept the job.

This is the gist of what you've said here and will be what the state looks at to determine whether good cause is sufficient or not.

I would like to be able to direct you to MA unemployment decisions so you could get a better understanding, but I can't find the MA decision digest for unemployment benefits .. it may not exist online. But you do live in Boston .. maybe you can find a law library nearby:)

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