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Can You Quit Your Job?  
Decide Whether You Have Good Cause to
Meet the Burden of Unemployment Law

Can you quit your job for any reason under the sun? 

Yes you can.   Just like an employer can fire you for any reason he/she/it might,  be it with, or without good cause and usually without consequence, unless the employment wild card of unemployment benefits enters into the picture.

When you ask the question,  Can I quit and collect unemployment benefits you are asking a question very relevant to how individual state unemployment insurance laws interpret various reasons people quit their jobs over and whether you can prove, so a state can find you met the burden of good cause.

Take for instance this explanation of the concept of relating your reason to good cause found in interpretations of UI law.

"There is, of course, not a slide-rule definition of just cause. Essentially, each case must be considered upon its own particular merits."  Traditionally, just cause, in the statutory sense, is that which, to an ordinary intelligent person, is a justifiable reason for doing or not doing a particular act."

DOLETA's explanation which also attempts to explains good cause is arrived at a bit differently, as it introduces how variance can occur depending on how an individual state law is constructed.

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 which recognizes good personal cause; it would be necessary in a state restricting good cause to that related to the  work).

Thirty nine states restrict good cause to be connected to the work and will add provisions that create exceptions.

But the explanation of good cause to quit leaves out a few pertinent  facts about good cause.   Like what are the  key elements  mentioned in UI laws that the word "merits" refer to and how is it an unemployed person can weight those merits so they become the credible facts. 

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 How Easy It is To Overlook the Need to
Prove Good Cause to Quit While You're Still an Employee ?

Pretty darn easy if you ask me. 

I didn't begin my career in the unemployment field basically mistrustful of employers,  but time and time again, I saw employees often trust an employer will do the right thing when things come down to it.

Trusting the truth you tell will be easily accepted by the unemployment claim department at the initial level, or the hearing officer presiding over an unemployment appeal hearing will just buy what you say .. is not the same as being able to prove the truth is also the credible facts.

I read claimant appeal letters that looked a lot like an unbound book and the simple two sentence appeals of employer in response to a voluntary quit allowed benefits.

And then, I waited for the claimant to send the documentary evidence that would support the story told in the appeal letter.

Where's your proof you exhausted efforts to preserve the employment that would compel another reasonable, ordinary, intelligent person to feel justified to quit your job too? 

It didn't take me long for this former hearing coordinator to figure out why employers appealed voluntary quits, an why VQ appeal hearings were used to train new  in-house hearing reps.  

There is a difference between having good cause and being able to prove it was good, to a neutral third party (the unemployment department) that the employer, or a special provision in law, gave you no reasonable alternative except to quit and file for benefits.

You need to have more than just good merits for me to think you can quit your job and collect unemployment benefits.

Even I want to know you have proof of your actions to preserve, or at least proof of your employer's actions, or lack thereof  for  a reason that is actually arguable as being good enough .. per how your stat interprets it's unemployment law.

More about Unemployment When You Quit

Q&As About the Burden of Proving Good Cause When You Quit

Unemployment Laws and Interpretive Case Law Resources

Back to  Quit Your Job

Quitting in Lieu of Being Fired

Should You Be Represented at Your Unemployment Appeal


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