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Denied unemployment benefits in California for quitting in anticipation of discharge.

by John
(Laguna Hills, California)


i have recently been denied benefits because i voluntarily quit my job. i left this job because i was told at the time of hiring that there was going to be a payout on stock options in the future and i took a lesser salary for this reason. i later came to find out that the group i was managing was not going to receive the same benefits as another department; more like favoritism for a particular group within the company. another item i want to bring to attention is the way the company processes it shipping of packages. i know it may appear to be a petty item to discuss but the department i was in charge of had responsibility of the delivery of these packages. the owner of the company would ask employees to run to fed ex or ups to drop these packages off. this is a liability to the company, if that employee is involved in an accident he/she can sue the company for damages. i saw things and attempted to correct the liability by acting responsibly and looking out for the company. i was told by the owner himself that this is what he wishes and that the employees wouldn't sue him. it would be my department that would be liable for any damages and i fear that my employment would cease because of this. Last thing on the item list is that i was told to terminate an employee that was overwhelmed by the job he was doing. i told him that i would make a determination and talk to him in a week to see if his statements were accurate. Boy was he right; the guy was very disorganized and would compromise the company to their clients. i explained to the owner that we should terminate on the follwoing monday and he wanted to, at first, terminate him on a Friday, then give him a two week notice of termination; i can tell you that i objected to that logic. last thing before i finish my comments. i was told to interview and hire one of two candidates, to act as a replacement to the bad egg. i decided on one person and basically had the individual go through the screening process and background checks with the sheriff's office - the company works closely
with govt agencies. the owner agreed with this person and then, at the last minute, changed his mind and went for the other candidate. all while this was going on, i was assisting the team make changes to a database, managed by the govt, and if an error is made and surcharge is made to the company. it was not explained to me or my team that these errors would cost the company money. i received an email stating that i and or any member of the team would have to pay for these errors and that they would be deducted from our paychecks. i can say that this is when i quit my job; was not worth the headache and to have to deal with these accusations on a daily basis would worsen an already bad moral in the company.

is this good cause enough to receive benefits?

i filed and was denied, but in the letter the EDD sent,it states that "the employer took disciplinary action against me" but i don't recall this as i quit the job, then the letter goes on by stating "i do not meet the requirements because i voluntarily quit my job"

i appreciate any advice and look forward to reading your responses.


Hi John,

If I stop using the word "focus" when I write about finding something that might work per a state's UI laws to get benefits and said something like "choose your battle" or "pick you poison" would you understand why I think you gave the department waaaaay to much irrelevant information?

Did you print the email which said you and your team member would have the cost of errors deducted from your paycheck? Did you check to see if California labor law allows this? If you did, did you file a complaint with California?

Did you check to see having employees run to UPS and Fedex was in some type of violation by the employer?

So here's a couple links I think you should take a look at so you can decide if you have one or more "valid" things to focus on which allows for a viable appeal.

Benefit Determination Guide

Dept. of Industrial Relations

By the way, I changed the title to your question to the reason I think the state latched onto in order to deny unemployment benefits.

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Jan 22, 2010
by: John

i want to thank you for your input; i really appreciate it. given your very insightful look into my issue, i agree with the topic change. given this, how can i apply this rule?

unfortunately, i do not have any proof to show this but it did occur. i have no reason to lie but i guess the burden of proof is on me.

i will go to the appeal and hopefully i can get him to admit to a lie or something. perhaps body language will say something of my claims.

i dont know what else to do but that. however, any advise would be very helpful.


It's iffy, but if you go to the hearing focusing on the stuff that might work .. such as the email stating that money for errors were going to be deducted from paychecks (might check with team members still there) or even subpoena someone else to corroborate it's an outside possibility.

It could be you overwhelmed the interviewer with too much irrelevancy.

My best advice as always is never exit the door without a plan to win and the documentation to back your claim up.

I'm not sure if I have ever mentioned the advantage one can gain through a well thought out cross examination of a former boss .. especially if they are uninformed, arrogant or a hothead.

Most claimants still tend to act subordinate even after they are no longer employed instead of acting like what they are .. a pro se litigant responsible for all aspects of their case presentation.

Be sure to check out the CA unemployment precedent decisions too.

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