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Does anyone know when it would be safe to quit my job in Maryland to follow a military spouse

by Emma

My family and I are packing up to move out of state. We currently live in Maryland and I will be quitting my job to join my husband who is in the Army. I know that Maryland will allow me to collect unemployment, but they don't give any details as to when I can quit. I am hoping to leave my job at the end of March. My husband does not report to his next station until the end of May. This is an overseas move which requires a lot of work and time. I know that some states deny unemployment benefits if a spouse quits too early, but I can't find any additional info for Maryland. I would hate to be denied benefits if they feel that I quit to early. Anybody have experience with this in Maryland?

Chris's Response

I would be nervous too about quitting a job three full months prior to the transfer.

But, I did a bit of poking around the Maryland precedent decision manual to see if I could find anything mentioning your sort of situation.

Pickin's were slim so I do hope someone who has experience with following a military spouse and quitting a job in MD will pipe up and give us both an answer about what you might expect.

What I did find about voluntarily quitting in MD

"Spouses of military personnel who lose their sponsorship and therefore become legally unable to continue in their jobs are not subject to a disqualification under Section 8-1001 of the law. Matthews v. U.S.A. - F.A. Center, Europe, 2279-BR-83."

I have no idea what they mean by losing sponsorship, but I'm repeating it here because it mentioned Europe and what looks like a section of MD UI law and possibly, some sort of military tribunal decision .. possibly standing in for the DETR .. since it is Matthews vs. U.S.A.

However, there's was some stuff above the very small reference to VQs for military spouses about quitting to follow any other kind of spouse, It was concerning considering your plan is to quit three months prior to the transfer and relocation ..

I think to be on the safe side, I too would assume the quit would be subject to heavy scrutinization for good cause, or potentially, a valid reason for such an early departure, not to mention the fact that once you're in Europe .. there a little issue of being able, available and looking for employment subject to UI coverage .. aside from the likely place .. working as a civilian for the US military.

Comments for Does anyone know when it would be safe to quit my job in Maryland to follow a military spouse

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Jan 11, 2019
Same Situation
by: Darin

I too am in the same situation and am looking for a clear answer.

Jan 12, 2019
About Clear Answers, Affirming Unemployment Eligibility
by: Chris -

Clear answers, as to whether a person will be found eligible to collect unemployment, when quitting a job voluntarily, or being fired aren't easy to find, not to mention answers can be altered, by the individual who gets to decide if the claim has, or lacks, good cause to quit.

The reason this is so, at least from my perspective, is good reason to quit, or be fired, is always going to be related to details of an individual unemployment claim, not to mention an answer often relies on how individual state unemployment laws and regulations interpret the intent of a state's law. Similar case facts result in different outcomes because interpretations vary from state to state, even when the basic facts seem to be the same at first glance.

When someone asks if I think they will be quitting with good cause, to follow a military spouse, I first check the State UI Comparison Charts.

That's where I learn if a state even has a provision allowing for good cause to quit for this reason, or any other personal reason for quitting.

If I learn an individual state does allow for good cause for this reason, I also make sure I read any footnotes for hints about the conditions that apply to the excepting provision to the basic burden of proving good cause to quit, because often, even when an exception to the rule of good cause to quit exists .. it doesn't mean an individual won't still need to prove how, or why quitting when they did, was attributable to the work .. or the employer itself.

Once I have a general idea about conditions applied to a provision, I then sometimes cross my fingers in hopes the state offers a precedent decision manual, such as Maryland does .. or that I can google to find something specific to the state in question.

The problem I had with the original question, was the person was planning on quitting three months before the spouse was due to report to his oversea station. I saw that length of time as a problem, or if you prefer, a weakness in their burden to prove they had good cause to voluntarily leave employment three months in advance of the actual need to quit.

Factual details, are supposed to be discerned on a case by case basis by the neutral individual (adjudicator of the initial finding, or hearing officer, later at an unemployment hearing) and one of the standards used to discern eligibility, is applying the "reasonable person standard".

"Would a similar person, under similar circumstances had done the same thing this claimant did?"

Problem with this .. is not all reasonable people .. think identically as to what is reasonable.

In the end, my problem with providing a negative, or affirmative answer to this person, who asked for clarity, was that I reasonably thought quitting three months in advance of the actual need to quit, to follow the military spouse, left a wide open gab in their burden to prove good cause for an employer, or a hearing officer given wide discretion to use their own judgement as the reasonable person inserting themselves into that situation, that quitting three months prior to the spouses report date, could indeed be seen as good personal cause to quit, but fall short of what the interpretation of the law allowed for.

In other words, I know a reasonable person should know, it takes time to settle in after a move, especially when moving out of country, but I also worried that the three months, might negate good cause that a two week notice may of provided.

But then there was no mention of anything, I might try to work with to close up that gap in time ..including any hard evidence of the financial harm, or inability, for this family to maintain two households for any length of time after the husband was expected to report to his next station.

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