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ethical reasons as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in CA

by Frances
(Pomona, CA)

Hi. My name is Frances and I am a newly licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in CA. I recently resigned my position as a Therapist at a locked psychiatric facility due to being overburdened with paperwork and extra clients. This, along with reduced working hours (5 hours less per week), led me to the point where I was missing sessions with my regular caseload of 22 residents. This private company is contracted with Department of Mental Health for 3 therapists with a caseload of 16-17, but we have only 2 who are seeing 22-25 apiece. I provided my 2 week notice of resignation for ethical concerns related to missing/reducing time in sessions that are required to be provided to residents under contract. I feel this is in conflict with providing adequate care to clients under my licensed care. Could you let me know if this sounds like good cause?

Hi Frances,

Since we are talking about unemployment benefits, don't you think I would need to know what you did prior to resigning to correct this ethical issue?

The requirements for proving that the resignation was with good cause attributable to the work .. usually do not change, irregardless of the reason we quit.

California like all states also requires an employee to make attempts to "preserve the employment".

It is the efforts we make prior to quitting and an evaluation of the reason we were making efforts in the first place that determines whether as a whole it all rises to a level that is considered good cause.

I believe in your case, if you worked for a private employer that had a contract with a government agency to "perform a service" you would not only first try to resolve the problem with the employer, but if it truly was an ethical breach or hard and fast violation of the contract that you would also report this to the government agency.

These are the kinds of things anyone need to be able to prove they did do in order for good cause to be found.

Documentation is key in doing this. I would be hard pressed to recommend verbal testimony as enough to prove good cause .. unless that's all a person has to work with .. and then I'd be looking for other ways to increase the "credibility factor".

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