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I've been in training for my new job for a week, already on unemployment, and need to quit and continue my current unemployment claim. Can I do that since it's only been a week of training?

by Dave
(San Francisco)

So, I was laid off more than a year ago and I have been collecting benefits in California for over a year. I just exhausted my second extension, and I was notified that I qualify for a third extension for an additional 5 months. However, I just accepted a full time position with a new company, and I relocated from my home an hour away. I've been in training for a week, and I already can tell it will not be suitable for me. I can't stand the city or the job requirements. I thought it would be much different. I want to get out of the job immediately. I want to get back on the 5 months of remaining unemployment I have to look for a job that will be more suitable for me....but I am afraid to quit the job because I don't want to have zero income. What are my options? Does it matter that it's only been a week, and I haven't even been paid for training yet? Can I just have unemployment deduct what I make in training from my check, and continue my claim?

Hi Dave,

No, it does not matter that it has only been a week. Additionally, you need to get your "extension" back and I'm not so sure all the usual rules apply to extensions .. which by the way I know little about.

What matters is if you can "PROVE" the work is not suitable .. and you did not mention anything that sounds like something the state might think makes it unsuitable .. since you already relocated.

You should read what California has to say about suitable work in their unemployment eligibility guide.

If you can't prove you voluntarily quit because the work was unsuitable they will impose the disqualification for quitting without good cause.

In CA that is to return to work and earn 5 times your weekly benefit amount and of course you would then need to have a "qualifying" or a good reason for another job separation before you can even get any benefits back.

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Nov 24, 2009
..more to the story though...
by: Dave

There is more to my story though. The reason the job here is not suitable to me is because my fiance and I just learned she will have to move down to San Diego to care for her mother, who's Alzheimer's case is getting worse unfortunately. My fiance is a nurse and will care for her. She is moving in the next couple weeks. We are soon to be married and I cannot be that far from her (I'd be in San Francisco, she'd be in San Diego)...which is why I said the work conditions are unsuitable for me. Ever since I learned of this, I haven't been able to concentrate during training, I haven't been able to sleep, and I feel very depressed, knowing that my fiance will be moving away in 2 weeks to care for her mother, and I can't go with her.
I have already documented this with my district manager by asking if a transfer down to San Diego would be possible. He told me the protocol is 1 year before any transfers, and that if I needed to be in San Diego, I should just quit now and look for jobs within the company down there. I told him I can't quit because then I wouldn't get unemployment benefits, and I wouldn't be able to afford the move down there. He told me he doesn't want to pay to train me for two months and then have me quit and/or move down there, which would be a waste of his time, my time, and the company's. So he said I should just quit now. And ever since we've had that conversation, I haven't felt the same connection with the company, and don't have the motivation to perform to the best of my ability, or even learn the training I'm being given, knowing that I'd have to put in at least a year before I could be down with my fiance and her ill mother. that a good cause to quit? I asked for the transfer but they won't give it! And I can't wait a year! But I also can't afford to quit and move down south with no unemployment benefits.
What can I do???

Hi Dave,

Okay then, you are now talking about quitting for a personal reason, that being, your girlfriend is moving and you want to maintain your relationship with her.

In that same determination guide I linked to you need to read the information about quitting due to domestic circumstances.

The fact that she is your girlfriend and not your wife makes a difference to the issue of whether good cause existed to quit.

If you quit to follow your girlfriend, you will be denied. If she were your wife .. then after pursuing a transfer or accommodation from the employer you would have a chance to get benefits.

For good measure, here's the link to CA's unemployment precedent decisions.

Dave, I'm sorry, but there is not always a positive answer to be found.

In most states, quitting to follow even a spouse is not considered good cause to quit .. even when it is .. all alternatives to quitting usually need to be explored by the employee first and you need to be able to prove that you explored alternatives.

It's just the way it is.


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