Search This Site.

Quit due to Emergency Medical Condition

by Victoria

I have worked with the company in the pet industry for 3 years. About 6 months ago I developed a severe medical condition while at work. I was told by my supervisor that I could not leave my shift to seek medical treatment until I found someone to cover my shift or I would be fired. I found someone to cover my shift for 1 hour while I went to a Medi-Clinic. The Medi-Clinic could not provide the care I needed and advised me to go to the nearest hospital emergency room. After being treated at the emergency room, they (the doctor) said I could not work for at least 4 days. A family member took the Medical excuse to my supervisor. My supervisor was not to happy that she would have to find someone to cover my shifts.

Yesterday, the same condition developed again. I was very ill and in pain. I reported to my supervisor and asked to leave to seek medical help. My supervisor said I was lying and preceded to use her phone to record our conversation. She accused me of being on drugs which is totally untrue and I told my supervisor to test me if they would like. My supervisor declined. After about 45 minutes to an hour, I could not handle to pain any longer. I needed medical help. My supervisor showed no concern for me or what was causing all the pain. I told my supervisor again that I needed to seek medical attention.
I was told again that I was not permitted to leave or my job would be gone. By this time I'm crying in pain and just said ok and left to get help.
I went to the hospital emergency room and was treated and released. I really didn't want to quit but felt I had no choice. Can I get unemployment? Also, my medical condition is not caused by my job and my job only has 10 employees so I can't file for FMLA (my supervisor told me this)

Chris's Response

How big of a company do you work for? I can tell you if it's a big company, that's the type of supervisor that might have an HR person throwing up in their mouth due to all the potential employee rights liability they are potentially creating.

Objectively, I'd say you didn't quit, but was forced by your supervisor to make an objective decision about keeping your job .. or attending to a serious physical/medical emergency .. which I will assume you know to make sure is documented and then present to someone higher up that your supervisor to explain what went down.

How many employees does your employer have? It's relevant to FMLA (family medical leave act) .. which is a law and for some reason often seems to be the subject of employers not complying with .. thanks to some untrained managers, supervisors and bosses who think they run the show entirely.

Think about contacting an employment attorney .. now.


Comments for Quit due to Emergency Medical Condition

Click here to add your own comments

Apr 29, 2015
Medical emergency
by: Victoria

Thanks for your recommendations Chris. The company I work for is a very small company approx 10 employees. That being the case, FMLA would not be an option. I care for dogs at a daycare/kennel and help in the grooming salon. They do not provide health insurance and my mother just lost her insurance which I was on. So, the hospital bills are all on me. I will let you know the outcome.

Apr 29, 2015
Do What You Can ...
by: CK

Even without the availability of job protecting FMLA leave, you should still make written requests, vs. verbal to the employer for a personal leave of absence for medical reasons .. also better when supported by the same medical documentation one would need for FMLA, be it the full term of leave allowed, or the intermittent type.

My point .. always document what you do and learn how to counter document for purposes of getting an employer's response down on a piece of paper that may become actual useful evidence at an unemployment hearing that can weight your testimony as being the most credible.

I know, it sounds like I'm telling you it's important to play a game, and it's probably the last thing you want to hear right now, but protecting ourselves is not always the most obvious, easy, or the most comfortable things to do. But, we really should do them if we want to protect ourselves against bosses who would prefer to bully sick people into working over showing basic human concern when an employee really should be in the hospital, or emergency room!

Feb 08, 2017
Illness and working
by: Anonymous

I have been ill for quit some time now have had to jave a stent put in my widow maker artery also have have been diagnoised with coronary artery desiese, diabetes,thyroid disease,high cholesterol, ibs,also been in the hospital several times for a gastric bleed that they still cant figure out were it is coming from i have missed a tremendous about of work and still do not feel well. I have a hard time getting in to work and i know my employer is sick of me being sick.

If i was to quit would i qualify for unemployment???

Hi Anonymous,

It's not likely, but I'm only saying this, because the burden of quitting a job in most states, even for people with severe health problems .. is to prove the cause for quitting as still being attributable to the fault of an employer in some way.

Not to mention, the whole time someone collects "regular" unemployment benefits, for instance if an employer just refuses to accommodate a doctor enforced work restriction, they still must be able to prove they are deemed medically able and available to some kind of work to collect regular UI benefits.

Even if they get fired because a doctor hasn't released them to work after exhausting FMLA leave, they may only collect UI benefits once they are deemed able to work by their doctor .. and provide the release to an unemployment department .. as proof.

Are you certain your health issues might not be sufficient for qualifying you for a different kind of benefits .. such as what SSDI offers to those in situations like your own?

That's the sort of benefits that don't require the individual to be able and available for work, but pay when someone really can't work anywhere, doing anything, due to medical reasons well documented by physicians and potentially covered by the ADA.

You can learn more about the ADA and SSDI here.

Apr 17, 2017
Was let go after speaking to a manager and having the ok to be off.
by: Claudia

I I was fired after calling in to my job to let them know I would not be in and asking to be taking off the scheduled for the week due to a really bad female issues.

I had been going to the doctor and had called out of work plenty of times and I just wanted to get it under control so I wouldn't have to keep calling out. I even went into the company's site and wrote a note making it very clear I was not quitting my job.

I was trying to get Medicaid to help pay for my test because our insurance didn't cover nothing. I was out like two weeks.

The employer lied and said they call me, but they didn't.

I have phone records, but still was deny unemployment because they said I quit. I took cabs everyday for 6months before getting my car. I use to walk sometimes and I stay in Georgia and there's no buses where I'm at.

I'm very upset. My water has been off with lights. I'm here with my kids alone no family
I'm trying to figure how can they get away with this. I have my appeal. Just need help.

Hi Claudia,

When someone tells me they are upset, I know they may have trouble seeing any facts that might provide a more objective quasi-legal argument that could win an unemployment hearing .. Of course there are tons of questions on this site about an employer telling an unemployment department a claimant quit by abandoning their job.

Mind you, I'm just guessing now since you didn't specify, the initial denial was for a voluntary quit by job abandonment, vs. a discharge for misconduct in the form of unacceptable attendance at work, which you tell me is due to an unsubstantiated health condition.

Jun 12, 2017
Can't walk
by: Anonymous

I was with the large company for 10 years. Over time my arthritis got worse to where it's bone on bone and I can't stand or walk for any extended length of time. A few months ago after trying to be approved for surgery, the Dr informed me I was too young for surgery and advised me to get a sit down job. That it'll ALWAYS going to hurt when I walk. After hearing there was no relief I quit because the pain was excruciating. My employer knew why I left and told everybody it was my health my reason for leaving. My Dr also told me to quit. Will I possibly be a candidate for UB?

Jun 12, 2017
For Can't Walk - When an Employee Quits On Advice From a Doctor
by: Chris -

Why did you choose to post your comment about quitting a job on the advice of a doctor under a question about an emergency medical condition?

Or, was it because the original question came from someone in the state of Pennsylvania, where unemployment law doesn't need to specifically state a voluntary quit for medical reasons, must be proven to be on the advice of a doctor, but still generally requires the employee to prove they made efforts first, to prove they did try to preserve their job.

Regardless, please know the main reason I ask how large an employer might of been, is so I know if FMLA leave might of been available as that can show an effort the employee made to preserve their job, followed up by another effort when a doctor tells someone they need a sit down job, if the employer legitimately, or not, refuses the individual with a health condition, possibly covered under the ADA, a work accommodation to fit the medical restrictions.

I'm not saying it would be impossible for you to prove good cause to quit for the reason you did.

But I am saying if an employee ideally has proof the employer was made aware of the need for a work accommodation and the employer refuses and whether that decision be unreasonable, or legitimately supported by whatever ADA regulations and guidelines generally concerning to a larger sized employer who also wants to avoid a disability discrimination claim, chances of collecting unemployment benefits improve because they asked for a sit down job before they quit.

A need for a sit down job does not necessarily make an employee not able and available to work, which is a conditional requirement to collect.

When you put all this together by documenting your efforts to preserve the job and an employer's decision not to help you do that, chances of collecting unemployment benefits are greatly improved .. which makes it easier to win an unemployment hearing if you initially collect and the employer is the one to appeal .. or the other way around.


Jun 12, 2017
What is PV law? PA?
by: Chris -

Just to clarify .. if by PV you're referring to PA unemployment law, I mentioned PA only because the first question in the thread was about Pennsylvania unemployment compensation.

State unemployment laws vary including how generous, or stingily an administrative law agency .. interprets circumstances such as yours.

Jul 21, 2017
Denied Unemplyment Benefitd
by: Marcia

My mom was diagnosed with ALS on July of 2016. worked at Target for 4 years.

Upon arriving to work I told hr my mom was diagnosed with ALS. I was asked if i needed some time off. I told her no.

Jan 1 2017 my moms health had reclined rapidly she could no longer walk and lost her speech.

Jan 3 I turned in resignation.

Edd has denied me benefits.

Hi Marcia,

Here's why I think the EDD (California's UI dept) denied benefits.

Even though you had to stop working to take care of your mom .. you still have to prove why that situation gave you good cause to quit with the fault for quitting being attributable to the work, or the employer and that means you still needed to do all you could to preserve the employment too.

I'm just going to provide you with links for some stuff to read I think would be relevant for you to understand to know if your denial of benefits, should be appealed.

1. This is how I explain the burden of voluntarily quitting.

2. This is how the EDD explains that burden when someone quits their job, even to care for a critically ill family member. (You should also scroll up and read "B" as well, as it's goes into details about quitting on the advice of a physician.)

When the HR person asked if you need time off, my guess is she may of been specifically referring to an FMLA leave, which is the sort of leave that protects a person's job for up to 12 weeks in any given year .. if the conditions of their employment entitle them to this sort of leave.

But quitting with good cause, even for compelling personal reasons, such as your own, don't release a person, for purposes of collecting unemployment benefits.

People often refuse to take medical, or protected FMLA leave because leaves in general are unpaid, but in California, employees, whose employer's don't provide a private disability insurance for when they are on leave, may be able to access a special CA unemployment insurance program providing Temporary Disability Insurance benefits, or paid leave benefits.

Therefore, as you stated you case for regular unemployment, it could be the EDD denied benefits because you didn't exhaust efforts to first preserve your job.

In all states, quitting a job for medical reasons, requires the individual assigned the burden to prove they had good cause, and that requires the employee to pipe up and request a leave of absence before they quit, if they want to prove the fault was attributable to an employer when they finally become able and available to work again .. and they find their job is no longer their own to go back to.

The main difference between the state disability unemployment benefits and regular EDD unemployment benefits, is the former doesn't require the individual to be able and available to look for, or accept work, which is a conditional requirement of any state's regular UI program.

Feb 06, 2019
Quitting because of pregnancy medical conditions exhausted fmla
by: Anonymous

Will I be able to qualify for unemployment in CA if I quit after exhausting my 12 weeks of fmla? I am currently receiving short term disability but my employer keeps asking if I'm coming back because they already hired new people already but my Dr extended my disability. If I quit will i be able to collect unemployment once my disability is up and I'm able to work ? I am already 6 months pregnant.


Couple things.

The Family Medical Leave Act, is designed to protect a job when an employee goes out on medical leave. The maximum amount of leave per year, or rolling year calendar is the 12 weeks. This protection is generally only available to employees who work for employers with 50 or more employees.

guidelines from the USDOL can be very useful, to employees and employers alike.

However you should never voluntarily quit a job .. before exhausting FMLA leave because that creates a scenario for a valid voluntary quit without good cause .. because you had available leave time left to recover.

If your doctor won't release you to work in any capacity up to the point you exhaust the full 12 weeks of FMLA protection, my advice is to also document a request to extend a medical leave, beyond the twelve weeks.

This, at least in my mind, is what can close the door on any employer who might argue the claimant voluntarily quit without good cause because they failed to exhaust leave, or return to work on the RTW date specified in FMLA paperwork.

And if I look for anything in these briefly described situations people present to me .. it's ways they might least try to close doors on a future arguments made by employers, that were made possible when an employer found a mistake looking back in retrospect.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Quitting and Unemployment.

} }