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Quitting due to domestic abuse.

by k
(SD, CA)

I lost my job in February and began collecting unemployment. I was engaged at the time. After months of not finding work, I agreed to marry and move to CA, where my fiancee lived. I found consulting work, I am technically an employee of the consulting firm but working at a client site.

It turns out my husband is abusive, I have one arrest record only to sustantiate this. If I move back to FL (i.e. give up my consulting work in CA) would I be eligible to collect again in FL, assuming I still have funds in my "account" (which I do).
I assume I would be denied because I could stay in CA and get an apartment etc.

Hi K,

I changed the title because domestic abuse is in many states good cause to quit and it is the reason you are considering quitting.

Of course Florida does not allow this to be considered good cause to quit, but California does and this is what the benefit determination guide has to say about it:

Separation or Divorce

Usually a separation or a divorce can be accomplished without leaving the job. Under some circumstances, however, there is no alternative to leaving the job. This situation may arise, for instance, when the spouse is threatening bodily harm against the claimant and the claimant has reasonable fears for his or her safety and that of any children, or the spouse has actually inflicted bodily harm in the past and, despite any restraining order, there is an indication that the spouse will do so again; or when the stress of the situation results in a physical illness and the claimant
is unable to continue on the job. In the foregoing situations, the conditions are virtually so extreme as to make the leaving of work inevitable. When the interviewer determines that the claimant had no real alternatives, the situation must be documented and supporting evidence, such as medical statements or a copy of the restraining order, attached if available.

Normally, the personal and legal affairs connected with a separation or divorce can either be worked around business hours, or time off can be negotiated with the employer. However, if attending to the legal affairs results in a voluntary quit, the reasonableness of the claimant's response and any viable alternatives to leaving the job must be considered.

So it's very doubtful you could get the benefits back through Florida because they don't allow benefits if you quit the most recent work due to domestic violence or if you move.

If I were you I would try to reopen the claim through CA first. California not only may allow benefits for those that move, but for those that move due to domestic abuse.

In your situation, I wouldn't worry about where your wages of your base period are located .. I'd just file in CA .. because Florida doesn't care for hardly any reason for quitting that is not attributable to the work. You can find California's benefit guide on this page.

K if you are forced to move out of state .. consider another state besides Florida .. if you need to find work anyway .. Go to the BLS and check out the unemployment rates by state and even city. Florida and California are two of the hardest hit ..

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