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the need to manage a spouse's health

by George
(Jacksonville Fl)

After 11 years as a salesman with my company, I had to walk away. I was a commission only person. After discussing the situation with my boss, he agreed that I should simply walk away and come back when my wife's health improved. Approx 10 months after leaving, I applied for unemplyment benefits. I was denied because my emplyer said my leaving was voluntary.

Is there any basis for appeal?

Hi George,

From the sound of it .. no.

But I would ask you if FMLA is something your employer should have offered to you.

Florida will allow benefits if a "worker's illness which is caused by the job medically requires you to quit, but FMLA is always the first line of defense to "preserve the employment" when it is available for a worker.

FMLA is a federal protection and an employer needs to have least 50 employees .. I believe. You can find the details at the USDOL

When that protection is absent and someone has your problem I would suggest that they "request a personal leave" from the employer to deal with what they have to do.

That way, if the employer refuses and you are "forced to quit" .. you have an argument that the quit was attributable to the employer because the leave was a reasonable request for the problem and demonstrates your effort to preserve the employment .. the refusal then can be argued as unreasonable and the quit became attributable to the work, particularly when you present a medical recommendation from a doctor.

So George, would any of this apply?

I should also mention that benefits, even if all the condition for the quit become qualifying .. can't be paid until you are able and available for suitable work.

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