Would a "dead end job" be factored in to determining good cause for leaving?

by Byron
(Colorado)

From 2006-2012, I was working as a security guard. There was little else I was qualified to do in this town, so I stuck with it. I ended up at a post paying $9 an hour, which was not enough to pay the bills but was all I had. During 2012, I began taking classes and was finally offered a job with benefits, better pay, and a chance to advance.


The security job had no opportunities to earn more or to advance. Wages were tied to whatever post you worked, so whatever you earned at post "A" would be your wage until your death, resignation, or the loss of the contract. Advancement was limited to any superiors quitting, and even then the application process was suspect, at best. When applying for one position, I was told by the HR representative that she felt it was too far for me to drive and she would discard my application. Despite my best efforts to advance within the company and improve my standing, I was continually denied with no reasons given, and I'm not even certain my requests for transfers or applications for other posts were considered.

I provided two weeks' notice to my employer so we could train new employees to take over and I went through the entire four years without a write-up or complaint about my performance.

Colorado's Division of Labor and Employment is holding up my unemployment claim based on my separation from this company. I have applied for UI because my current employer is suffering a severe slowdown in work and they haven't got enough work for everyone.

Given that I did everything I reasonably could to change the situation within the company but met with no success, would this qualify as good cause to quit? The only way to better myself and my situation
was to take a higher-paying job, since my former employer would take no action. I see in other states this is acceptable cause for resignation, but then, I doubt other states' rulings have much bearing on Colorado.

What's your take on this?




Hi Byron,

My take .. your chances are not so good for you getting any benefits paid due to wages from the security job. CO is likely going to remove those wage credits. And in fact, a dead end job is hardly ever, going to be good cause to leave and collect benefits as that would even in my opinion, likely need a non-charging provision to be fair to the employer you left to accept the better paying job.

You're right about other state rulings .. However, Colorado unemployment recipiency rate typically runs lower than the low national average of around 26 out of a hundred getting benefits because there are less win/win scenarios such as you're talking about.

However the lack of work claim may still non-monetarily qualify you .. even if your benefit amount is reduced to the minimum Colorado can pay once they remove the wage credits and you serve the weeks of disqualification.

Your reason for quitting is a reason reserved for special treatment of a certain industry under special circumstances in Colorado.

Per DOLETA's Non-monetary chartbook:

CO – If individual quits a construction job that is outside the state of Colorado in order to accept a construction job within the state of
Colorado, if such individual has maintained Colorado residency
The statute makes it clearer however.


Colorado does have an online unemployment precedent library for you to explore as well. See Collins v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office, 813 P.2d 804 (Colo. App. 1991).

Or, you can just dig through CRS 8-73-108 to see if anything else might work as a valid argument.



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Apr 28, 2013
Thanks for the quick reply.
by: Byron

And sadly, it's about like I thought: the CDLE will do about anything to keep from paying out. Colorado's so tight with their money it takes a prybar to make a withdrawal. Well, I'll hope for a favorable resolution, and fingers will be crossed but breath won't be held. Thanks again, and if anything comes up, I'll post the results for future inquiries' sake.

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