quit-jobIt has been widely accepted that unemployment benefits are intended only for workers who are out of work through no fault of their own and are able, available, and actively seeking suitable work.

Every state denies benefits to individuals who bring about or “take a role in their own unemployment” because they quit without good cause, committed misconduct, or refused an offer of suitable work.  However, as with any rule, there are exceptions, and this discussion focuses on the grey area between a voluntary quit with and without good cause and how to be successful.

Most states restrict “good cause” to only causes connected to the work.    Personal reasons such as relocating or to attend Scholl are compelling; however, they may result in a disqualification in some states simply because they are unrelated to the work.   Other states expand the circumstances of good cause rendering the reason good cause, such as to stay home to take care of a dependent or to tend to their own medical needs.  In these scenarios, the reason for leaving is considered with good cause; however, they may be disqualified due to unavailability for work.  Most states extend the ineligibility until the individual is able and available for work again.  If you are aware of the individual’s availability, CCC will relay it to the state agency.    Detailed documentation in either of these cases is helpful to be successful.

In cases, such as leaving due to job dissatisfaction, where an employee complains about working conditions, wages or hours, the separation may be considered related to the work however if the employer takes reasonable steps to resolve the employee’s grievances and documents their efforts they may win these cases.  Remember, you or your managers may be called upon to recollect specific circumstances which occurred up to 18 months prior to the separation.

In most states, voluntarily leaving to accept other work is with good cause.  However, the burden of proving this is on the separating employee to show they walked away from continuous work to accept higher pay, more permanent work, or employment more suitable to their skill set.  If the employee is unable to meet the burden, they will be ineligible.

In the final take away, the state laws vary widely and its best to contact your CCC team for expert advice with your scenarios to be successful.


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