If You Quit Your Job Can You Claim Unemployment Benefits?

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Unemployment compensation is designed primarily to provide a modest income for those workers who are laid off without fault. There are several circumstances where employees who quit a job may still be eligible for unemployment benefits. These circumstances usually involve a situation where employees have no choice in leaving a position or the conditions involved in keeping a job require them to move a large distance away from a current location.

Job Relocation

  • If your employer has moved your position with the company outside of your labor market and requires you to relocate to keep your job, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits if you quit. This is because relocation is considered a significant financial undertaking especially if your employer does not plan to compensate you for your moving costs. Additionally, your decision to quit is not entirely your fault since your employer effectively moved your job away from you.

Unfair Treatment or Harassment

  • If you are being harassed or treated unfairly at work you may believe quitting your job is the only option left to you. If your employer fosters this sort of climate in the workplace you may be entitled to unemployment compensation should you leave your position with the company. You are eligible for benefits in this case because your employer effectively "forced" you out of your job by allowing the unfair treatment or harassment to continue without properly disciplining the offending employees.

Workplace Disability

  • If you develop a disability that your employer is unable to accommodate and you are forced to leave your position you may be eligible for unemployment benefits. You are eligible for benefits in this case because an employer is almost always required to make accommodations for your disability as long as you can still perform the essential functions of your position. Your employer is not required to make accommodations for your disability if the cost of making improvements is prohibitively high.

Bouncing Paychecks

  • If you are not getting paid because your paychecks are bouncing you may be forced to quit your job. If you quit your job due to lack of payment you may be eligible to claim unemployment benefits from the state. In addition to unemployment benefits you may be able to sue your former employer for any back-pay. An employer who refuses to pay you for time that is owed to you is breaking the law. Reporting your former employer to the state attorney general is the first step in attempting to recoup your back-pay.

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