Unemployment benefits vary by state, but most states have similar rules when it comes to quitting a job. If you voluntarily quit your job without “good cause,” you can be denied unemployment benefits. However, there are reasons that you might quit your job that would still allow you to collect your benefits. If you’re considering quitting, and you suspect you have good cause or a valid reason, it’s best to contact an attorney or an unemployment office first to understand your rights.
Your quitting your job may be considered for “good cause” when your problems with the job can be attributed to your employer. This includes issues such as unsafe working conditions, but also often includes a change in working conditions that makes them harmful. For instance, being asked to work longer hours, or having your pay cut. These elements change the original agreement you had when you signed on for the job, and if they cause you harm -- inability to pay bills, for example -- it may be considered good cause. If your employer breaks your original contract, this may also be considered good cause. An example of this would be if your contract stipulates that you are to receive a pay raise after a particular length of employment and your employer does not provide one.
Illness and Disability
If you have to quit your job because a spouse, child or parent is ill or disabled and requires your care, you may still be able to collect benefits. However, you are required to still be available for work. For instance, if you could work different hours, but if your employer cannot change your hours, you are often permitted to quit to seek a job within the hours you are available. If you are not available to work any hours, you can’t collect benefits.
Transportation and Location
There are location-based reasons that you might quit your job. If your spouse gets a new job and you move with him, it may make it impossible for you to commute, or you could lose your transportation and be unable to get to and from work in any other reasonable way. Generally, both of these are acceptable reasons to quit and seek a closer place of employment.
It is also valid to leave your job to protect yourself, your children, your spouse or your parents from domestic violence. If you must move, or an abusive individual is aware of where you work, it usually constitutes a valid reason for quitting. However, some states may require you to make a “reasonable effort” to keep your job. This can include asking your employer for a transfer, or taking a leave of absence.
In addition to the penalties on your unemployment benefits, quitting a job without showing good cause can also incur penalties on state programs such as food stamps and welfare cash assistance. In some cases benefits may be canceled or you may receive fewer benefits, and it may disqualify you from filing for extensions to your benefits.
How to Quit a Contract Job
When you leave a job as an employee, quitting is often as simple as giving your human resources department sufficient notice of...
Can You Claim Nebraska Unemployment If You Quit?
Unemployment insurance provides a temporary source of income to workers who lose their jobs so that they can support themselves while searching...
If You Quit Your Job Can You Claim Unemployment Benefits?
Unemployment compensation is designed primarily to provide a modest income for those workers who are laid off without fault. There are several...
Can I Get Unemployment If I Quit My Job in New Jersey?
You might be able to get unemployment if you quit a job in New Jersey, but it depends on circumstances and documentation....
What Is the Penalty for Filing Unemployment Wrong?
When you file an unemployment claim, you're certifying that the information you provide is true to the best of your knowledge. In...
New Jersey Unemployment Penalties
It's illegal to claim unemployment benefits from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development if you are employed, and it's...