Can I Collect Unemployment in Wisconsin If I Quit?

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Generally, Wisconsin unemployment benefits exclude claimants who quit their jobs because unemployment is for those who are faultless in their unemployment. To collect payments, you have to prove to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development that your reasons for quitting were attributed to your employer’s actions instead of your own. If you can’t provide that evidence, the state will disqualify you until you meet the requalification requirements.

Quitting

  • Unless there is a contract in place that states otherwise, employment is at will, meaning either the employer or the employee can end the relationship at any time for any reason, excluding those covered under discrimination laws. Quitting covers any situation where you initiate the separation from your job. Quitting can cover when you resign, give notice or just walk off a job. If you just stop coming back to work, most employers consider that quitting, too.

Unemployment Eligibility

  • Unemployment benefits are given to those who are unemployed through no fault of their own. In Wisconsin, quitting your job without cause generally means the separation is your fault as opposed to your employer’s. The only exceptions are when you the reasons you quit can be attributed to your employer’s actions. This can include any violations of Wisconsin’s labor laws, the employer moving out of your current labor market or you developing a disability that your employer cannot accommodate.

Proving It

  • Since you initiated the job separation, the burden of proving your reason for quitting falls under cause is on you. When you apply for benefits, Wisconsin will ask you why you’re unemployed. If you say you quit, it will ask you for evidence that your quitting was covered under cause. This may include written communication from your employer, photographic evidence or witness statements from coworkers or colleagues.

Disqualification

  • If you can’t provide sufficient proof that your separation qualified under cause, Wisconsin will disqualify you from unemployment benefits. To collect Wisconsin unemployment benefits again, you must meet all eligibility requirements as well as wait four weeks and earn four times your weekly benefit rate. The earnings must be from covered employment, which means work covered under the Wisconsin unemployment compensation laws.

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