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Unemployment Insurance-Part III: Quitting Employment

Separation from an Employer can be one of the worse situations that life can put you through. This situation can be particularly rough when Employees quit voluntarily. Sometimes the turmoil that can accumulate on the job is so intimidating and intense, quitting feels like the only option. This blog is designed to inform Claimants in similar factual scenarios that quitting one’s job does not always mean you will be disqualified from acquiring Unemployment Insurance Benefits.
First, in quit cases, the Employer often claims that the Employee quit their job voluntarily. The law provides that a Claimant is not entitled to Unemployment Insurance Benefits when they quit their job without good cause. So the next natural question is: “What is good cause?” Simply consider good cause as a really good reason. To expand further, good cause has to be an objectively good reason. Unfortunately, this is an area that is not as well defined as Misconduct, so the term good cause is a little vague.
It is important that the Claimant does their best to articulate to the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) that they quit because working for the Employer would by anyone’s standards make their job unreasonably burdensome. A good way to think of this is that the Employee can quit with good cause when their job is so much more different and so much worse than what they bargained for when they were originally hired for the position.
It is important to note that Employees cannot quit for common place changes, or minor frustrations. However, Claimants may have good cause when:
1. Pay-rate has decreased significantly
2. Pay-rate is the same, responsibilities have increased.
3. Work hours have changed significantly.
4. Work environment has become more hostile to Claimant.
Above all else, be very detailed and elaborate in the responses you provide in the hearing. The ALJ will definitely make sure that you answer his or her questions clearly, however, it is crucial to provide every piece of information that will help your position when the ALJ offers you this opportunity. By combining all of these considerations your case will be solid. Godspeed and good luck.

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