In most cases, leaving work voluntarily disqualifies you from receiving unemployment compensation. An individual must lose a job due to no fault of his own to qualify for benefits. However, depending on the laws in your state and your circumstances, you may be eligible to receive unemployment if you quit because you don't have daycare for your child.
You must have a good reason for quitting your job if you want to collect unemployment benefits. The reason must be connected directly to the job. Generally, lack of daycare is not a qualifying reason for unemployment benefits. However, if you work a night shift and no overnight daycare is available in your area, you may be eligible. You may need to prove that an employer was aware of your circumstances and refused to schedule you for a different shift.
Employers may allow an employee to take family leave to take care of a family member, including a child. If you quit because you feel that an employer discriminated against you by denying a request for family leave to take care of a child, you may have good cause. The Supreme Court has reviewed several cases when employers unlawfully denied male employees' family leave requests for childcare reasons. The Supreme Court determined that employers discriminated against the employees with caregiving responsibilities.
Domestic Violence Victims
Many states have passed laws allowing victims of domestic violence to apply for unemployment benefits if they quit jobs for that reason. Some states define domestic violence as a qualifying cause, and others list it under personal reasons. The laws take into consideration that these women may have difficulties being available for employment, as they may need to find a new home and daycare for their children. If you had to quit your job because you don't have daycare and you are a victim of domestic violence, check the unemployment laws in your state to ensure you qualify.
If you quit to care for a child who is ill or has a medical condition that requires specialized daycare, you may qualify for unemployment compensation. Many states allow an individual to receive benefits if she leaves her job to tend to a family member. If your child needs special care and there are no specialized daycare facilities in your area, you may qualify.
- National Conference of State Legislatures: Unemployment Insurance and Domestic Violence
- NOLO: When You Are Entitled to Unemployment Compensation
- EEOC; Enforcement Guidance: Unlawful Disparate Treatment of Workers with Caregiving Responsibilities; Naomi C. Earp; May 23, 2007
- Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands: Unemployment Checks (PDF)