Sometimes quitting a job is about more than just disliking the position and wanting a change. Sometimes staying in a job becomes more of a financial or health obstacle to an employee than quitting. Because of these instances, some state unemployment laws allow people who have quit their jobs for good cause to still collect unemployment benefits.
The laws governing who is eligible for unemployment varies from state to state. Some states are very conservative on allowing people who resign to obtain unemployment benefits and others are more liberal. Before you decide to quit your job, check with your state unemployment insurance program to determine the resignation exceptions. You can find this information through a phone call to your state employment agency or navigating to the state's employment department website and finding the link to the unemployment insurance program.
Reduction of Work Hours
If your employer has significantly reduced your scheduled working hours, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits. For example, if you were hired to work a 40-hour work week and your employer greatly reduces your hours, you could qualify for unemployment benefits. You may need to include the number of hours your work schedule was reduced to when you apply for benefits.
Family and Medical Reasons
A variety of family and medical situations can be good cause to resign from a job and get unemployment benefits. For example, if your spouse or child becomes ill and you must care for them full-time. Also, if you are a victim of domestic abuse, quitting you job may be seen as a necessity for your emotional and physical health, and you may qualify for benefits.
Discrimination at Work
Your psychological wellness is also a reason states may consider when determining who is eligible for unemployment benefits. Most states have laws that protect people from discrimination on the job because of their age, sex or religion. If you have been discriminated in the workplace and you quit your job as a result of the discrimination, you may file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Your complaint may result in your resignation being deemed for cause and you may receive unemployment benefits.
Hostile Work Environment
If you quit your job because you have experienced psychological or physical abuse not covered by anti-discrimination laws, you may be able to collect unemployment benefits because of a hostile work environment. For example, a hostile work environment might be a situation in which your manager or a co-worker treats you poorly in retaliation for reporting illegal or discriminatory activities.
Read More: How to Prove a Hostile Work Environment for Unemployment
Robert Spielman has been writing career- and job-search related articles since 2010. His articles have appeared in The Metropolitan and Salon. He holds a technical and professional writing degree from Metropolitan State University.