Vigilant Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law, HR, safety & workers' comp

Jul 29, 2015

Can an employee who voluntarily quit still get unemployment benefits?

Q&AEmployee BenefitsTermination & Resignation 

We just received a notice from the Employment Department letting us know that one of our former employees has filed for unemployment benefits. This employee voluntarily quit a few weeks ago; can he now qualify for unemployment?

Possibly, depending on the circumstances. Generally, an employee who voluntarily quits without good cause is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits. However, there are a few exceptions. For example, an employee who quits because he is subjected to harassment or a hostile work environment can still qualify for benefits. This is sometimes referred to as “constructive discharge.” Additionally, an employee who voluntarily quits to move because their spouse got a new job, to escape domestic violence, or due to other compelling family reasons may still qualify for benefits. The specifics vary a little from state to state, but there are definitely times when the employee will be eligible for benefits even after voluntarily leaving employment.

This website presents general information in nontechnical language. This information is not legal advice. Before applying this information to a specific management decision, consult legal counsel.