Am I Eligible For Unemployment Benefits If I Quit My Job?
When an employee voluntarily quits their job, they may still be eligible for Unemployment Compensation (UC). Under the Pennsylvania UC law, if an employee quits their job and applies for UC benefits, it is the employee’s burden to establish that they quit their job for a “necessitous and compelling reason.” A common example is if an employee works a particular shift and the employer unilaterally changes their shift which interferes with the employee’s ability to provide care for their children. Under most circumstances, that may be a necessitous and compelling reason for leaving the job, however, the PA UC law requires that the employee take steps to preserve their employment. In reference to the example above, the UC office may inquire as to whether the employee spoke to the employer about how the change in shift would impact them; whether the employee attempted to transfer into another position on the more convenient shift; whether the employee asked about alternative work arrangements such as working from home; and what steps did the employee take to make alternative child care arrangements so they could work the new shift. It’s important to realize that the PA unemployment trust fund was severely depleted during the Great Recession and the state is still paying back funds borrowed from the Federal Government that they needed to pay jobless workers extended unemployment benefits. Consequently, if you are thinking of quitting your job, realize that you have an uphill battle and you must take great steps to preserve your job in order to be eligible for UC benefits.
If you have questions regarding your eligibility for UC benefits when you are thinking of leaving your job, you may want to think about speaking to an experienced employment lawyer before making your decision.