Unemployment Benefits Appeal: Resigning for “Good Cause”

Generally, a claimant is not qualified to receive unemployment benefits if she voluntarily resigns from her employment, unless there is “good cause” for quitting. Good cause must be a significant and compelling circumstance that makes is increasingly difficult or impracticable for an employee to continue working.

In a recent case I handled, which I did not hope to win, the claimant was awarded benefits even though she quit. The circumstances of her resignation were unique and interesting. She resigned on the same day that she was placed on a performance improvement plan. The disciplinary action outlined her 30-day goals that she knew she could not completely. The warning made it clear that she is likely to be terminated if she doesn’t complete all the outlined goals. Interestingly enough, the claimant was given an option to take severance and resign during the same meeting she was given the warning. The claimant elected to take the offered severance and resign.

The Unemployment Appeals Board found in my client’s favor, specifically focusing on the fact that the employer refused to give the claimant additional time to complete the tasks in the PIP.

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