Quit AND Collect Unemployment

Published: Jan 08, 2015

Quit AND Collect Unemployment
January 8, 2015
By Jeff Shane for Biospace.com

Jonathan was miserable in his Pharmaceutical Sales Rep position but was afraid to quit. His reason: he couldn’t collect unemployment if he quit.

Or could he?

Don't Quit on the Spot
The reality is that it’s possible to quit and collect unemployment, although it has to be handled in the proper manner. In particular, that means not “quitting on the spot.” Rather, it’s important to document your complaints—not unlike an employer might do in issuing disciplinary notices to employees that (cumulatively) lead to their eventual dismissal. This means notifying your employer in writing of your complaints and documenting them for your own file. You will ultimately want to offer compelling reasons for ending your employment—some examples might include harassment (including sexual), bullying, non-payment of benefits or commissions, or unethical business practices, to name a few. Some of these concerns may warrant prospective legal as well as remedial corporate action.

Document Complaints
In creating such a “paper trail” the employee—upon quitting the position—can cite the dates such complaints were made, the party(s) to whom they were made, and any management commitments that were made but which ultimately were not kept. Such documentation will support the position that management understood the complaint, perhaps suggested that some form of remedial action would take place, and then failed to deliver on a timely basis. When presented at an unemployment hearing or similar venue, such documentation can make the difference in whether the employee is awarded unemployment compensation.

Strategize
When quitting, it’s a good idea to simply indicate you are resigning on a given day and to leave it at that. Resist the temptation to explain the reasons involved as an employer may use such input against you at your unemployment hearing.

Also, be aware that giving the traditional “two weeks notice”—and getting paid for it accordingly—doesn’t necessarily make you ineligible for unemployment. Nor does being given your final notice and then being escorted out of the building.

Support Your Unemployment Claim
Lastly, be mindful that once you have left the company and filed for unemployment, there is a real possibility that your former employer may choose to make things difficult with your prospective future employers. Consider having a reference-checking organization such as Allison & Taylor (www.allisontaylor.com) conduct a reference check with either your last supervisor or Human Resources representative once you leave the organization. If any unfavorable commentary is offered about you, you will be able to use the report in support of your unemployment claim. Equally important, you will be able to identify potential negative input that might be shared with a prospective employer at some later date. You will also have remedial options available to you in neutralizing future such commentary from a former employer(s).

In summary, the saying “never assume” applies to the possibility of qualifying for unemployment after quitting your job. Follow the steps described here and greatly improve your chances of a favorable outcome.

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