Can I Collect Unemployment if I Quit?
One common question unemployment attorneys regularly hear is whether a person can collect unemployment benefits if they quit their job. The answer to this question is the same as many questions in the legal world: it depends on the circumstances of your situation.
Whether or not you can collect unemployment benefits in Missouri after quitting depends on the reasons that you left your job. Any applicant for unemployment benefits will have to show that they meet all of the eligibility requirements before qualifying to receive funds. This will be a difficult task for an employee who has voluntarily quit their job.
In order to collect unemployment benefits in Missouri, you must satisfy three eligibility requirements:
- You must be unemployed through no fault of your own
- You must meet earning thresholds set out by law
- You must be available to work and actively seeking employment.
Employees who have quit their job will have an initial hurdle in establishing that they are unemployed through no fault of their own.
When Quitting Qualifies
Under Missouri law, you may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits if you quit for good cause related to your work or your employer. This is a high burden to meet, and it is the responsibility of the person seeking benefits to prove that they did not leave work voluntarily.
To establish “good cause related to the work or the employer,” the reason for leaving your job must be sufficiently serious, such as a drastic reduction in pay, a dangerous workplace, or ongoing harassment that was not addressed by the employer. If you were suffering harassment and your employer was not helping to stop it, you may have quit because you felt like you had no other options. This is called constructive discharge, and the law does not consider this to be the same as voluntarily quitting your job. Victims of constructive discharge should be eligible to receive unemployment benefits.
You will not be eligible for unemployment benefits if you left your job without good cause. Reasons such as you did not like your employer, co-workers, job duties, or hours are not enough to qualify as good cause. Simply not showing up for work constitutes quitting, as well.
Just because you technically quit your job does not necessarily mean you are ineligible for benefits. An experienced Missouri unemployment attorney can help you to gather all of the evidence and support justifying the reason for leaving your job and present it clearly and concisely to the state so that you have the best chance of receiving the benefits to which you are entitled.
Call a St. Louis Unemployment Attorney Today for a Free Consultation
If you are seeking unemployment benefits after leaving your job for good cause, you should contact a Missouri unemployment attorney for assistance right away. At The Law Office of Kenneth P. Carp, we have the experience and expertise to help you resolve any unemployment benefit issues you may be facing. Call us at (636) 947-3600 today or contact us online to schedule your consultation.