Can An Employee Receive Unemployment Insurance If They Quit?

Dear M & M: Recently, I had an employee quit. On the way out the door they stated, “Now you will have to pay unemployment insurance”. Can an employee receive unemployment insurance if they quit? –Josh-

Dear Josh:

Generally, no, unless they can show they had a very good reason for quitting. Being unappreciated or not liking the boss is not a good enough reason to collect unemployment insurance. People who are unemployed through no fault of their own, or work-related misconduct, who are willing and able to work, and actively looking for work can be eligible to collect unemployment insurance.

Eligibility will depend on why a person quit. If they quit the job for “Good Cause” that can be attributed to an employer they may be eligible for benefits. “Good Cause” reasons may include: Unsafe working conditions, broken contracts, sexual harassment, and changes in working conditions that caused harm or hardship.

There are special circumstances where a person can quit and receive unemployment insurance. Using the example unsafe working conditions a person may be able to quit and still claim unemployment insurance. Let us say for this example your work environment is damaging to your health so you decide to quit.

You will need medical verification proving that your work is making you sick or making an existing condition worse. In addition, you must file reports that show you are actively looking for work on a regular basis to receive unemployment insurance. In this example, if the person was injured or caused illness based on working conditions he might be eligible to receive benefits under workman’s compensation not unemployment.

Contact numbers to ask specific questions or to get additional help from AZ Unemployment Insurance Call Center call Toll Free: The AZ Unemployment Insurance Call Center hours are currently 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. (except for official Arizona State holidays). AZ Unemployment Insurance Call Center Telephone Numbers: Toll Free: 1 (877) 600-2722 Phoenix: (602) 364-2722 Tucson: (520) 791-2722. Obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney familiar with Arizona and federal labor laws would be a wised course to take if you are uncertain or need additional assistance.

-M&M

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