Saturday, September 19, 2009

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS - VOLUNTARY SEPARATION

I am awaiting a decision on a case on whether an individual quit or was fired. The Unemployment Insurance Law requires that a claimant voluntarily separated from employment be disqualified if the separation is "without good cause" (Section 593.1 (a)). The term "voluntary separation" as used in the statute means leaving employment of one’s own free will. Without going into details of the facts of the case, I point out that if you are an employee and are being discharged for any reason, you should never sign a document without it being reviewed by a lawyer as it might contain language that may hurt you in claiming benefits. If, after some meeting or altercation with your employer, you are unsure as to whether or not your employer has fired you, don't just pack and leave - check with your supervisor and perhaps one other so more than one individual has made it clear that you were fired. I have seen situation, now several times, where, after an altercation, employers have given unclear signals which the employee interprets as being fired; later the employer will state that the employer was not fired but quit.

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