Can I receive unemployment if I quit my job?

If you’ve resigned from your job–even under the worst of circumstances–you may be in fear that you cannot receive unemployment benefits. We are often contacted by individuals who have to quit their jobs because of illness, of unsafe work conditions, or because a spouse is being transferred to another military assignment. Here is what the law says about this issue:

O.C.G.A. § 34-8-194 states that an employee shall be disqualified from receiving unemployment benefit if:

such individual has left the most recent employer voluntarily without good cause in connection with the individual’s most recent work. Good cause shall be determined by the Commissioner according to the circumstances of the case.

Therefore, the key is whether the employee left with “good cause.” If the employee had “good cause” to quit, as defined by law, he or she should be entitled to benefits. The courts have held that certain conditions are “good cause” for resignation, as a matter of law. These are:

  • An employee’s spouse being reassigned by the military to a different location.
  • A medical condition that is worsened by some condition of the workplace.
  • Absence due to court-order subpoena (such as to appear in juvenile proceedings of a family member).
  • Being subject to verbal or physical abuse from employer, such that a reasonable person would leave the workplace under the circumstance

The courts have said that certain circumstances do not constitute “good cause.” These include:

  • Moving out of town for personal, non-military reasons.
  • Not getting along with co-workers.
  • Disagreeing with the way your manager runs the business.

As you can see, there is no easy answer to the question, “can I receive unemployment benefits if I leave my job?” It all depends on the specific circumstances of your case.

Having an attorney can be very helpful in presenting your case to the Department of Labor, and demonstrating that there was “good cause” for you to leave your job. Don’t go it alone. Contact our lawyers for a consultation and representation at your unemployment appeal hearing.