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Can I collect unemployment in California if I quit my job?

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2023 | Employee Rights, Employment Law

We all have our reasons for quitting a job. Sometimes, we just want to seek greener pastures elsewhere or we got a golden opportunity at another company. But at other times, our workplace conditions are so intolerable that we feel pressured to quit.

Quitting a job may seem like the right or even only thing to do. Nevertheless, without another position lined up, after we quit, we are left without an income until we find a new job. Can we collect unemployment benefits even if we quit?

Can you seek unemployment benefits if you quit?

If you quit a job and apply for unemployment benefits, an interview will be scheduled with the Employment Development Department. This interview will determine whether you qualify for unemployment benefits.

To qualify for benefits after quitting, you must show you had good cause for leaving your job. In general, good cause can be shown if a reasonable worker in your situation would have quit given the same circumstances.

Some examples of good cause might include being subject to acts of discrimination or on-going harassment or being retaliated against for reporting employer misconduct.

Employers cannot legally discriminate against protected category workers or retaliate against a worker for asserting a legal right.

Even “constructive discharge” in which an employer does not overtly discriminate or harass, but makes a workplace so intolerable that the employee feels they have no other choice but to quit, might be considered unlawful under the right circumstances.

Seek the benefits you deserve

Being unemployed, even if we quit our previous job, is tough. But even people in California who quit have the chance to obtain unemployment benefits so they can support themselves until the next great opportunity comes along.

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