• Posted By Sirmabekian
  • 2022

Can you get unemployment if you quit your job in California? In short, you can, but the long answer depends on why you quit. Furthermore, the Employment Development Department (EDD) has some clearly defined criteria that you must meet in order to obtain unemployment benefits. Should your claim for unemployment be approved, you can receive up to $450 a week for 26 weeks while you seek new employment. However, things may be more complicated if you were fired for misconduct. We discuss more about unemployment in California here.

What is Unemployment?

The Unemployment Insurance program in California provides monetary compensation for workers who are unemployed or underemployed. You must file a claim and meet the requirements for unemployment before you can receive UI benefits. You must then continue to meet eligibility requirements weekly to continue to receive them.

Reasons to Collect Unemployment in California

The general requirement for unemployment that an individual must meet in California is that they have been out of work “through no fault of their own”. Most people collect unemployment because they have been:

  • Laid off
  • Fired (for not being able to perform their job or for not being a good fit at their company)

However, being fired for conduct might prevent you from receiving benefits. These 4 areas need to be met for misconduct to be determined

  • You owed a material duty – tasks that need to be performed as part of your occupation – to your employer
  • You substantially breached your duty
  • The breach was a willful or wanton act – in other words, it was intentional
  • The breach harmed the business interests of your employer

Collecting Unemployment after Quitting

Quitting your job usually means that you are ineligible to collect unemployment benefits. However, you may still collect these benefits if you are found to have a good cause for quitting. These include:

  • Unsafe working conditions
  • Discrimination
  • Fraud

To receive benefits under the conditions outlined above, it needs to be shown that there was an effort made to correct the issues made. However, if you left a job because of domestic violence or health reasons, you would most likely be determined to have reasonable cause for quitting.

Qualifying for Employment

Here are the general criteria you need to meet to qualify. You:

  • Are unemployed through no fault of your own
  • Are able to work and seeking employment actively
  • Meet certain thresholds for past earnings (based on a 12-month base period)

If you think you meet these conditions, file a claim by calling the EDD hotline or visiting their site. An interview will then be conducted with you and your ex-employer about 2 weeks after the claim has been filed. If your claim was denied, you will receive a Notice of Determination letting you know. You will then have 20 days to appeal the decision, which you are encouraged to do with the advice of a reputable attorney.

Employee Rights in California

California is an at-will employment state. This means that employers can terminate their employees at any time. This leads many workers to think that they have no rights, but this is not true. Knowing your rights means that you have the power to protect them, for you and your coworkers, so learn more about your rights as a California worker.

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