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I hope that you will appreciate a very direct answer although it is not exactly what you are hoping to hear.
As a general rule, an employee cannot quit their employment and receive unemployment benefits. This is because one of the requirements of receiving benefits is that the claimant be out of work "through no fault of their own." When a worker voluntarily leaves their position, the EDD typically regards XXXXX XXXXX as "with fault," because they are essentially unemployed by choice.
There are certain limited exceptions to this rule, such are leaving work "with good cause." (UI Code 1256)
"Good cause" is defined in Section 1256-3(b) as follows:
'Good cause' exists for leaving work, when a substantial motivating factor in causing the claimant to leave work, at the time of leaving, whether or not work connected, is real, substantial, and compelling and would cause a reasonable person genuinely desirous of retaining employment to leave work under the same circumstances.
Generally good cause for leaving work is decided on the facts at the time the claimant left work. Unless there is a timely connection between any alleged reason for leaving and the actual leaving, the employee has waived what might otherwise justify termination of the employment relationship and has negated the required causal connection between any given alleged reason for leaving and leaving. The claimant may submit several reasons for leaving work, some of which, when considered individually, do not constitute good cause. However, if one reason which is good cause is a substantial motivating factor in causing the claimant to leave work, the claimant's leaving is with good cause.
Section 1256-3(c) also provides:
Prior to leaving work, the claimant has a duty to attempt to preserve the employment relationship
. Failure to do so negates what would otherwise constitute good cause.
Title 22, Section 1256-3 further provides:
This duty may be satisfied by reasonable steps, including, but not limited to, any of the following:
- Seeking an adjustment of the problem by allowing the employer an opportunity to remedy the situation if the employer can reasonably do so.
- Seeking a leave of absence or transfer to other employment with the same employer if likely to remedy the problem and if the claimant knew or should have known that a leave or a transfer probably would have been granted had one been requested.
- Taking steps within his or her own control, such as hiring a sitter for child care to solve a child care problem, or joining a car pool or repairing an automobile or purchasing a replacement vehicle to solve a transportation problem.
For a more in depth discussion about what constitutes reasonable cause, visit this link: http://www.edd.ca.gov/uibdg/Voluntary_Quit_VQ_5.htm#Good%20Cause
Scroll down about 2/3 of the page.
The short answer is that undesirable work conditions typically do not qualify as substantial justification to leave one's position and collect unemployment. However, if the conditions are so poor that a reasonable person could not possibly continue work, and the worker has done what he or she can to preserve the employment relationship, that worker may be eligible for benefits upon leaving the job.
All of this is to say that it is extremely difficult to collect UE benefits when one leaves their job voluntarily. Even in cases where the working conditions were truly egregious, the worker takes a big risk leaving with anticipation of collecting benefits, because the EDD rules on these things on a case-by-case basis, so it's impossible to predict with certainty what will happen in any individual instance.
I sincerely hope that this information helps you and I wish you the very best of luck. Bear in mind that none of the above constitutes legal advice nor is any attorney client relationship created between us.Please abide by the honor code of this website by kindly clicking on the GREEN ACCEPT button if my answer has been helpful to you. Thank you very much.