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Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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Can I qualify for unemployment benefits if I resigned from

Customer Question

Can I qualify for unemployment benefits if I resigned from my job volunteraliy? and do I have a case against my previous employer?
The following are reasons for quitting my job. I submitted them with my exit interview quationare:

1- I feel an inequality between me and others in my group. Everyone in my group is a salaried employee except me. While they maintain flexibility in the hours they keep, I have to clock in and out at fixed times like a blue collar worker.
2- Upon my return from maternity leave, I started reporting to XXXXX XXXXX. Almost immediately our working relationship started to deteriorate. I felt that she was very abrasive with staff and commonly displayed unprofessional behavior for someone in a supervisory position. For example, often, in group meetings, she treated me in condescending manner as if I was a child which I found highly offensive. I feel that Jacqueline treated me differently because I was a new mother, going so far as to tell me privately that I should quit and stay home with my newborn. I spoke to Paul Auric about this matter.
3- I am well educated and very skilled at what I do in comparison with others in my group. I perform the same tasks and same responsibilities as others in my group that are ranked higher, paid more, and are salaried. In fact I am often asked by others to review investigation reports and explain to them and help compose communications emails and documents. I have also lead group meetings and other organizational events that more senior staff was not willing to perform. Yet I remain the most junior person in the group and since my return from maternity leave, have been assigned remedial tasks such as filing. Filing should not be the responsibility of someone with bachelor’s degree in biology and an MBA. It certainly isn’t in my job description. However, the new management seems keen on assigning me this mindless task as opposed to leveraging my education and my experience.
4- As a mother, I have to juggle my work hours with my son’s daycare hours. Recently I have had difficulty with this. Jacqueline was not willing to grant me reasonable flexibility in work hours and gave me a verbal warning at the director’s office. I felt terrorized and retaliated on for reporting her about the above incident. I also find it unfair that I was not allowed flexibility in hours to take care of personal matters so long as it did not interfere with work while others who are salaried are allowed. In fact if I take time away from work then I don’t get paid while certain salaried staff members take personal time without recoding PTOs. Then I am the one that is called upon for breaking the law.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 5 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

Unfortunately, in order to receive unemployment benefits you need to be terminated through no fault of your own, and cannot have voluntarily quit your job.

The only circumstances in which you can receive unemployment benefits after quitting your job would be if you had good cause to leave your job, which would mean that the employment circumstances were bad enough that a reasonable person would not continue to work for the employer.

The reasons need to be "real, substantial, and compelling and would cause a reasonable person genuinely desirous of retaining employment to leave work under the same circumstances."

See the definition of good cause:

"Good cause" is defined in Title 22, Section 1256-3(b):

"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.


Taken together, your reasons may be substantial enough to constitute good cause, especially being treated differently on the basis of your use of maternity leave.


You should file a claim for unemployment benefits, which you can do online here:


If you were being treated differently based on your use of maternity leave, then you would likely have good cause to leave employment, and could have the basis for a discrimination claim.

You can file a claim with the EEOC using the instructions here:

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