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In general, an individual will be eligible to receive benefits provided that they have received enough wages
during the base period to establish a claim (not an issue for most claimants), they are physically able and available to immediately accept work, actively seeking work, and unemployed through no fault of their own.
Employees who quit will generally be denied benefits pursuant to the final criteria, since they made the voluntary decision to leave their job and thus are unemployed "through fault of their own." However, if an employee is forced to quit, there is nothing "voluntary" about their resignation, and thus, their claim will not be denied on this basis.
Title 22, Section 1256-1(d) specifically addresses this circumstance. That section states:"An employee who leaves work when asked by the employer to either resign or be fired, or an employee who resigns rather than agree to a forced leave of absence, has not left work of his or her own free will. In these situations, since the employee did not choose to quit, the employer is the moving party in the separation and the employee becomes involuntarily unemployed.
Of course, as always in law are issues of proof. You will need to prove
that you did not "choose" to quit but rather were forced to under threat of termination
. This can be proven through your personal testimony alone if the EDD
believes you over your employer, but it is always good to have additional evidence. Additional evidence can take just about any form, as EDD hearings are very informal and strict rules of evidence don't apply. So, if you have emails or voicemails from your employer threatening termination or demanding that you resign, that would be very helpful. Anything else you can think of which tends to support your claim that you were forced to quit, such as witness statements, would also be beneficial.
In short, one of the requirements to collect unemployment is that you are unemployed through no fault of your own, and when an employee truly "quits," they will be denied benefits since they chose unemployment. However, compelled resignations or resignations in lieu of discharge will not result in disqualification because they are not truly voluntary and thus unemployment is not "through fault." Proof may be your biggest obstacle, but you can offer your personal testify and whatever other writings, witness statements, or other materials which tend to support that quitting was not truly your choice.
Please do not hesitate
to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.
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