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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I have been on a unpaid family leave for the past 8 weeks to

Customer Question

I have been on a unpaid family leave for the past 8 weeks to help my mother with her health issues. I will not be able to go back to my current managers full time position because of this. Can I file for unemployment?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question.

In order to be eligible for unemployment benefits, a claimant must (among other things) be out of work "through no fault of their own." Typically, this criteria is only satisfied if an employer actually terminates an employee. However, employees are eligible to collect UE benefits when they voluntarily leave their position in a very limited set of circumstances which may include to provide care for an ill family member.

The EDD will examine whether leaving work was absolutely necessary before it will award benefits. Specifically, the EDD states: "Generally, the claimant's presence must be necessary in order to care for the ill family member. The claimant may need to personally provide nursing care for the ill person, or the claimant's presence may be necessary in order to care for minor children belonging to the ill family member. For example, the claimant's mother may be critically ill and no one else is available to care for the claimant's younger brothers and sisters, or the normal household duties, such as cooking and cleaning, require the claimant's attention."

Further, the illness must typically be regarded as "critical." Specifically, Title 22, Section 1256-10, provides:

"(c) Compelling circumstances requiring the claimant's leaving of work and presence . . . include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) The claimant knows or reasonably believes that a member of the claimant's family is seriously ill, physically or mentally, and there is no reasonable alternative to the claimant's presence, or a family member is in danger of death."

For more information from the EDD on this subject, visit this link:
Scroll down the page about 20% for the relevant information.

For a more general overview of the eligibility requirements for UE benefits, visit this link:

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX 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.

Patrick, Esq. and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Hi. Can you be more specific in regard to what was lacking in my answer? I am happy to provide whatever additional clarification is necessary.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
If my company can not let me resume my current position at a part time schedule, can I file?
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Typically, an employee does not have the right to demand a particular work schedule or a reduced work schedule. Accordingly, an employee who quits in response to an employer's refusal to permit a schedule modification typically will not be eligible to receive benefits on that ground alone.

That said, if the employee is requesting a reduced schedule to care for an ill family member, the reduced schedule is NECESSARY to provide such care and the family member's condition is sufficiently critical, he or she may still be able to quit and collect benefits pursuant to the law that I cited in my original response to you.

I sincerely hope that this clarifies. Please let me know if you require any additional clarification. Best regards.