Written by attorney Susan A. Wuchinich

Virginia Unemployment Compensation Claimants: Quitting Your Job-Consult with an Attorney First.

The Virginia Employment Commission has determined that there are several grounds that could, if all conditions are met, form the basis for quitting for good cause; they are conscientious objection, distance to work and transportation, care of parents, children under the age of 18, and spouses, child care, health and physical condition, certain mandatory retirements, working conditions, and leaving for another job that did not materialize. A description of each of these situations is beyond the scope of this article and is best addressed on an individual claimant basis prior to quitting.

The standard that a claimant must meet in order to successfully quit for good cause is a stringent one. First, the reason underlying the claimant’s decision to quit must have been so compelling and necessitous so as to leave him or her no alternative but to leave. Second, prior to leaving, the claimant must make every effort to resolve the issues with his or her employer so as to protect his or her job.

The second part of the above test requires you to explore all possible internal mechanisms for resolving the issues that are forcing you to quit, taking into consideration the employer’s willingness or lack thereof to work with you. This means speaking with your supervisor and others in the management chain, using informal and formal processes that the employer offers, such as mediation to find a solution. It can involve: 1. Your obtaining a doctor’s statement on your behalf, documenting how this job is unsuitable for you; 2. Your asking for a leave of absence or a transfer to another location; 3. Your seeking other employment prior to quitting; 4. Your exhausting all avenues of alternate childcare for your children. It is important that (depending on the circumstance) you give the employer enough time to find a solution or not act at all. During this period, you should keep a record of your efforts and any supporting documents, such as emails, notices. The more efforts you make, the better your chances for obtaining unemployment compensation.

Keep in mind that this is just generalized guidance and that each case stands or falls on its own facts. One thing is certain, before you quit, seek counseling and guidance from a representative skilled in Virginia Unemployment Compensation.

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