Share

Current Events

Friday, January 22, 2021

NJ Employee Asks, I’m Unhappy, Can I Quit Job and Collect Unemployment Benefits? Part I

Many employees at some time feel that “enough is enough” on their job, are unhappy with their work situation, and want to quit and collect benefits while they try to locate a better employment position. Unfortunately, with rare exceptions, if a NJ worker voluntarily quits their employment position, she/he generally will not be entitled to receive unemployment benefits.

If you are unhappy in your job and thinking about resigning, you should contact an experienced employment law attorney before you do so. If you think your employer is forcing you out, pressuring you to quit, discriminating against you, harassing you, or illegally retaliating against you, you can contact this law office now for a free consultation.

In determining whether a claimant is entitled to benefits, the major question is whether the separation from work was involuntary. If it was a “Voluntary” quit, the claimant bears the burden of proving that the quit was for good cause “attributable to work.” But beware, the phrase “attributable to work” is extremely narrowly defined by case law and statute. It is not the conditions and/or causes emanating from the workplace and/or work environment that many claimants naturally would assume it to be. While there exists narrowly tailored rare exceptions, they will not all be addressed within the scope of this article.

Be advised that every unemployment compensation case has many potential problems which could lead to disqualification for benefits and this article is not intended in any manner to be giving legal advice in any particular case.  If you are going to file for unemployment, you should consult with an attorney prior to filing.

Interest in the “Involuntary Test” has been recently heightened in legal circles in a case recently argued before the New Jersey Supreme Court on January 6, 2021, which Court has yet to render a decision. In this matter, the Claimant was employed as a maintenance worker until he was arrested, and charged with kidnaping, burglary, robbery, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. His request for pretrial release was not granted. His mother contacted his employer because he wanted to keep his job, but the position was filled in December of 2017. Claimant was released from custody in  February of 2018, after a grand jury did not find sufficient evidence to sustain the return of an indictment. The prosecutor dismissed all the criminal warrants against him.

Claimant applied for unemployment compensation shortly thereafter. The Deputy Director denied the claim. The Appeal Tribunal also denied his claim. The Appeal Tribunal’s position was that he was disqualified for unemployment benefits because he was “separated due to his absence from work, which was a direct result from his incarceration,” Claimant was “considered to have left the job voluntarily in accordance with N.J.A.C. 12:17-9.1.”

his case finally made its way to the New Jersey Supreme Court which heard oral arguments on January 6, 2021. The Claimant maintained it was an error to treat pretrial incarceration, where all charges were dismissed, as a “voluntary” separation from employment under N.J.S.A. 43:21-5(a). His attorneys asserted this is inconsistent with the remedial purpose of unemployment laws, is unreasonable, wrongly disregards the “vital role” of the grand jury.The “threshold question” should be whether the departure from work was voluntary, not whether it was work-related. The New Jersey Supreme Court has not yet reached a decision as to whether he should be awarded benefits.

IF YOU ARE VERY UNHAPPY IN YOUR JOB

If you are unhappy in your job and thinking about resigning, you should contact an experienced employment law attorney before you do so. If you think your employer is forcing you out or discriminating against you, or illegally retaliating against you, you should call me call me now. I am an aggressive and compassionate employment law attorney who is successful in bringing discrimination, whistleblower, and illegal retaliation lawsuits and recovering money for workers who were subjected to their employer’s illegal acts. I have successfully represented employees of public entities and private employers, who were harassed, retaliated against, terminated or did not have their contract for employment renewed because of their employer's illegal bias and was successful in obtaining monetary compensation for them.

If you are being subjected to such unlawful workplace discrimination, contact Hope A. Lang, Attorney at Law today for a free consultation.

New Jersey employment attorney, Hope A. Lang, Attorney at Law serves clients throughout the state, including Bergen, Middlesex, Essex, Hudson, Monmouth, Ocean, Union, Camden, Passaic, and Morris Counties with locations in Southern, Central, Western and Northern NJ to meet with clients.



Archived Posts

2021
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2020
December
November
October
September
August
July
March
February
January
2019
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2018
December
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2017
2016
December
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2015
2013
2012



© 2021 Hope A. Lang, Attorney at Law | Disclaimer
912 Kinderkamack Road, Suite 3, River Edge, NJ 07661
| Phone: 201-599-9600

Employment/Civil Rights Law | Disability Law | Employee Performance Evaluations | Wills and Estate Planning | School Law and Educational Rights | Municipal Court Appearances | General Practice | | Employment Law | Testimonials

Attorney Website Design by
Zola Creative