What are my rights to unemployment if I recently had to resign from my position because my husband was relocated for a new job and we were unable to maintain 2 households?

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What are my rights to unemployment if I recently had to resign from my position because my husband was relocated for a new job and we were unable to maintain 2 households?

I unfortunately just received a denial of unemployment benefits. They are saying that because my husband was not unemployed when he took his job, I am not eligible. I feel that I have a unique case because my husband is in a very specialized area and there aren’t a million jobs out there in our local area that he could have taken. And while he was not unemployed at the time, he was being pushed out by this company because he refused to relocate for a promotion without any relocation assistance from them. Should I appeal or is this hopeless?

Asked on December 27, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You have no right to unemployment if you let work to follow your husband's relocation for a new job. This is considered a voluntary resignation from employment: you chose to relocate for your husband's job; he had been employed at the time, and you could have chosen to stay with your job and make it more primary than his (i.e. he could have refused to relocate when doing so would cost you your job). It may have been the right or best decision for your family, but just because it was the right decision does not make you eligible for unemployment when you voluntarily left work, any more than one spouse could get unemploymet if he/she left work voluntarily to become a stay-at-home caregiver for young children.


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