Is it possible to get unemployment if you quit your job? How do you qualify for unemployment if you have quit your job?

I had been working at a company for 3 years and never had a bad review or write up. However, I was denied a rase and promotion on several occasions while other newer employees where given promotions, raises and new positions that I had requested and worked towards getting. I felt I was being discriminated against and as they could provide no real answers as to why this had happend or what I could do to ensure future promotions. I felt I had no other options but to quit.

Asked on May 9, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

In an "at will" employment arrangement, there is no legal obligation for an employer to give a raise and/or promotion to an employee. This is true unless there is a was agreement providing otherwise - company policy, a union agreement or employment contract. Also, not all employees need be treated the same or even fairly. Discrimination in the workplace is not illegal unless it is based on an employee's race, religion, nationality, gender, disability , age (over 40), etc. Accordingly, you had no valid reason to quit. In other words, you did not have "cause". Consequently, since you quit voluntarily, you are ineligible to receive unemployment benefits.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You are not eligible for unemployment benefits if you quit because you did not receive raises or promoions. There is no right or entitlement to raises or promotions (e.g. it is perfectly legal for someone to never be promoted or get a raise), and employers are free to give raises and promotions to some employees but not others. Therefore, you employer was doing nothing wrongful or which the law would recognize as making your job impossible or unreasonable. Therefore, your quitting would be viewed as being voluntary, and when you quit voluntarily, you cannot get unemployment.

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