IfI must relocate for personal reasons, canI claim unemployment benefits?

I am currently gainfully employed in NY state, but due to unforeseen complications with me (fiancees pregnancy), I will be moving to WA, instead of her moving here. The company I work for does not have stores anywhere in the Pacific Northwest and I am already looking for a job there but haven’t found one yet. Can I claim unemployment benefits in NY state until I find employment due tothis relocation?

Asked on July 15, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, unfortunately, you will not be able to claim unemployment compensation. Unemployment insurance is not available when someone voluntarily leaves a job for a personal reason--even a completely understandable and morally valid personal reason. Your leaving is voluntary, based upon your life issues; unemployment is not available when someone leaves voluntarily. It is available for being fired (other than for cause); being laid off; or for cases of "constructive termination" when the job conditions are changed in such as way as to make retaining the job impossible--e.g. when a person is transferred by the employer to a new location that is far farther than the old one and farther than anyone would be expected to travel or commute to work.


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