Am Ieligable for unemployment benefits if I ended a 7 months contract1 month early?

UPDATED: Jun 10, 2011

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Am Ieligable for unemployment benefits if I ended a 7 months contract1 month early?

I am employed though a temp agency to work on a client site for 7 months. The agency pays me salary on W2. Due to stress, I ended my contract 1 month sooner voluntarily. Does this mean I forfeit my right to collect unemployment, even the contract is going to end anyway? The agency did mail me EDD brochure 2 weeks after I left the job to notify me my rights. I applied but got denied. Now my appeal hearing is 2 weeks away.I wonder if I should even bother going through the hearing? If it’s a definitive no, I will cancel the meeting and not waste anyone’s time.

Asked on June 10, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, whether or not the contract would have ended shortly anyway, in this case, you voluntarily ended your employment when it did end. Unemployment is not available when someone chooses to leave his or her job, even if the job would have terminated in the future. (If the job is going to end soon, you're expected to stick it out until the end.) Similarly, even if you leave for what you believe is a very good reason--for example, stress--that does not justify, for unemployment purposes, voluntarily leaving your job. (If it did, almost *everyone* would leave their job at some to collect unemployment because of stress!) So in this case, while if doesn't cost you anything, there's probably no reason to not appeal, the rules are very much against you.

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