can I collect unemployment if I quit my job?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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can I collect unemployment if I quit my job?

My company is shorthanded with field service personnel, as a result I have had to jump around the country to perform jobs. I covered 5 different time zones within a month and a half. Constantly being in different times zones has worn me down and I need to quit this job so my health doesn’t deteriorate my sleep patterns are all messed up. Will I be able to file for unemployment in case it takes me a while to get another job? Additionally, we constantly work long 10-12 hour days. Some of the guys eat while driving, I use the time to check emails, make calls to sites, and we always have to be available to take calls so we don’t punch out. Labor laws requires we get a break during the day so the company wants us to punch out for lunch even though they require us to answer incoming calls. Well, all time when the employee is acting under the direction or control of the employer, or is acting primarily for the benefit of the employer such as being available to take calls we are

Asked on November 29, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

1) The law does not recognize having to work long hours or having to travel a lot (even to different time zones), or the effect of long hours or work stress on your health, as grounds that would let you quit your job and receive unemployment. U.S. law doesn't limit your workdays or travel or how stressful jobs may be. Therefore, if you quit for this reason, it will be regarded as a voluntary separation from employment and you will be ineligible for unemployment benefits.
2) If you work during a "break" it is work time and you must be paid for: for a break to be unpaid, you must not be working and must be free to socialize, relax, sleep, eat or whatever. If you have had to work during breaks but have not been paid for it, you may have a wage and hour complaint and should contact the state department of labor.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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