Best Practices – Voluntary Quits

Best Practices – Voluntary Quits

There are generally three types of separations: voluntary quit, discharge, and lack of work. How state agencies view the separation is determined by the facts and circumstances surrounding the separation and the various rules, regulations, and laws in the particular state.
A classic example of a voluntary quit is when an individual tells their employer “I quit!” States may also rule that an employee voluntarily quit if they abandon their assignment by failing to report to work for a series of days or if they fail to maintain contact with their employer about their availability.

In some cases, benefits may be paid to individuals who voluntarily resign. However, the burden of proof will rest with the former employee to prove that they had good cause to quit and that it was attributable to the employer. In order to prove good cause, the individual will need to prove three things:

They left for a compelling reason such as:

  1. change in the hiring agreement
  2. change of pay
  3. change of hours/schedule
  4. change of location
  5. There was no alternative but to resign
  6. They did everything possible to rectify the situation prior to resigning

In a protest, the state will first expect a clear and concise explanation of the events that led up to the separation. They will also look for documentation to support the employer’s position. This documentation may include a letter of resignation, an employee statement, a signed receipt showing the employees’ awareness of company policies, and/or other related documents. If the former employee alleges some type of dissatisfaction with their employment, the employer will have to show that there was something in place for the individual to resolve the issue.

There a few types of “quits” that will generally be viewed as a discharge and in these cases, the same burden of proof rules will be applied as if it were a discharge:

  1. A forced resignation- if the former employee had no real choice between resigning or being fired, states will view such a separation as a discharge
  2. Only one no call/no show on record- it’s important to allow more than one occurrence before discharging an employee so that there is sufficient documentation
  3. A demotion- if the former employee quit because the demotion resulted in less pay or different job duties, the employer will have to prove misconduct was the reason for the demotion.
  4. A voluntary resignation- if the former employee resigned and provided a two week notice, but the employer did not allow them to fulfill the two weeks, it will be viewed as a discharge.

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