Can You Get Unemployment Benefits If You Quit Your Job?


Posted by: Chris

If you quit your job voluntarily, you will typically not be able to collect Oklahoma unemployment benefits. However, if you had good cause for quitting -- say, because of unsafe work conditions or unfair treatment -- you may qualify for unemployment benefits.

Oklahoma law defines “good cause” for quitting a job as circumstances that change your working conditions to the extent that your job proves harmful to your health, safety, or morals. Good cause also applies if your employer has treated you unfairly or if you are subjected to difficult working conditions. In addition, good cause may apply if you leave your job under a collective bargaining agreement or an employer plan that allows you to quit and your employer agrees.

Under Oklahoma law, some of the conditions that meet the standard of good cause include:

  • Unsafe working conditions
  • Hazardous to your health
  • Job causes or worsens an illness
  • A change in working conditions that is harmful
  • A breach in original hiring terms by your employer

In addition, there may be changes in your personal situation that would rise to the level of good cause, thereby making you eligible for unemployment benefits. For example:

  • If your employer moves and the distance to the new location is too far from your home, you may have good cause to leave and look for work elsewhere.
  • If your job requirements have changed and you have a medical condition that will limit your ability to meet these new requirements, you may have good cause to quit if your employer will not accommodate your medical needs.
  • If you have to quit in order to care for a seriously ill family member or suddenly lack childcare, you may qualify for unemployment benefits while you look for more flexible job opportunities.

Getting unemployment benefits after you quit a job is not easy. Since you are the one who terminated the employment relationship, you will have to prove that you had good cause to quit. Contacting an Oklahoma unemployment attorney to discuss your options before you leave your job will give you the guidance you need to determine if you will qualify for unemployment benefits. 

Additionally, your employer may have violated your rights, for example by forcing you to work in an unsafe condition, refusing to allow you time off to help a sick family member, or refusing to accommodate your disability, when you were pushed to quit.  If that is so, you need to speak to an attorney experienced in employment law so that you can evaluate what options are available to you.

If you are quitting your job for good cause, seek legal representation from the attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. Our team will fight to protect your rights and recover compensation from your employer. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.