Maryland Unemployment Insurance and “Voluntary Quit”

In general, someone who quits her employment voluntarily is ineligible for Maryland unemployment benefits until she earns back into eligibility through subsequent employment.  However, that rule does not tell the whole story.

Maryland recognizes two categories of mitigation (“valid circumstances”) or justification (“good cause”) for a voluntary quit.

“Valid circumstances” exist when:

(i) a substantial cause that is directly attributable to, arising from, or connected with conditions of employment or actions of the employing unit;
(ii) of such necessitous or compelling nature that the individual has no reasonable alternative other than leaving the employment; or
(iii) caused by the individual leaving employment to follow a spouse if:
1. the spouse:
A. serves in the United States military; or
B. is a civilian employee of the military or of a federal agency involved in military operations; and
2. the spouse’s employer requires a mandatory transfer to a new location.

“Good cause” is when the Appeals Division finds meritorious cause that is related only to the circumstances of the employment itself.  An example would be quitting when the job relocates a very long distance away, or when a worker suffers sexual harassment, exhausts in-house administrative remedies per company policy and the harassment persists or worsens.

In general, from an unemployment benefits standpoint for a worker it’s usually better not to quit a job at all but to attempt to remain employed, forcing the employer to terminate/lock out the employee.  In some circumstances conduct that may be tantamount to quitting may also be interpreted as tantamount to misconduct, such as walking off of the job.

If you have quit your job, willingly or under duress, and you want unemployment benefits, you should definitely consult an attorney.

Please find out more about how an attorney can help with Maryland unemployment benefits on this law firm’s Maryland unemployment benefits page.

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