Unemployment Requires Attempts to Correct Problems Before Resigning

To qualify for unemployment after a resignation, an employee should first notify their employer of the problems they are experiencing at work and give the employer an opportunity to correct them.  Documentation is important as well.

To be eligible for unemployment compensation after a resignation, an employee must show Unemployment that they had just cause to resign.  At first glance, the rule sounds reasonable because just cause is defined to mean, that if an ordinarily intelligent person in those circumstances would believe it was reasonable to resign, then there is just cause.

This rule developed further, and its current formulation is explained in the case DiGiannantoni v. Wedgewater Animal Hosp., Inc., 109 Ohio App.3d 300, 307, 671 N.E.2d 1378 (10th Dist.1996).  In that case, the court explained that “As a general rule, an ordinarily intelligent employee will not quit his or her job over a problem with working conditions without first bringing that problem to his or her employer's attention, requesting that it be solved, and thus giving the employer an opportunity to correct it."  Therefore, it is not enough that there are working conditions that justify a resignation, but the employee must also notify the employer of the problem and give the employer adequate time to resolve the problem before resigning.

This rule often leads to a denial of benefits after a resignation, but that is because it is misapplied.  Even the court in DiGiannantoni explained that an employee need not be required to give their supervisor notice that they find their harassment objectionable, when an ordinarily intelligent person in claimant's position would have quit without giving supervisor notice that his conduct was offensive.  However, it is important to be aware that notice to the employer is often required even in the harshest of work environments.

If you are looking to resign, it is important to obtain evidence (e.g., emails, letters, or even text messages) that you reported your concerns to your employer.  If they have a policy for reporting problems, follow it as much as possible.  If your supervisor disregards your concerns, move your concern up the chain of command.  Then given them time to correct the problem, or be ready to have evidence to show they were not going to address it.

Employees will improve their chances of being eligible for compensation by either (a) being able to prove they notified their employer of the problem and gave them the opportunity to correct it; or (b) when the employer terminates employment when they get tired of the complaints.

However, if the situation becomes unsafe or intolerable, employees may still argue that an ordinarily intelligent person in their position would have quit without giving further notice of the problems.  The eligibility determination will hinge on the evidence of the severity of the problem.

If you do find yourself in need of applying for unemployment or appealing an unemployment determination, visit my web page for more information at http://SivinskiLegal.com