If you need to quit or take a leave of absence from your job, you can still qualify for unemployment benefits.
Under Pennsylvania law, you quit your job if you intentionally decided to stop working — meaning it was your decision for you to leave work, not your employer’s. This includes:
- Taking a leave of absence
- Stop showing up to work without telling your employer
- Walking off the job and not making an effort to contact your employer afterwards
Here’s what you should do before you quit, or take a leave of absence, to protect your right to unemployment benefits.
- You developed a health condition (mental or physical) and can not do your current job anymore.
- You still must be able and available for some kind of work to qualify for unemployment benefits.
- Your hours or pay were significantly cut.
- You don’t have childcare.
- You’re having transportation issues.
- You are being discriminated against at work.
Your goal for talking with your employer should be to resolve the problem. This will help you either keep your job, or improve your chances of being found eligible for benefits if your employer will not fix the problem and you need to quit.
- Discuss the situation with your employer. Make sure that the employer knows about the problem and ask if they can help to resolve the problem.
- If informal discussion is not helpful or productive, make a written record of your communication with the employer by sending an email or text message to the employer:
- Clearly state the problem you are facing and explain how it is affecting your ability to do your job. Do not assume that the employer is aware of or understands anything based on your informal discussions.
- Use a non-work email account to send the message or make sure to send yourself copies, because your employer can take away access to your work email.
- Screenshot your text messages or call logs with your employer.