Massachusetts Unemployment If You Quit

You can not receive Massachusetts unemployment benefits if you quit your job.

IF YOU HAVE A JOB, DO NOT QUIT IT

IF YOU QUIT YOUR JOB, DON'T EXPECT TO COLLECT UNEMPLOYMENT

IF YOU HAVE A JOB, AND ARE LOOKING TO CHANGE JOBS, DO NOT QUIT YOUR JOB UNTIL YOU HAVE A NEW ONE

In order to be eligible for unemployment benefits in Massachusetts, you have to have lost your job through no fault of your own. This means that if you quit your job, you can't get unemployment.

Be sure that you can not quit your job because you didn't like it, or it was too hard, or because it didn't pay enough, or because the hours didn't work for your schedule - and still expect to collect unemployment.

If you are in a hostile work environment, or otherwise feel like you have to quit for a very good reason (such a threat to your health or safety), please take the following advice:

(See this forum thread for the whole story: http://unemploymenthandbook.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1708 )

The laws and requirements for unemployment eligibility vary from state to state, but most states do not allow you to collect unemployment benefits if you voluntarily quit your job. If a state does allow you to collect unemployment when you've quit your job - the requirement to do so will be VERY difficult to meet.

In most states, if you are fired for cause you may still be eligible to receive benefits - and the requirements in this case won't be as stringent as if you had quit.

It is my understanding that employers generally do not comment extensively on previous employees, or on the reason that they are not longer at their company, for fear of being sued. Most employers will generally verify employment dates and not comment on the reason you are no longer there, or offer any further details.

If your company fires you though, you can be sure they won't be writing you any recommendation letters.

I know how difficult a hostile work environment can be. I've been there. Still, I would suggest that you do not quit your job. If it is a large corporation, you should talk to someone in the Human Resources department about your situation and the hostile work environment. If you get fired and you have a wrongful termination case, it will be more difficult to appeal your case to the employment commission or more difficult to bring a wrongful termination lawsuit - as you will have willfully quit.

Millions of people are out of a job - so it looks like you'll be diving head first into a very difficult job market, no matter if your fired or quit.

Make them fire you.

Go on about performing your job duties, and do not do anything to provoke them to fire you. If they're going to fire you, they'll do it. If they continue the hostile work environment tactics, or increase them - you should contact the employment commission to see if you have any recourse or protections - as there are federal laws against hostile work environments.

VERY IMPORTANT:

Don't sign anything!

Don't sign any releases, forms, waivers, or anything.

If they present you with paperwork that has to be signed in order to receive a severance or your last check -- Don't sign it!

Take it to a lawyer, law school, smart aunt or uncle, or research and ask about the terms in the document online.

If you do end up signing it - remember that it is a legal document, so understand and agree to everything in it before you sign it. Also, remember that the terms are negotiable, because it is essentially a contract. If they want you to agree to their terms, you have the right to either:

a. Not sign it.
b. Negotiate the terms of the agreement.
c. Sign it.

Examples of ways you can negotiate this legal document, which is often referred to as a 'Separation Agreement':

a. Demand that the agreement state that you are being laid-off, not fired.
b. Demand that the company will not challenge your claim to collect unemployment benefits.

Still Have Questions?

To go back to the Massachusetts Unemployment FAQ Page, click here: Massachusetts Unemployment FAQ

To go the main Massachusetts Unemployment page, click here: Massachusetts Unemployment

Maybe We Can Help: 

If you can't find the answer to your question, you can fill out the comment form below and I will answer your question ASAP, or you can ask the The Unemployment Expert or you can post your question in the Unemployment Forum

Comments  

 
# Cythia 2011-06-01 10:34
Hello, a person I know quit a job (part time job) for another job (full time). She gave her notice before she left her first job. Unfortunately, the second job didn't work out and they had to let her go -- through no fault of her own. She just didn't have the experience necessary for the second job, which the employer knew when he hired her. Some people believe that the fact that she "quit" her first job would make her ineligible for unemployment. I don't agree with them, as she did not walk out of her first job and she quit hecause she had a second job and also because the reason she is out of work now has to do with the fact that the second employer let her go, which has nothing to do with the fact that she quit her first job. Please let me know if quitting one job for anohter job disqualifies you from collecting unemployment if the second employer lets you go throuogh no fault of your own.

Thank you.
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# Jim 2013-04-01 11:00
Quoting Cythia:
Hello, a person I know quit a job (part time job) for another job (full time). She gave her notice before she left her first job. Unfortunately, the second job didn't work out and they had to let her go -- through no fault of her own. She just didn't have the experience necessary for the second job, which the employer knew when he hired her. Some people believe that the fact that she "quit" her first job would make her ineligible for unemployment. I don't agree with them, as she did not walk out of her first job and she quit hecause she had a second job and also because the reason she is out of work now has to do with the fact that the second employer let her go, which has nothing to do with the fact that she quit her first job. Please let me know if quitting one job for anohter job disqualifies you from collecting unemployment if the second employer lets you go throuogh no fault of your own.

Thank you.


The second job has nothing to do with the first job. If she was laid off for performance and not terminated for cause (i.e. like stealing, embezzlement, etc) and she otherwise met the minimum earning requirement before the lay-off (i.e. 6 months earning at least 10K, or whatever it is in your state), then she can collect.
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# Taylor 2011-09-04 21:48
I work in Mass. but live in RI. After falling ill thanks to a deteriorating immune system and even fainting while at work (fast food), I have been given a lack of hours, started at 20+ when I began the job, now is 7 a week if that. If I quit my job, can I get unemployment from RI if not Mass.?
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# Karen 2011-10-21 17:38
The position that I was hired for is a set weekend schedule (fri,sat,sun). This schedule is in my contract. My company is switching technologies and is having a mandatory training mon-fri from 7:30am-8pm. They are only offering this training once and I will no long be able to do my job if I don't attend. If I do not attend the training because of other obligations, would this be considered quitting, being fired, or being laid off? and would I be eligible for unemployment in this situation?
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# K 2012-04-15 11:31
I quit my job due to illegal work practices. Would this entitle me to unemployment benefits?
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# Deb 2012-05-09 17:43
I was given a demotion, a paycut and transferred to a location about 35 miles farther away from home. I live and work in Massachusetts. Will I be eligible to collect unemployment benefits if I refuse the new position?
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# Krista 2012-08-10 17:55
I am a flight attendant that is based in Denver but lives in Massachusetts. Recently getting flights to work have been increasingly more difficult. I am beginning to worry that I will not be able to get to work anymore. What are my options, if I get let go from my job if I cannot get to work, though I spends days at the airport trying with no success?
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# dkazm 2012-08-22 14:08
What if I am starting college and I am playing a sport at the same time. So this does not allow me to work. Can I collect unemployment?
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# Rebecca 2012-08-31 11:30
I am currently living in Boston, and was recently laid off from my serving position at a Cambridge restaurant. I filed for unemployment, and started taking seminars at my local career center, I've been searching for a new job that I am more passionate about, because that's what the career center recommended, to prevent future unemployment. Now, four weeks after I filed, I was required to call in and confirm my information. I discovered that my former employer wants to challenge my unemployment on the grounds that I was not "technically" full time. I'll admit, I had to continuously push to get them to schedule me more, and I often picked up shifts, because it was my only job. What exactly are the guidelines for this? Can they deny me unemployment based on that?
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# George 2012-10-19 07:13
Hello,

If I sign up for a 4 month contract job in Massachusetts, can I collect unemployment at the end of the 4 months?

Thanks,
George
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# Steph 2012-11-10 17:58
I was laid off in june (through no fault of my own) and collected for a few months. found a job in october and i hate it due to poor business practices and training processes. Can I reopen my unemployment claim? I live in MA.
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# raymond 2012-12-07 19:41
hello i was hired for a job 15minutes from my house worked there 8 weeks then i was sent to a job 1hour 10 minutes for 2 years now i am being sent to a job i hour 30 minutes the commute is to much.can i quit and collect unemployment
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# John 2012-12-10 15:04
I own a business..and have a employee the was here for less than 90 days...on dec 3rd he called in and said"he did not feel like workin today"...he did not come in or call..tues weds and thurs..or his scheduled day off fri...as far as i am concered he quit..no call no show for 3 days is job abandonment...can he still file for unemployment?
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# christina 2013-04-13 22:48
I've been in and out of the hospital since janurary this yr and i would like to know if i quit my job can i collect unemployment. Ive talked to HR bout it and they keep telling me i have to come in or ill get fired. Should i just quit and collect
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# Brent 2013-05-07 10:04
I was denied my claim because my former employer said I quit,I thought I had received another position witch was less stressful so I gave my notice and upon my last day I ask if the position doesn't work out will I be eligible for a rehire the person said yes but I ultimately didn't get that position so I called my previous employer back to ask for my job back and he stated he was no longer interested but what I'm confused about is I resigned on good terms but I was told by him that I wouldn't have lasted any longer if I were still employed there so he basically admitting that he would have fired me so can I win a appeal?
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# AmandaS 2013-07-16 09:13
After 8yrs I was laid off this past May and will be paid severence until end of August. I have since accepted a new job and am on week 2. This new job never told me that parking wasn't available on site. The parking arrangement adds 20mins to my daily commute. Additionally, I only have childcare until 5:00 as a result of the parking I can't get home until usually about 5:15. That is the basis of my resignation and unemployment claim. Will I be eligible for unemployment once I quit and my severence runs out?
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