If I quit my job can I still get Texas Unemployment Benefits?

The scenario is always the same; your employer tells you things are not working out and that it would be better if you resign instead of being terminated. “it will look better on your record”. So what should you do? As most employees know if you quit your job you are usually unable to get unemployment benefits; but this is not always the case. In fact, the Texas Workforce Commission specifically states that if you are given the choice of being fired or resigning and you choose to quit your job; you are still entitled to unemployment as long as you meet all other requirements. As an El Paso Employment Lawyer, I get asked this question time by employees in El Paso, Texas who are facing the prospect of getting fired.

What is my advice? First and foremost, it is important to know that resigning in lieu of termination does not automatically disqualify you from receiving unemployment benefits. But you can’t always trust your employer to tell the Texas Unemployment Commission that if you had not resigned you would have been terminated. So my advice is to make sure that you put something in writing stating that you have been given the choice of resigning instead of being terminated and that facing those two choices you choose to resign. Make sure you keep a copy of this written statement. An email to this effect to your employer blind copied to your own personal email is a great way to prove up the truth of your resignation.

But the question I always ask my clients is why they are so concerned about having a termination on their record. Most clients seem to believe that if they resign then their past employer won’t say anything bad about them. My experience is that only a very stupid employer says anything bad about a past employee. While there are no laws preventing a past employer from providing a bad review; most smart employers will not provide such information (unless it is required by law for certain industries) because they open themselves up for a lawsuit. Also, future employers always want an explanation of why you quit a job without another job. This puts you in the position of having to explain the reason you left. I think the better practice if you are really concerned is to try and convince your employer to code you as “laid-off”. This will almost assure you of receiving unemployment (as long as meet all other requirements) and is an explanation that all future employers will understand.

But what happens if you truly want to resign because of how you are treated at work? That is a much more difficult situation, but this should not keep you from filing for unemployment. The Texas Workforce Commission recognizes the concept of “constructive discharge” wherein the working conditions are such that your resignation is understandable. But I do have some advice to those considering quitting their jobs because of hostile working conditions. That is to document that you complained about the working conditions and nothing was done to address the situation. This should always be done in a polite way and should be done in writing (by email bcc to your personal email). Also, document to your employer your complaints. You are more likely to win your claim if the situation involves your schedule or pay, but can include anything that a reasonable employee would not put up with. I have found that many employers will actually brag that they have never paid an unemployment claim because they make the employee’s life so miserable that they quit. I find it is important that you document this to your employer before you resign. In other words, you can send an email that basically states “I know you have said in the past that you never pay unemployment claims because you know how to “run off” employees; but if this is what you are doing please just let me know so that I can move on to something else. Of course, only write this if it is absolutely the truth; but it is important that you document what is going on and give your employer the chance to resolve the problem. I usually find that when employees resign and file for unemployment they lose the initial determination, but on appeal (telephone hearing) they have a much better chance to win. I have a video on YouTube and my website on how to handle an unemployment appeal which you can find here: If you live in El Paso, Texas and you want to resign from your job because of a hostile work environment make sure that you follow these rules.  There is never a guarantee that you will receive Texas Unemployment but you certainly have a better chance to obtain your benefits.

Learning More About Unemployment Benefits

Our trusted El Paso, TX employment lawyer can be instrumental in navigating the complexities of unemployment benefits. They offer expert guidance on eligibility criteria, ensuring that all necessary documentation and evidence are accurately prepared and submitted. Their familiarity with the intricacies of state and federal unemployment laws enables them to advise on the specifics of individual cases, such as determining if an applicant is unjustly denied benefits. Moreover, they can represent claimants in appeals, providing robust legal arguments and representation in hearings. Their advocacy can be crucial in overcoming bureaucratic hurdles, helping individuals secure the financial support they’re entitled to during periods of unemployment.

How Do I Know If I’m Eligible For Unemployment Benefits? 

Eligibility for unemployment benefits varies based on individual circumstances and state laws. Typically, eligibility is for those who have lost their job through no fault of their own, such as a layoff. To qualify, you must meet certain work and wage requirements and be actively seeking employment. It is important to find a lawyer who can provide a personalized assessment of your situation and guide you through the eligibility criteria.

What Should I Do If My Unemployment Claim Is Denied?

In case of a denial, it’s crucial to respond swiftly. You have a right to appeal, but be mindful of the deadlines, which vary by state. Prepare all necessary documents, like your employment history and any communications with the unemployment office. Our experienced team can guide you through the appeal process, helping you present your case effectively.

Can I Receive Unemployment Benefits If I Was Fired?

Eligibility after being fired hinges on the reasons for termination. If it was for misconduct, you might not be eligible. However, if you were let go for other reasons, like compatibility issues, you might qualify. We specialize in analyzing such cases to provide accurate advice.

How Long Does It Take To Receive Unemployment Benefits After Filing A Claim?

Processing times can vary, but generally, it takes two to three weeks after filing to receive your first benefit check, if your claim is approved. To avoid delays, ensure all your documentation is accurate and submitted on time. Our El Paso employment lawyer can assist in streamlining this process for you.

What Can I Do To Strengthen My Case For Unemployment Benefits?

Providing complete and accurate documentation is key. This includes your employment history, reasons for unemployment, and any relevant communication with your former employer. Being organized and adhering to all deadlines and requirements is essential.

What Are The Common Mistakes To Avoid When Filing For Unemployment Benefits?

Common mistakes include inaccuracies in application details, missing deadlines, and failing to comply with the requirements like active job searching. Ensuring accurate information and understanding the process helps in avoiding these pitfalls. We can offer you comprehensive guidance on this front.

We are committed to supporting our clients through the complexities of unemployment claims and appeals. Our legal expertise and personalized attention are geared toward securing the benefits you rightfully deserve. If you’re struggling with your unemployment claim, don’t hesitate to reach out. Together, we can navigate these challenges and work towards a favorable outcome. Call Davie & Valdez P.C. to speak with our trusted El Paso employment lawyer now.

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