Some of the practices at my current employment are unethical, and borderline illegal, and in the past I've asked multiple questions as a result of this, some of which are and some of which are not tied to this account.

Myself as well as several concerned coworkers at our small organization have brought up these concerns, and we're not comfortable working under these conditions.

I've tried working with our management to explain why this is an issue for us, but they simply don't understand things from our point of view. As an example, when bringing up an issue where they'd asked an employee to bill a client for time spent on an unrelated, internal meeting, management responded with "We really don't see the issue here, the customer signs an order agreement to pay for up to X number of days of development from us, we never charge them more than that. If the end result is going to be the same, then there shouldn't be a problem." - Negating the obvious issue that it seems like they're billing customers extra in scenarios where we would have otherwise come in under budget when completing the project, to pad their revenues. Every employee here has a problem with this practice, as it feels an awful lot like billing someone for work that wasn't actually completed. That's one example.

To get to the question at hand, I'm going to be leaving this company soon. I've been wondering about whether I'd be able to receive unemployment benefits when I do.

I've read here that you normally don't get unemployment benefits in the US (I live in Phoenix) if you quit, unless it was in one of the following scenario's:

  • Serious employer-related reasons, called "good cause attributable to the employing unit," or

Examples of job-related reasons

  • Unsafe or unhealthy working conditions, including dangerous working conditions or equipment;

  • A transfer to unsuitable work (a different kind of job that is not right for you

  • An employer changes the job, such as giving you fewer hours (so you are not full -time anymore), paying you less than before, or not paying you the minimum wage. The change must be permanent, not just for a short time; or

  • Unlawful discrimination or harassment, including sexual, racial, or other unreasonable harassment.

  • Serious or important personal reasons, called "urgent, compelling or necessitous reasons."

Examples of personal reasons

  • Your own declining health,

  • Union rules,

  • In very limited cases, a lack of transportation, Leaving to care for a sick family member, Domestic violence, or

  • Leaving to take care of unexpected and urgent problems with the child care arrangements you have been using.

Specifically, my question here is how can I figure out whether or not quitting a job in this situation would result in eligibility for unemployment?

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    As this is a legal-ish question, I've added a location tag to it :) – Erik Jul 9 '17 at 21:37
  • @JoeStrazzere that's a good recommendation; can you elaborate on why you think that though? – schizoid04 Jul 9 '17 at 22:01
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    How long have you been working there? Have you done any of the things you consider to be unethical? Are you being threatened when you refuse to do the things you consider to be unethical? If you've taken part in it or you can just refuse and/or turn a blind eye, how would you argue it's either urgent or necessary? – Bernhard Barker Jul 9 '17 at 22:15
  • @JoeStrazzere I was asking why you think I'd find the answer was 'No', sorry, I should have clarified – schizoid04 Jul 9 '17 at 22:16
  • Thanks for elaborating; That's more or less an answer to the question ;) – schizoid04 Jul 9 '17 at 22:19

Don't read non-authoritative sites with respect to AZ law policies, read them directly.

From here:

On the other hand, when a worker quits a job and believes he/she should be eligible for benefits, the worker must present evidence to establish that he/she had no other alternative but to end the employment relationship.

If you want authoritative answers on whether your personal ethics are "no other alternative" and given that the AZ policy itself is fairly deliberately ambiguous, I would recommend you contact them and ask.

Additionally, from here, emphasis mine:

To qualify for UI benefits, you must be out of work through no fault of your own. Workers who are laid off for economic reasons due to a plant closing, a reduction-in-force, or because of lack of work, for example -- are considered to be unemployed through no fault of their own. If your reason for separation from your last job is due to some reason, a determination will be made about whether or not you are eligible for benefits. All determinations of whether or not a person is eligible for benefits are made by the appropriate Arizona Revised Statute, Administrative Code or applicable federal laws.

From the actual code:

C. If an employer provides documentation that an individual either voluntarily resigned from employment or abandoned the individual's employment, the burden of providing documentation to determine an individual's eligibility for benefits shifts to the individual.

Your main hope will be from here, emphasis again mine:

B. In determining whether or not work is suitable for an individual, the department shall consider the degree of risk involved to the individual's health, safety and morals, the individual's physical fitness and prior training, the individual's experience and prior earnings, the individual's length of unemployment and prospects for securing local work in the individual's customary occupation and the distance of the available work from the individual's residence.

When you talk with the labor office I would make sure you have significant documentation regarding how and why this action has affected you so negatively and also a list of the actions you have taken to try to change this circumstance.


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