Sometimes people come to me and ask whether they can obtain unemployment benefits in Maryland if they voluntarily quit their job. The short answer is, it depends. If you quit for a better job, then you will not qualify for unemployment. The same is true if you quit because your spouse obtained a higher-paying job elsewhere. If the reason you quit, however, was because you were being mistreated or harassed, or if you were promised a raise that was never given, then you might qualify for unemployment. Likewise, if you quit your job because you were asked to perform an unethical or illegal act, you will likely qualify for unemployment benefits. Moreover, if you quit your job because you are unable to keep working for medical reasons or an injury, you may qualify for unemployment. Ultimately, if you are unsure whether you qualify for unemployment benefits, contact me for a short -- and free -- consultation and I will try to answer your questions.
Unfortunately, most employees are not afforded the luxury of entering into a written employment contract with their employer. For those who do, however, keep in mind that your employer cannot arbitrarily terminate your employment. If the employment contract is for a one-year term, then your employer can only terminate your employment prior to the end of that one-year period for "cause" -- a term that is either defined or not defined in the contract. If the term "cause" is defined, then those are the ony reasons that your employer can terminate your employment. If the term "cause" is not defined, then the employer must prove that you breached the employment contract, that it conducted an objective and reasonable investigation of your alleged breach, and that there was substantial evidence that you breached the contract. Ultimately, the key in analyzing breach of employment contract situation is to carefully read the termination provisions set forth in the contract and then apply the facts to the contractual language.