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Worker quit to care for parent? Know state law

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The news is filled with stories about unemployed workers who can’t find jobs. Yet despite the downturn, some employees find they still must quit their jobs to care for elderly parents.

In Pennsylvania, the law makes that easier. Under the right circumstances, workers can quit to become full-time caregivers and still collect unemployment compensation payments. However, they must first try to negotiate a leave of absence and also look for alternative care arrangements.

Recent case: Dawn Wiggins quit her job to relocate when her mother became ill. When she applied for unemployment compensation, she argued she had no choice but to quit.

But the Commonwealth Court rejected her request, reasoning that she should have first asked for a leave of absence and looked for other care before quitting. (Wiggins v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, No. 261 CD 2010, Commonwealth Court, 2010)

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