Q. Is an employee who resigns entitled to receive unemployment compensation under Texas law?
A. If the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) finds that the claimant left his or her last employment without “good cause” connected with the work, the employee is disqualified from benefits until he or she returns to work and remains employed for at least six weeks or earns six times the weekly benefit amount.
If, however, the worker left employment to move with a spouse to a new location, the employee may or may not be disqualified, depending on the circumstances.
A claimant is not disqualified from receiving benefits when voluntarily leaving employment due to illness, injury, disability or pregnancy, as long as the employee is, at the time of the claim, able and available to work. While claimants are not disqualified from leaving employment for the above reasons, the employer is not charged for benefits paid to employees whose separation is the result of a medically verifiable illness.
The TWC determines whether an employee’s resignation is without good cause on a case-by-case basis.
For example, when an employer reprimanded a claimant in the presence of the general public, the TWC found that the employee had a good cause to resign.
If the resignation is solely because the employer has reduced the employee’s wages or benefits, the TWC has concluded (with court approval) that resignation in that instance is for good cause in connection with the work, and the employee is entitled to collect unemployment.
There are also special rules that apply when an employee leaves work to move with a spouse, or when he or she moves because they have been a victim of domestic violence. Military spouses get even more beneficial treatment under certain circumstances.