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Unemployment may depend on seeking accommodations

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in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

Minnesota employees can still collect unemployment benefits if they quit their jobs because of medical problems. However, before resigning and applying for benefits, they must ask for accommodations.

Recent case: Marisah worked as a dental assistant. She was pregnant and found the 90-minute commute from her home to the dentist’s office was too long. When her doctor ordered bed rest, she quit and immediately applied for unemployment compensation benefits.

Her request was denied. Because she hadn’t asked her employer for an accommodation, she wasn’t eligible. The court said employers must have an opportunity to help an employee through a difficult medical episode before being on the hook for unemployment benefits if the employee quits. (Block v. Fellman, No. A11-1871, Court of Appeals of Minnesota, 2012)

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