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Employee Who Left Work To Care For Ill Relative Did Not Quit Her Employment And Was Eligible For Unemployment Benefits


Johar v. CUIAB, 2022 WL 4139848 (Cal. Ct. App. 2022)

Reena Johar, a home improvement sales person, left work to care for a terminally ill relative, but after just one week, the employer “decided she had quit” and gave her no new sales appointments.  Although Johar told the Employment Development Department that she lost her job due to a “temporary layoff,” the employer claimed that Johar’s failure to provide a return date or otherwise communicate with her supervisor while she was away amounted to a “voluntary quit,” thus making her ineligible for unemployment benefits.  The Court of Appeal held that Johar was eligible for unemployment benefits because she left her job in “emergency circumstances with the employer’s approval,” and the employer had not overcome the presumption that she had not voluntarily quit by providing evidence that Johar “positively repudiated her obligation to return in clear terms.”


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