If you have been fired – or in some circumstances, if you quit – you may be entitled to unemployment payments.

First, you must have lost your job due to no fault of your own. This usually falls into two categories. If you quit: you quit for “good cause,” which means a reasonable person in your shoes, felt you had no choice but to quit. If you were fired: if must not be “misconduct,” which means that you knowingly fail to do an important part of your job or violated an important work policy that harms the business. Theft and violence always fall under misconduct, but lesser offenses may also qualify.

Second, you must have earned a minimum set by the state, usually a total of $1300 during three months.

Third, you must be unemployed.

Fourth, you must be ready, willing, and able to work.

Fifth, you must be actively looking for work.

You need to make a claim with the California Employment Development Department (“EDD”), which administers the benefits. There are more complicated details in the requirements, but this entry provides a basic summary.

John Furstenthal is an Employment Law attorney located near Concord, California, in LaFayette, and serves clients throughout the East Bay Area. To schedule a consultation with Mr. Furstenthal, please calll 925-284-1718 or fill out the online form.