Separation from Last Employer | Arizona Department of Economic Security (2023)

Claimant Initiated Separation - Voluntary Quit

If your reason for separation from your last job is due to some reason other than a "lack of work," a determination will be made about whether or not you are eligible for benefits. All determinations of whether or not a person is eligible for benefits are made by the appropriate Arizona Revised Statute (A.R.S.) and/orArizona Administrative Code (A.A.C.) or applicable federal laws.

Basic Questions and Factors to Consider - Voluntary Quit

A. Why Did You Quit?

On the final incident day, it is necessary to pinpoint why you left work on that particular day.

It is also necessary to examine the adverse effects of the situation.

  • Was the reason for leaving compelling?
  • Would a reasonably prudent person in a similar situation have left work?
  • How severe or immediate were the harmful circumstances?

What did you do to remedy the situation before leaving?

B. What Were the Conditions of Work?

If the reason(s) for leaving was work-related, conditions of work must be examined.

  • What were your duties?
  • Rate of pay?
  • Hours of work?
  • Commuting distance/time?
  • What did the employee expect from the employer?
  • Were these expectations met? If not, details must be obtained.

Unacceptable conditions of work may be a result of a breach in the employee/employer contract or substandard work conditions.

The agreement may be verbal or written, a matter of union contract, or a specific health or safety regulation particular to a specific industry or job. The working conditions may also be unacceptable due to a violation of commonly accepted practices such as equal treatment or fair distribution of work assignments.

C. What did you do to Remedy the Situation Before Leaving?

To establish good cause, you should have pursued all reasonable alternatives prior to leaving.

  • Did you ask for a transfer, a leave of absence, or pursue established grievance procedures?
  • Did you give the job a fair trial?
  • If alternatives were not pursued, why not?
  • Did you believe that such action would be futile?

Even if the work had a serious adverse effect on you, good cause is not established unless reasonable alternatives were pursued. Even if working conditions are determined unsuitable, you should have attempted to resolve the problem before leaving unless it can be conclusively established that such an attempt would have been futile.

Legal References

A.R.S 23-775
A.A.C.R6-3-5005

Compelling Personal Reasons (CPR) Checklist

  • Is the specific reason why you left established?
  • Is the reason why you left, a compelling personal reason as described in Arizona law and rules?
  • Did you explore reasonable alternatives to leaving prior to the separation?

CPR - Claimant Initiated Separation

1.A.R.S.23-727(d) provides that an individual may be qualified for benefits if the individual left employment, “….for compelling personal reasons not attributable to the employer…”

2. A.A.C.R6-3-5005(B) amplifies the law with the following:

B. For the purpose of interpreting A.R.S.23-727(D), the following phrases have the meaning prescribed in this subsection:

1. "Compelling personal reasons" mean causes which arise from a worker's personal circumstances rather than from a condition created by or relating solely to the employment and which leave the worker with no reasonable alternative but to end the employment relationship. (emphasis added)

2. "Not attributable to the employer" means that an employer committed no act or omission to make an employment relationship unsuitable for a worker.

Legal References

A.R.S 23-727(D)
A.A.C. R6-3-5005.B

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3. Circumstances that may be considered a leaving for a compelling personal reason according to Arizona law and administrative rules include:

CPR - Approved Training

A worker already approved for and enrolled in training left work that was either performed during a vacation period or prohibited the worker from completing the training A.A.C.R6-3-5040(B).

Legal References

A.R.S. 23-775.1
A.R.S. 23-727(D)
A.A.C. R6-3-5040

CPR - Leave of Absence

A worker on a leave of absence requested to return from leave early, but work is not available until the scheduled end of the leave. A.A.C.R6-3-50135.03(D).

Legal References

A.R.S 23-775.1
A.R.S. 23-727(D)
A.A.C. R6-3-50135.03

CPR - Transportation Difficulties

A worker is separated because of transportation difficulties A.A.C. R6-3-50150(A).

Legal References

A.R.S 23-775.1
A.R.S. 23-727(D)
A.A.C R6-3-50150

CPR - Commuting Distance

A worker whose residence and work location did not substantially change but the commuting distance was excessive. A.R.S 23-775 and A.A.C.R6-3-50150(B).

Legal References

A.R.S. 23-775
A.A.C. R6-3-50150(B)

CPR - Childcare Difficulties

A worker separated because of childcare difficulties A.A.C.R6-3-50155(D).

Legal References

A.R.S. 23-775
A.A.C. R6-3-50155(D)

CPR - Relocation of Spouse or Parent

A worker separated because of the relocation of spouse or parent (if un-emancipated minor) A.A.C.R6-3-50155(C).

Legal References

A.R.S 23-727(D)
A.A.C. R6-3-50155(C)

CPR - Inadequate Housing

A worker who separated because of inadequate housing A.A.C.R6-3-50155(D).

Legal References

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A.R.S 23-775.1
A.A.C. R6-3-50155(D)

CPR - Illness or Death of Immediate Family Member

A worker who separated because of the illness or death of an immediate family member A.A.C.R6-3-50155(F).

Legal References

A.R.S. 23-727(D)
A.A.C. R6-3-50155 (F)

CPR - Illness, Injury or Health Risk

A worker who separated because of an illness, injury, or a health risk unique to that worker A.A.C.R6-3-50235(B)(C)(D).

Legal References

A.R.S. 23-775.1.2
A.R.S. 23-727(D)
A.A.C. R6-3-50235(B)(C)(D)

CPR - Significant Personal Affairs

A worker who separated due to significant personal affairs A.A.C.R6-3-50360.

Legal References

A.R.S 23-775.1
A.R.S. 23-727(D)
A.A.C. R6-3-50360

CPR - Definite Offer of Other Work

A worker who left to accept a definite offer of more desirable work, which subsequently failed to materialize A.A.C.R6-3-50365(A)(2).

Legal References

A.R.S 23-775.1
A.R.S. 23-727(D)
A.A.C. R6-3-50365(A)(2)

CPR - Religion Based Objection

A worker who separated due to a religion based objection to working Saturday and Sunday. A.A.C.R6-3-50450(B).

Legal References

A.R.S 23-775.1
A.R.S. 23-727(D)
A.A.C. R6-3-50450(B)

CPR - Night Work

A worker who left because required night work created health or undue domestic problems A.A.C.R6-3-50450(C)(4).

Legal References

A.R.S. 23-727(D)
A.A.C. R6-3-50450(C)(4)

CPR - Commission or Piece Work

A worker who left a commission or piece work position because the worker’s wages were substantially below the other workers A.A.C.R6-3-50500(F).

Legal References

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A.R.S 23-775.1
A.R.S. 23-727(D)
A.A.C. R6-3-50500(F)

CPR - Non-Standard Working Conditions

A worker who separated because non-standard working conditions created an undue hardship on the worker A.A.C.R6-3-50515(D)(3).

Legal References

A.R.S 23-775.1
A.A.C. R6-3-50515(D)(3)
A.R.S. 23-727(D)
A.A.C. R6-3-5105

CPR - Summary

If reason for any potentially compelling personal reason, alternatives must be considered.

Establish claimant’s alternatives:

  • What did the claimant do?
  • When did the claimant do it?
  • Why was the employer unable to accommodate?
  • If no effort to find alternatives, why not?

Medical reasons will not stand alone.

If a leave of absence is involved, does it meet the definition of leave of absence or preference for rehire?

If leaving to accompany spouse/parent as outlined in A.A.C.R6-3-50155C or because of bona fide offer of new work which failed to materialize, alternatives need not be considered.

Legal References

A.R.S. 23-727.D
A.A.C. R6-3-50155(C)
A.A.C. 50365.A

Employer Initiated Separation - Discharge

Discharge from a job for misconduct connected with the work is cause for disqualification.

Misconduct may be defined as a willful or controllable breach of an employee’s duties, responsibilities, or behavior that the employer has a right to expect. Stated another way, the misconduct, may be an act or an omission that is deliberately or substantially negligent, which adversely affects the employer’s legitimate business interests.

Simple negligence with no harmful intent is generally not misconduct, nor is inefficiency, unsatisfactory conduct beyond the claimant’s control, or good faith errors of judgment or discretion.

Basic Questions and Factors to Consider - Discharge

A. Why Did the Employer Discharge You?

1. It is necessary to establish as clearly as possible why the employer decided to discharge you on the day that your employment was terminated.

2. Your behavior must have a direct adverse effect on the employer's business interests. Incidents which occur away from the work site and have no direct effect on the employer are generally not misconduct.

3. The discharge must be reasonably related in time to the act causing the separation. Misconduct is not establish if a long period of time has passed between the act and your termination, unless the passage of time was required for completion of administrative procedures.

If the behavior which caused the discharge is clearly not a willful disregard of the employer's interests, does not adversely affect the employer, or is not followed by discharge in a reasonably short period, misconduct will not have been established.

B. What Were the Conditions of Work?

It must be determined what you did and what the employer expectations were (what should you have done that you failed to carry out). The expected behavior may be outlined specifically in a verbal or written employer rule, union agreement, practices or conduct peculiar to a particular industry or job, a law or regulation which governs health or safety practices, or may be covered by commonly accepted standard employment practices.

C. What Did the Employer do to Keep the Employer/Employee Relationship?

Facts must be obtained about how the employer tried to control or prevent the behavior that resulted in your discharge. This information is necessary to establish both the reasonableness of the employer's action and your knowledge of the result of the conduct. Gross misconduct or serious violations of common rules of employment (drunkenness, unprovoked insubordination, stealing from the employer, etc.) do not require the employer to take prior action (such as warnings).

D. What Did you do to Keep the Employee/Employer Relationship?

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This factor focuses on the degree to which you may have been able to prevent or control the events that resulted in your discharge. Control refers to your knowledge of the required behavior and the ability to take corrective action.

If you were warned about the specific behavior, what did you do to modify your behavior to remain employed? Were there uncontrollable circumstances that caused you to "fail?" Or, knowing that the employer was unhappy with past performance, did you persist in the unacceptable behavior? What specific efforts did you make to remedy the situation?

Legal References

A.R.S 23-775
A.R.S 23-727
A.A.C. R6-3-5005

CPR - Employer Initiated Separation

House Bill2541, passed during the 2010 Arizona legislative session, states that employer shall not be charged benefits paid to a claimant who is terminated because:

  • The employer was called to active duty in the military, or
  • A former employee of the employer returned to work for the employer after being called into active military duty, thus displacing the claimant.

This new legislation becomes effective for separations occurring on or after July 29, 2010.

To accommodate this legislation into our Unemployment Insurance Program, we have determined that a termination for either of these two reasons shall be considered a discharge for a compelling personal reason not attributable to the employer (CPR). A.A.C.R6-3-5105(B) is being amended to include these two additions to the list of reasons a discharge shall be considered a CPR. Until the rule change is accomplished, we will rely solely on the statute itself as our authority for making these determinations.

Legal References

A.R.S. 23-727(I)(J)
A.A.C. R6-3-5105 (B)

In addition to the above employer initiated separations, A.A.C.R6-3-5105(B) provides a separation may be determined a CPR when the employer finds it necessary to discharge because:

CPR - Discharge for Absence

The claimant was absent due to a “first time” (with this employer) incarceration lasting no more than 24 hours.

Legal References

A.R.S.23-775.2
A.A.C. R6-3-5115.E.
A.A.C. R6-3-5105.B.

CPR - Discharge Due to Physical or Mental Condition

The claimant had a physical or mental condition which endangered the claimant or the other workers.

Legal References

A.R.S. 23-727.D
A.A.C. R6-3-5105.B.

CPR - Discharge Unable to do the Work

The claimant was unable to do the work due to a physical or mental condition.

Legal References

A.R.S. 23-727.D
A.A.C. R6-3-5105.B.

CPR - Discharge Retaining Employee Would Violate Law

Retention of the claimant would result in the employer violating the law.

Legal References

A.R.S. 23-727.D
A.A.C. R6-3-5105.B.

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