The reasons listed below could be considered just cause for leaving your job voluntarily:
quitting to start a new job
accompanying your spouse or dependent child to live in another city
your employer asks you to engage in illegal practices
being a victim of sexual or other harassment
being forced to work under conditions that are dangerous to your health and safety
being a victim of discrimination based on your race, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical conditions, disability, etc. at your workplace
your employer owes you wages or refuses to pay you overtime pay or you are asked to work an excessive amount of overtime
you were given undue pressure by your employer or co-workers to resign
your wages have been greatly reduced, or your working conditions and position have changed significantly
you were subjected to unreasonably harsh or unfair treatment from your supervisor
you cannot continue working or doing a similar type of work because of health reasons
you need to care for a child or a member of your immediate family (However, you cannot receive employment insurance benefits while taking care for your family member because you need to be able and willing to find work in order to be eligible for benefits).
Even though the above reasons are considered just cause for leaving your employment, you will not automatically be eligible for regular employment insurance benefits. You will still be required to prove that you took measures to resolve the problems and quitting was the last and only option. For example, if you could not continue to work because of health reasons, you must show that you provided your employer with a doctor’s note and asked for a job transfer. If the employer refused to make the necessary arrangements and you have no choice but to resign, you would have just cause for quitting and be eligible for regular EI benefit.
If you became unemployed due to your personal negligence or misconduct, you are not eligible to receive employment insurance benefits. Examples of misconduct are :
Intentionally damaging company property
Lateness or being absent without permission
Becoming intoxicated during work hours
Not complying with supervisor’s instructions
If you were dismissed, but were not provided with a clear reason, or you think the dismissal was not for just cause, you should file a claim for EI benefits and provide your side of the story. If your application is turned down, you may seek legal advice and file an appeal.
If you lost your job due to your own fault or you voluntarily left your employment without just cause, the consequences are quite severe. You may be ineligible to get regular benefits and the hours of work you have accumulated from this job and from prior jobs will be deemed void for regular EI purposes. For example, you’ve accumulated the required hours of work by working at 3 separate jobs but if you were found not to have just cause for leaving any one of those jobs, all your accumulated hours before you quit your job with no just cause would become void. If there are problems at the workplace, you should seek legal advice before deciding to resign.
If you were dismissed or voluntarily resigned from your job, you have to explain the reason for your dismissal or resignation. This information will be used by the EI Office to investigate and to decide your eligibility.
If you resigned voluntarily, you must explain:
the reason for your resignation
what measures you took to resolve the problems prior to resigning
whether you searched for other jobs before resigning
If you were dismissed, you must explain:
the reason for your dismissal
whether the employer provided you with a warning beforehand
how you attempted to improve the situation
After you submit this information, Service Canada may contact you to conduct a telephone or in-person interview. They may also contact your employer to inquire about the situation and then decide whether there was just cause for your resignation or whether the dismissal was due to your wrongdoing. If your application is refused, you will receive a notification letter explaining the reason for the refusal. You may appeal this decision within 30 days of receiving the decision letter to the Board of Referees. This deadline is very important. You may seek help from a community agency or your local community legal clinic with the appeal.
If your application for regular EI benefits is refused based on reasons relating to losing your job, you may still use your accumulated insurable hours to apply for special employment insurance benefits including sickness, maternity, parental or compassionate care benefits. Your reason for unemployment will not affect your eligibility to apply for special employment insurance benefits.