Voluntary Quit VQ 155
This section discusses the principles of eligibility when the claimant has voluntarily quit employment for reasons associated with domestic circumstances including care of the home or children, illness or death in the family, marriage, separation, reconciliation, and divorce. Also included are situations where the claimant alone has made the decision to quit and situations where the claimant's quit is influenced by others, such as a spouse or a court order.
"Family" is defined in Title 22, Section 1256-9 (c) as:
". . .[T]he spouse or registered domestic partner of the claimant, or any parent, child, brother, sister, grandparent, grandchild, son-in-law, or daughter-in-law, of the claimant or of the claimant's spouse or registered domestic partner, including step, foster, and adoptive relationships, or any guardian or person with whom the claimant assumed reciprocal rights, duties, and liabilities of a parent-child, or a grandparent-grandchild relationship, whether or not the same live in a common household.
"Family" includes any person with whom the claimant has had substantially the same relationship of parent-child or grandparent-grandchild. For example, the claimant may have been raised by an aunt or uncle rather than his or her actual parents. Yet, the relationship that develops as a result of such circumstances is equivalent to that of a parent-child relationship. As such, the claimant may feel just as obligated to his or her aunt or uncle where the facts raise a domestic circumstances issue."
Title 22, Section 1256-9 (b) provides:
"A claimant voluntarily leaves work with good cause based on domestic circumstances if the claimant's obligation is of a real, substantial, and compelling nature such as would cause a reasonable person genuinely desirous of retaining employment to take similar action, and the claimant's reason for leaving work is due to a legal or moral obligation . . . ."
Section 1256-9 (c) Comments, addresses factors to be taken into consideration before the leaving may be determined to be with good cause:
"This section . . . requires: (1) the existence of an obligation due to domestic circumstances; and (2) a "compelling reason" for leaving work.
However, while the claimant's particular domestic circumstance is the basis for voluntarily leaving his or her job, the claimant must also demonstrate that his or her decision to leave work was reasonable in view of all the facts. Important considerations are that an obligation exists, that is substantial, that no reasonable alternative exists for meeting that obligation short of leaving work, and that the claimant's actions are in good faith and consistent with a genuine desire of retaining employment."
A quit because of domestic circumstances is usually motivated by the claimant's sense of duty to his or her family. The claimant may be reacting to social, moral, or legal pressures. These pressures frequently become so strong as to be compelling. When they do, they can constitute good cause for quitting employment. However, when the pressures to which the claimant reacts stop short of actual compulsion, or the claimant fails to take advantage of reasonable alternatives, the claimant's motives may be understandable and possibly commendable, but will not constitute good cause.
In many cases, the Board has stated that good cause for quitting employment will be negated by the claimant's failure to request a possible leave of absence, provided that acceptance of the leave could have solved the claimant's problem.
In P-B-247, the claimant resigned because she was experiencing difficulty in finding adequate care for her child and because of the child's illness. The claimant did not request a leave of absence because she believed that leaves were granted only for personal illness of the employee. However, the claimant previously had received six months' maternity leave which twice was extended for three months because she lacked care for the child. The Board stated:
". . .The claimant was aware of the employer's policy to grant leaves of absence since she had availed herself of that privilege in the past . . . . Under the facts of this case we do not believe there was any obligation upon the employer to extend the opportunity to the claimant to take further advantage of the leave provision. In our opinion the claimant did not make a reasonable effort to preserve the employer-employee relationship, and therefore, her leaving of work must be deemed to be without good cause."
From this case, it is apparent that the responsibility for requesting a leave rests with the claimant provided the claimant is aware of the employer's leave policy. However, if the claimant is not aware of the employer's leave policy, it then becomes the employer's responsibility to offer a leave.
B. Care of Children or Home
- Care of Minor Child or Children
Arranging child care is an integral part of the arrangements a claimant having small children who need care, must make, in order to work. Thus, before good cause may be found it must be shown that the claimant was left with no practical alternative to quitting. If there is no practical alternative, the necessity of providing child care is considered to be compelling.
Under normal circumstances arranging care with neighbors, relatives, friends, a nursery school, or day care service are considered practical alternatives to quitting. Therefore, faced with loss of existing child care, a claimant would generally be expected to explore all of these alternatives prior to quitting. Where the loss of existing child care is only temporary, a claimant would logically be expected to cope with child care arrangements that might be less than satisfactory on a permanent basis. For example, the cost may be higher, distance from home, or work farther, etc.
P-B-237 is illustrative of a situation where the claimant had no other practical alternative to quitting his job. The claimant quit his job in California to establish his residence with his parents in Pennsylvania. The claimant had become separated from his wife and consequently had no one except his mother to care for his two minor children. In finding the claimant eligible for benefits, the Board stated:
". . . The claimant had the sole responsibility of caring for his two small children when he became separated from his wife. Consequently the need of caring for these minor dependents made it mandatory for him to leave his work, and since the claimant had no one to furnish this care where he was living he found it necessary to return to the home of his parents in Pennsylvania where his mother could assume the responsibility.
Under these circumstances and in accordance with many prior holdings of this Board, we conclude that the claimant had a sufficiently compelling reason for leaving his employment in California . . . ."
The key factors in this case are that the children were very young and the claimant had no one to care for them where he was living. While he might have secured a leave, taken his children to his mother in Pennsylvania and then returned to work, this would have meant abandonment of his children. A finding of good cause does not require a claimant to go to such extremes.
The cost of supplying child care is usually not a consideration in deciding if a claimant had good cause for quitting. The fact that a claimant does not consider it "economically worthwhile" to continue working is not, of itself, good cause for quitting. However, special circumstances may arise where the claimant would be required to expend an exceptional and unreasonable amount for child care. Such special circumstances would usually involve transfer to different locations or assignments to split shifts.
In the case of juvenile delinquents, government authorities frequently will order parents to remain home at night to exercise personal parental authority over the child. The degree of compulsion is very strong in such cases and usually the parent cannot make other arrangements to solve the problem. Accordingly, when a claimant quits because the hours of work would not permit him or her to comply with such a directive, the quit will normally be with good cause.
In P-B-246, the claimant worked a split shift as a telephone operator. She had child care on a 24-hour basis for her infant child, but the nursery home refused to care for the child after learning that it had been exposed to measles through its father. The claimant told the employer of the emergency requiring her to leave, and asked if she could be assigned to night work so she could continue working. The employer did not grant the request for night work or offer the claimant a leave of absence. In holding the claimant eligible the Board stated:
"Although the employer had a leave of absence policy in effect the evidence shows that the employer did not inform the claimant thereof prior to her leaving nor did the employer offer to grant one to the claimant despite her efforts and willingness to continue working. Under the circumstances herein the claimant did everything that could be reasonable expected of her to preserve her position prior to leaving it and the employer did nothing to aid her in such effort."
If the claimant's problem can be solved by transfer to another shift or locality, the claimant would be expected to attempt to make such arrangements before good cause could be found for quitting.
- Other Domestic Obligations
A quit for the sole purpose of remaining home to perform household duties may be understandable but will seldom, if ever, be compelling. Consequently, a quit for such a purpose will be without good cause unless other circumstances are present which make the quit compelling, such as care for ill children or other family members.
C. Illness or Death in the Family
Title 22, Section 1256-10, Example 1 - Comments, provides:
"Generally, the claimant's presence must be necessary in order to care for the ill family member. The claimant may need to personally provide nursing care for the ill person, or the claimant's presence may be necessary in order to care for minor children belonging to the ill family member. For example, the claimant's mother may be critically ill and no one else is available to care for the claimant's younger brothers and sisters, or the normal household duties, such as cooking and cleaning, require the claimant's attention."
- Seriousness of Illness
The seriousness of the illness must be determined as of the time the claimant quit work. If, at the time the claimant had a reasonable basis for believing the illness was critical, good cause may be established for the leaving even though later events show that the illness was not critical.
Title 22, Section 1256-10, provides:
"(c) Compelling circumstances requiring the claimant's leaving of work and presence . . . include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) The claimant knows or reasonably believes that a member of the claimant's family is seriously ill, physically or mentally, and there is no reasonable alternative to the claimant's presence, or a family member is in danger of death."
In P-B-238, the claimant left her employment for a family emergency. She had received a telegram asking her to come home to Texas because her mother had suffered a heart attack and was not expected to live. The claimant telephoned her employer, explained the situation, and said she would be back as soon as possible. The employer said nothing. When the claimant returned a week later, the employer had filled her position. In holding the claimant eligible, the Board stated:
"Since the claimant herein left her work because of the emergency nature of her mother's illness, we hold that she was not subject to disqualification . . . ."
In P-B-239, the claimant and her husband were employed as managers of an apartment house. The husband, aged 69, was an invalid and had been advised not to work. Because the claimant had been unable to find work for herself, they jointly accepted the employment that was only available to them as a couple. Initially, the apartment house was being renovated and the heavy work was done by assistants whom the owners employed, but the claimant and her husband were expected to take over the normal duties of their job after the remodeling was completed. The husband was physically unable to do even the light work, and became increasingly nervous so that he was unable to meet the public. The claimant quit her employment to move the husband to a place where he would not be disturbed by the public. In holding the claimant eligible for benefits, the Board stated:
"The evidence established that this claimant's husband was suffering from a serious illness which rendered him unable to perform services required of him and which necessitated his removal from a place where he must meet the public. The claimant left her work because she could not perform the services expected of both her husband and herself. Under the circumstances, it is our opinion that a compelling reason for leaving such work has been established by the claimant . . . ."
- Relocation to Provide Care
A quit to be near, to live with, or to care for aged parents will be without good cause unless the parents are unable to care for themselves and the presence of the claimant is necessary.
In P-B-299, the claimant quit his employment to move to New York to live with his mother, who was ill. A father, sister and another brother were living with his mother and the claimant's presence was not necessary for the mother's care. The claimant later advanced other reasons for the move; a younger brother's anticipated draft into the military and he felt he had better prospects for employment at that time of the year. In denying benefits, the Board stated:
"In the instant case, the claimant was not removing himself from the labor market but was merely transferring from one labor market to another . . . . In our opinion, the claimant did this because of a personal preference to return to his former home . . . . We have previously held that a leaving of work to return to a former residence and labor market is not with good cause . . . ."
- Death in the Family
Title 22, Section 1256-10, provides:
"(c) Compelling circumstances requiring the claimant's leaving of work and presence . . . include, but are not limited to, the following:
(3) A member of the claimant's family has died and the claimant wishes to attend the funeral or is required to make the final arrangements or otherwise attend to the final affairs of the decedent."
However, the interviewer should remember the caution," . . . and the claimant has taken reasonable steps to preserve the employment relationship." If the claimant has not taken such reasonable steps prior to quitting to supply such aid and assistance, then the leaving will be without good cause.
D. Marriage, Reconciliation and Divorce
Title 22, Section 1256-12 (b), provides:
"Good Cause. A claimant leaves the most recent work with good cause if the claimant has taken reasonable steps to preserve the employment relationship and the claimant left work due to circumstances relating to the claimant's prospective or existing marital status of such a compelling nature as to require the claimant's presence, including any of the following:
(1) The claimant's prospective marriage is imminent and involves a relocation to another area because the claimant's future spouse has established or intends to establish his or her home there, and it is impossible or impractical for the claimant to commute to work from the other area.
(2) The claimant is required to leave his or her work to accompany his or her spouse to, or join his or her spouse at, another location because it is impossible or impractical for the claimant to commute to his or her work from the new location, due to any of the following:
(A) The desire of the claimant and his or her spouse to accomplish a marital reconciliation.
(B) The claimant's spouse is seriously ill and a change of residence is necessary for his or her care or welfare.
(C) The need to preserve family unity."
- Marriage and Honeymoon
Department policy with respect to claimants who quit to be married is equally applicable to either males or females. Quitting to be married will be with good cause provided:
- the marriage has occurred or was imminent at the time of quit;
- the marriage necessitated the claimant's relocation to a new residence;
- it would be impractical for the claimant to commute to the place of employment from the new residence;
- and the claimant took reasonable steps, such as requesting a transfer, to protect the employment relationship.
In P-B-242, the claimant resigned, stating she was "getting married and moving." Neither she nor her future husband had selected a home; following their marriage, they moved into his mother's house, 30 minutes from the claimant's former employment. The following month they moved to an area where the husband had a business but that was still within one hour and fifteen minutes from the claimant's former jobsite, a customary commute for persons living in that area. The Board stated:
"[A]t the time the claimant resigned to marry, her future husband had not selected a home in a locality which would have prevented the claimant from continuing in employment. When he established a home it was in an area from which many employees commute to the city of Los Angeles for work. In our opinion had the claimant acted as a reasonable person desirous of retaining employment she would not have severed the employer-employee relationship until it became apparent to her that she and her husband intended to establish a residence in an area too far removed for her to continue in employment . . . . [I]t is our opinion that the claimant left her employment for personal noncompelling reasons . . . ."
In some cases a claimant may quit well in advance of the intended marriage. In such cases, good cause will be dependent upon why the claimant quit at that time. As to how many days prior to the marriage a claimant may quit and still have good cause, no arbitrary rule can be established. Rather, this will be dependent upon the nature and extent of advance preparations that were to be made, and whether or not these arrangements could have been accomplished without leaving work that soon.
Occasionally, the marriage is delayed due to circumstances beyond the claimant's control. As long as the marriage was imminent at the time of the quit and the claimant could not have foreseen the delay, good cause will still exist.
Regarding a quit to go on a honeymoon, Title 22, Section 1256-12, Comments provides:
". . . The section reflects this state's policy in favor of the establishment and maintenance of the marital relationship. However, leaving work solely to go on a honeymoon is a leaving without good cause. (Emphasis added.)"
- Reconciliation and Family Unity
Since it is the public policy of this State to support the marital relationship, quitting to effect a reconciliation or to preserve family unity will be with good cause provided the facts show the claimant's actions were reasonable under the circumstances existing at the time of the quit.
Of family unity, Title 22, Section 1256-10, Example 2, Comments provides:
". . .[A] claimant voluntarily leaves work with good cause if there is a need to preserve the family unit. The danger of disintegration of the family unit must be substantial so as to compel the claimant to voluntarily leave his or her work . . . . The fact that a claimant's spouse's reason for forcing the claimant to make a choice may seem unreasonable is not controlling. Rather, the controlling factor is the actual jeopardy to the continued existence of the claimant's family unit. On the other hand, where the nature of the claimant's job is such that a minor inconvenience to the claimant's family life style is created, but there is no danger that the family unit will be substantially disrupted, the claimant does not have good cause for leaving work. The claimant must act as a reasonable person would in deciding to voluntarily leave his or her work."
Title 22, Section 1256-12, Comments provides:
"Subdivision (b) (2) of this section concerns itself with problems of commuting relating to the claimant's existing marital status. The first provision is that a person who leaves his or her work to accomplish a marital reconciliation leaves with good cause. The reason is the state's policy to encourage parties to a marriage to live together and to prevent separation. As a matter of good faith, the claimant and the spouse must intend to reunite and conduct their affairs in such a manner as to reflect that intent. Further, the fact that the claimant and his or her spouse are legally separated or within the interlocutory stage of dissolution proceedings is immaterial since neither situation is a final severance of the marital relationship. Hence, reconciliation is still a possible alternative."
In P-B-230, the Board addressed family unity concerns. Both the claimant and his wife were from Pennsylvania. They moved to California when the claimant secured employment. The wife was extremely dissatisfied with their living conditions and wanted to return to their home state. Finally the claimant's wife told him that she intended to leave California, move to Pennsylvania, and take their three minor children with her, regardless of what his desires were. The ultimatum from his wife caused the claimant to quit his employment and move to Pennsylvania to preserve the family unit. The Board compared the claimant's situation to several other nonprecedent decision cases and stated:
"In none of these cases was the claimant confronted with the ultimatum presented to the claimant herein; he could retain his employment with the result that he would be separated from his wife and children, perhaps permanently, or he could leave his employment, return with his family to their former home and thus maintain the family unity . . . . [W]e believe that the claimant, faced with the ultimatum presented to him acted as a reasonable person when he chose to preserve his marriage and the family unity."
In P-B-334, the claimant voluntarily quit her employment to accompany her husband to Wisconsin pursuant to his wishes. Neither had prospects of employment Wisconsin. The Board held that since the claimant left her job for the purpose of maintenance of the marital relationship, she left for good cause. The Board further stated, the gender of the spouse was not a controlling factor:
"It is perhaps appropriate that we observe that in the instant case if it had been the wife's decision to move to Wisconsin, and her husband quit his job to accompany her, such leaving by the husband would be for good cause. For again, in that circumstance, the leaving would be for the purpose of maintenance of the marital relationship."
The permanency of the new domicile or the identity of family's chief wage earner is immaterial to the decision of eligibility. If the decision to move was the claimant's, good cause will be dependent upon the claimant's reasons for the move. If the decision to move was the spouses, eligibility will be dependent upon the criteria outlined above.
- Separation or Divorce
Usually a separation or a divorce can be accomplished without leaving the job. Under some circumstances, however, there is no alternative to leaving the job. This situation may arise, for instance, when the spouse is threatening bodily harm against the claimant and the claimant has reasonable fears for his or her safety and that of any children, or the spouse has actually inflicted bodily harm in the past and, despite any restraining order, there is an indication that the spouse will do so again; or when the stress of the situation results in a physical illness and the claimant is unable to continue on the job. In the foregoing situations, the conditions are virtually so extreme as to make the leaving of work inevitable. When the interviewer determines that the claimant had no real alternatives, the situation must be documented and supporting evidence, such as medical statements or a copy of the restraining order, attached if available.
Normally, the personal and legal affairs connected with a separation or divorce can either be worked around business hours, or time off can be negotiated with the employer. However, if attending to the legal affairs results in a voluntary quit, the reasonableness of the claimant's response and any viable alternatives to leaving the job must be considered.
- Nonmarital Relationships
CALIFORNIA DOES NOT RECOGNIZE COMMON-LAW MARRIAGES. A person who stands in the position of a spouse, but who is not a spouse under California law, is not entitled to spousal rights under California law.
In the Marvin v. Marvin case, the court found that "Mrs. Marvin" (Michelle Triolo) was entitled to recover quasi-marital monies on the basis of contract, a prior "agreement to share," but not on the basis of "quasi-marital community property" status.
In Norman v. CUIAB a 1983 California Supreme Court case, Ms. Norman had quit her employment to move to Washington with her fiancee. In her own words, the "sole reason" she quit work was to join her fiancee and "it kind of put me on the spot, either come up here and live with him up here in Washington or to break up." At the time of her quit, she had no imminent marriage plans.
However, Ms. Norman claimed, as in Marvin v. Marvin, that her nonmarital relationship was the equivalent of a marriage for purposes of determining good cause. The court disagreed, pointing out that the Marvin decision did not rest upon the quasi-marital rights of nonmarital partners, but rather upon the ability of competent adults to contract their economic affairs. In its decision, the court found:
"Plaintiff here did not demonstrate the "imminency of her marriage" or any need for termination of employment at the time that she left work because of marriage related obligations. Plaintiff's decision to move to Washington came 10 months before her marriage was anticipated. It may be of some interest that, indeed, at oral argument more than two years later, we were informed that no marriage had as yet occurred.
We reaffirm our recognition of a strong public policy favoring marriage . . . No similar policy favors the maintenance of nonmarital relationships. We therefore conclude that plaintiff did not, as a matter of law, establish "good cause" for her voluntary departure from her employment . . . ."
But in MacGregor v. CUIAB a 1984 Supreme Court case, the court found that the Norman decision, above, did not apply to a couple who although unmarried, were the natural parents of a child. The court asked the question:
"When a worker leaves her employment to accompany her "nonmarital partner" to another state in order to maintain the familiar relationship they have established with their child does she voluntary leave work with good cause within the meaning of the statute governing eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits?"
Ms. MacGregor was engaged to, and lived with Dick Bailey, the father of her child. In April Mr. Bailey decided the family should move to New York to take care of his 76 year old father. Bailey's father was in ill health, anticipating surgery, and had no one to care for him. MacGregor, Bailey, and child moved into the father's home in June. The administrative law judge held the claimant ineligible for benefits since there was no marriage, no plans to marry, no assurance the relationship would continue, and therefore no family unit to be preserved. The Board affirmed the ALJ but the superior court overruled the decision.
"The Legislature has explicitly recognized that the legal relationship between a child and his or her parents is not based upon the existence of a marriage between the parents . . . . Once that relationship is known to exist, the 'rights, privileges, duties, and obligations' of parent and child are conferred . . . . The intimate nature of the family bond among these three individuals would have been forever altered had MacGregor decided that she, or she and Leanna, should not accompany Bailey to New York . . . . The state's policy in favor of maintaining secure and stable relationships between parents and children is equally as strong as its interest in preserving the institution of marriage . . . .
The conclusion, that MacGregor had 'such cause as would, in a similar situation reasonably motivate the average able-bodied and qualified worker to give up his or her employment with its certain wage rewards in order to enter the ranks of the unemployed' is entirely consistent with the laws and public policies of the State of California."
- Domestic Partners
Effective January 1, 2002, the CUIC Section 1256 is amended to state that a domestic partner has good cause for leaving his or her job in order to accompany or join his or her domestic partner to a place from which it is impractical to commute and a transfer by the employer is not available. Section 1032 of the CUIC is amended to state the employer's reserve account is relieved of charges if it has been determined that the claimant quit to follow a domestic partner to maintain family unity.
However, in order for a domestic partner to be eligible when quitting employment to accompany his or her domestic partner, both domestic partners must have been registered with the California Secretary of State at the time of the quit. Domestic partners are registered with the California Secretary of State by filing a Declaration of Domestic Partnership. Once the domestic partnership has been filed, the California Secretary of State will register the Declaration of Domestic Partnership in a registry for the partnerships and mail a copy of the Declaration to the domestic partners. Therefore, in determining eligibility in these situations, the Department must first determine if both parties are registered domestic partners.
To file for a Declaration of Domestic Partnership with the California Secretary of State, the partners must be at least 18 years old and be either of the same sex or if the opposite sex, one of the partners must be at least 62 years old. The definition of a domestic partner is further defined in the California Family Code Section 297 by stating the partners must also have a common residence and share living expenses, not be married, not be a member of another domestic partnership that has not been terminated with the California Secretary of State, not be related by blood in a way that would prevent them from being married in the state of California, and both partners must be capable of consenting to the relationship.
In addition, because a registered domestic partner is given the same recognition as a spouse in family unity situations, the same recognition would apply when determining a claimant's eligibility if he or she quit because of compelling domestic reasons. For example, when a registered domestic partner quits his or her job because his or her registered domestic partner is seriously ill, there is no one else available to take care of the ill partner and all other alternatives have been exhausted, good cause may be found for leaving the job. If good cause is found for leaving under these circumstances, the employer's reserve account would not be relieved.
In summary, a registered domestic partner is considered equal to a spouse and this meaning is applied whenever determining a claimant's eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits involving domestic circumstances.
A domestic partnership is terminated when one of the domestic partners dies, marries, or at least one of the former partners files a Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership with the California Secretary of State. The termination is effective the date the California Secretary of State receives the notice. If the termination is due to a death or marriage, the termination date is effective the date of the death or the marriage.
- Domestic Violence Abuse
Section 1256 of the CUIC provides that a claimant may be deemed to have left work for good cause when the claimant leaves work because of "domestic violence abuse." In addition, Section 1032 provides that an employer's reserve account is not subject to charges if it is determined the claimant quit with good cause due to domestic violence abuse. (Determinations FOM 08-05-05 and Benefit Determination Guide MI 40)
In determining eligibility for benefits, the Code provides "an individual may be deemed to have left his or her most recent work with good cause if he or she leaves employment to protect his or her children, or himself or herself from domestic violence abuse." The claimant's spouse does not have to be the source of the abuse or threat of abuse, to find good cause for the claimant's leaving work. The abuser may be a spouse, a partner, "significant other", a stalker, etc.
To establish that a person has good cause to quit due to domestic violence abuse, the Department must establish that:
- An act or threat of domestic violence abuse occurred.
- The claimant or the claimant's children are the intended victim of the domestic violence abuse.
- The claimant has a restraining order, a police report, or some other information that identifies the source of the abuse and/or verifies the abuse or threat of abuse.
- A leave of absence or a transfer was not available, or would not have resolved the problem. (e.g., the claimant has a restraining order against the abuser, but the abuser violates the restraining order.)
E. Unemancipated Minor
When a minor quits employment at the instigation of his or her parents, the determination of good cause will depend first upon whether the minor is emancipated or unemancipated.
Title 22, Section 1256-11 (b), defines an unemancipated minor:
"A minor is unemancipated if the minor's parents have not expressly or impliedly relinquished their right to control the minor's place of residence. The minor claimant is compelled to follow his or her parent's orders, including the right of a parent to determine his or her child's place of residence."
California Family Code Section 7002 describes an "emancipated minor" as a person who is under the age of 18 and (1) has entered into a valid marriage; (2) is on active duty with any of the armed forces; or (3) has received a declaration of emancipation.
California Family Code Section 7120 provides that a declaration of emancipation may be issued by the Superior Court of the county in which the minor resides, either temporarily or permanently, upon a declaration by the minor that (1) he or she is at least age 14; (2) he or she is willingly living separated from the parents or guardian, and the parents or guardian have consented; (3) he or she is managing his or her own financial affairs: and (4) the source of his or her income is not from criminal activities. The court may reject the petition if the court finds emancipation is not in the best interests of the minor. If emancipation is granted, the Department of Motor Vehicles will enter that information on the identification card issued to emancipated minors (Family Code Section 7140).
In P-B-243, the claimant was an unemancipated minor. Her father became disabled and the family decided to move to Arkansas; the claimant left her work because her parents would not allow her to remain alone in California. The Board cited California Civil Code Section 213, which provides:
"Right of parent to determine the residence of child. A parent entitled to the custody of a child has a right to change his residence, subject to the power of the proper Court to restrain a removal which would prejudice the rights or welfare of the child."
In finding the claimant had quit with good cause, the Board stated:
". . . [A]s the claimant was obligated by law to obey the commands of her parents, including orders to change residence, and since the evidence establishes that the claimant was compelled to accompany her parents, we find that she had good cause of leaving her employment."
Last Revised: 01/14/2022