If you voluntarily quit your job and try to collect unemployment benefits, it is up to you to prove you quit under good terms. The legal term for this is “with good cause.” It can be difficult to prove this, so it is best to hire an attorney to help you build your case.
If you are fired, you still have the burden of proof, but this time, you need to prove that you were not discharged due to misconduct. In other words, you must prove that you did not violate some standard of behavior your employer set forth – for example, consuming drugs or alcohol on work premises, acting violently toward coworkers, or stealing from the office.
Whether you were fired or you quit, you can file for unemployment benefits. This triggers a legal process that can result in multiple appeals and which requires you to produce evidence in the form of testimony from your coworkers and colleagues.
If you are denied unemployment benefits, it is vital to contact an attorney if you receive an adverse adjudicatory decision. It is better to engage help at the outset rather than to attempt to handle the matter yourself, only to later end up trying to correct an unfavorable decision.