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What is Section 402(b) of the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Law?

Section 402(b) of the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation law pertains to those who voluntarily quit their jobs. When it comes to voluntarily quitting a job, the burden of proof falls on the individual. While establishing the burden of proof may be difficult, with the assistance of an employment attorney obtaining unemployment compensation is possible.

How can I meet the burden of proof under Section 402(b)?

  • Did you have real and substantial cause?

  • Did you have any alternative options?

  • Did you make an attempt to preserve the employer-employee relationship?

  • Did you give your employer the chance to provide accommodations?

  • Did you give your employer appropriate notice prior to quitting?

  • Are you able and available for suitable work?

Employer-Employee Relationship

Common Voluntary Quit Situations

  1. Health Reasons - You are required to inform your employer of health limitations so suitable work can be offered within your limitations. -You must be available and able to work within the accommodations offered. - If suitable work cannot be offered, you may be eligible for Unemployment Compensation ("UC").

  2. Transportation Problems - You must prove that, through no fault of your own, you lost transportation and attempted to secure a new option prior to quitting. - If you are available and able to work within your limitations, you may be eligible for UC.

  3. Spouse Following Spouse - You must prove that your spouse's relocation was beyond their control. - If the relocation created insurmountable economic circumstances and it was impossible to maintain two residences, you may be eligible for UC. - A common example of spouse following spouse is a military spouse being "forced" into quitting their job due to their spouse's Permanent Change of Station ("PCS"). While it is not guaranteed that UC will be granted, the assistance of an experienced employment attorney could help the process.

  4. Personal Reasons - You must prove that there was no reasonable alternative to quitting. - You must have made a reasonable attempt to preserve the employer- employee relationship. - If you are available and able to work within your limitations, you may be eligible for UC.

  5. Attending School - Your school or training must be provided under the Trade Adjustment Assistance ("TAA"). - Additionally, you must show that the job was not suitable, of a substantially equal or higher skill level than your past positions and wages of such work are not less than 80% of the worker's "average weekly wage."

  6. Unsuitable Work - You must prove that the employment conditions changed after you were hired causing the job to become unsuitable. - The suitability will be affected by multiple factors; the degree of risk involved, safety and morals, physical fitness, prior training and experience, commute, labor market and wage rates.

  7. Job Not As Anticipated - You must prove that the monetary expectations of employment were not fulfilled through no fault of your own.


We know that things are rapidly changing regarding employment situations pertaining to Covid-19. If you have questions pertaining to UC, you may want to speak to an experienced attorney. Reach out via phone at (412) 626-5626 or email at

Unemployment Compensation

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