Unemployment Benefits Granted After Time-Off to Care for Mother

On November 19th, the Center for Workers’ Rights represented Su Wiest before the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board.  Ms. Wiest was denied benefits by the Employment Development Department, without contest by her employer.


In February 2015, Ms. Wiest’s mother suffered a stroke and was left blind. Ms. Wiest left work with permission from her manager to care for her mother. Her manager specified that “family comes first” and told her to “take as much time as [she] needs”. After one month of caring for her mother and not working, Sue met with her manager who reiterated that family comes first and granted Ms. Wiest time off to  continue taking time to care for her mother. Ms. Wiest continued to extend her leave until she received termination papers from her employer in September 2015. In that same month, Ms. Wiest had made arrangements for another family member to take care of her mother and she was ready to return to work.


EDD denied benefits notice stating that she quit due to domestic reasons without exploring all proper options. After having already gone several months without pay to care for her mother, Ms. Wiest was fearful of being denied unemployment benefits while she looked for new work. The Center for Workers’ Rights prepared her for the short hearing and calmed her concerns about the process. The Administrative Law Judge overturned EDD’s decision and granted her benefits.