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Expected to Work/Barriers to Full Employment Policy & Procedures

Published Date: April 01, 2006
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02 Income Support Overview

Just Cause for Leaving a Job

The following is a list of acceptable reasons for a client to leave employment and continue to be eligible for Income Support. This is not a complete list, since other circumstances may also give just cause. This list refers to situations where the client can make or has made the decision on their own. A client who is working can, in consultation with a worker, quit a job in order to take training that leads to independence or an improved employment situation.
  1. Danger to health or safety because of working conditions:

    • The employer requires excessive hours of overtime
    • The job threatens or adversely affects the client’s health
      • client gives credible and convincing explanation or provides doctor’s advice
    • The work threatens health or safety of pregnant woman or unborn child and employer refuses to grant leave
    • Employer provides unsanitary living accommodations, insufficient or contaminated food

  2. Conflict with family responsibilities:

    • Working conditions (e.g., duties, hours of work, responsibilities) interfere with client’s obligation to care for a dependent child
    • Relocation to specially adapted housing for a handicapped member of the family makes it unreasonable to maintain previous employment.
    • A partner secures full-time gainful employment that necessitates relocation of the family, making it unreasonable for the other adult member to maintain employment.
    • Client needs time off to care for a sick dependent child and employer refuses

  3. Sexual or other harassment:

    • Client receives abusive treatment from co-workers and employer refuses to intervene
    • Employer takes excessive disciplinary action (penalty is clearly disproportionate)
    • Client suffers discrimination within the meaning of the Alberta Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Act.

  4. Moral or legal objections:

    • Employer’s practices are illegal or require illegal activities of the client
    • Job requirements violate fundamental ethical values or professional ethics
    • Job requirements clash with client’s religious beliefs

  5. Conditions of employment violate provincial Employment Standards legislation:

    • Wages or salary are below minimum wage
    • Employer refuses or fails to pay salary, wages (including overtime), or commissions due the client
    • Client has received a firm written offer of a better job in the immediate future.