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Does Leaving a Hostile Work Environment Qualify Me for Unemployment Pay?

I was being bullied in my workplace by my "supervisor". She has yelled at me, swore at me, demeaned me in front of my co-workers, withheld information I needed to do my job, purposefully set me up for failure, purposefully tried to sabotage my work, she has dumped the majority of the font office work-load on me including her own work so that I have had to work through lunch and stay late on an almost daily/weekly basis amongst other things.  After numerous attempts to discuss the situation with my boss, I told him that it would be in my best interest to resign. During a 2 hour telephone conversation with him, he admitted that he too felt threatened by this individual because (he said) she is a very spiteful person who he is afraid may try to sabotage his computer system because she knows so much about it. He asked me if I would consider coming back to work if she wasn't there. I said that I didn't want to name names but if the "situation" didn't exist, yes, I would love to come and work for him as I love my job and great joy out of helping the patients in the practice. He asked me to "take a few days off" so he would have time to work on the situation. This was a Friday. He said that he would have a meeting on Tuesday and then I should expect to be back to work on Wednesday. On Tuesday afternoon I received a message from my boss saying that because an emergency "work-in" patient there hadn't been enough time to have the meeting and that it would now take place on Thursday. However, since he wouldn't be in the office on Friday, he asked me to wait until Monday to come back to work. Upon hearing the message I called him but did not reach him so I left a voicemail message letting him know that I had received his message and that I was willing to wait until Monday to come back to work but I needed to make sure that I was going to be paid for this time off. Wednesday night at 9:30 he finally called me and said that he had been able to speak with a "few of the ladies" and that they had agreed that they wanted me to come back. He said that everyone" had agreed to be nicer and more "service-oriented".  He also said that he feels "responsible" for helping my supervisor change and become a better person.  And, despite the fact that he told me that while I was "out" he had had (2) patient complaints about my supervisor and that she had "lost her temper" with one of the patients.  Never-the-less, she was staying. He didn't mention anything about pay so I asked him again. He said, "well, you've exhausted all your vacation, sick days and personal days so you'll only be paid for the one day you worked. I respectfully pointed out that he had asked me to stay home this last week, I had not requested the time off. He said that he had to be "fair" and "just" and since I had not worked the days I would not be paid. I decided that I would not go back to work for him since the "bullying" situation had not really been resolved and I that because of my previous experiences with this person and situation, did not see it ever really changing. I felt that it would be in my best interest to look for work elsewhere. Of course, there is more to the story but based on what I've written, do you think I am eligible to collect unemployment based on the fact that I was forced to leave my job because of the hostile work environment? Can I get him to pay me for the days that he asked me to stay home while he "worked on resolving the situation"? Please respond ASAP. I need to know the best way to handle this situation. I am a single mother of 2 and now do not have any income. Thank you.

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Hi Maven, --------------- The answer is yes, but it won't be easy.... You'll have to bring "solid / hard" evidences to prove your case and they might deny it say you over reacted or misunderstood (or at least claim that you exeggerate) they can also bring a long list of "problems" that you did (to show that you are the cause to all this). I believe that you'll need a proffesional person to do the job for you and that might cost you a furtune...... I wonder if it is worth the risk..... You can try to do it on your own but I have to warn you: It will be hell and your chances to win are low...... Better concentrate on finding a new job in a nice supportive environment. Sorry - that is sure not what you expected to read but that's the simple painfull truth !!!!. --------------------- Best regards,

Love is the battery of life....

Thank you for your response.  I agree that it may be difficult for me to collect unemployment as I think my former boss would agree as well.  What do you think about my asking him to at least pay me for the days I was absent since he requested that I "take a few days off"? Should I ask him to consider putting me on "lay-off" status so I can collect while I'm looking for a job?  Also, he offered to loan me money.  What do you think of that? -Maven 

I'm sorry that you're having problems at work.  I advise you not to borrow money from anyone at the work place. That will create more problems.

Be honest and be true to yourself.

Thank you so much for your concern and advice. I will definitelu take it! Maven

You can appy, and they can fight it. If you do apply, please remember to use the fine art of "suck up" to the employee assingned to your case. They do have some influence on the outcome.

Sounds as if your boss is a complete wimp and will probably allow said supervisor to fight the unemployment case. After all, he could fire her, give her 2 weeks pay and let her leave right then and there. You are probably blessed to be out of this place - though that may be hard to see right now.

News occurs when the uninformed are interviewed by the unqualified to produce drivel for the uneducated. If all men knew what others say of them, there would not be four friends in the world. -Blaise Pascal, philosopher and mathematician (1623-1662)

I have experienced almost the very same hostility at my job in which I was fired for a "no call no show".  I had emailed my boss and told him I did not want to return to work until my issues where addressed and something was done.  I had been attacked by 3 of my coworkers with lies, slander, bullying and cyber abuse.  My office computer was vandalized and all my client files was erased from my computer, I was falsely accused of sexual harassment and later was told that someone had made a mistake (but the damage was already done).  I applied for unemployment and was disqualified citing General Law 151a Section 25(e):

(e) - For the period of unemployment next ensuing and until the individual has had at least eight weeks of work and in each of said weeks has earned an amount equivalent to or in excess of the individual’s weekly benefit amount after the individual has left work

(1) voluntarily unless the employee establishes by substantial and credible evidence that he had good cause for leaving attributable to the employing unit or its agent,

(2) by discharge shown to the satisfaction of the commissioner by substantial and credible evidence to be attributable to deliberate misconduct in wilful disregard of the employing unit’s interest, or to a knowing violation of a reasonable and uniformly enforced rule or policy of the employer, provided that such violation is not shown to be as a result of the employee’s incompetence, or

(3) because of conviction of a felony or misdemeanor.

You have a very good chance of getting unemployment if you have the evidence to prove "Harassment in a Hostile Work Environment".  Contrary to the posted responses to your questions, with the proper evidence this is not hard to do.

NP

 

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