Can I receive unemployment if I quit?

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Can I receive unemployment if I quit?

I recently had a situation where I was threatened with violence from a customer from through the phone. I found it to be strange. Then, several days later, 2 men come into the pharmacy I work at try to return a gift card that they bought 2 minutes ago, claiming that it does not work. They demanded the money back but I refused and to them they need to come came in the morning for my manager to process the return. They threatened me with physical violence and scared me so much, so that I called off work the following day and filed a police report. I also called the police at the time of the incident.

My manager responded by transferring me to another store that is less tthan 20 blocks away. I still feel unsafe and just want to leave the company, but I don’t want to risk not getting paid because of bills. Do I have the right to receive unemployment insurance?

Asked on June 20, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, you will not receive unemployment if you quit for this reason. Your employer is not responsible for your safety from persons not under his control, such as customers or people in the neighborhood; since the employer is not responsible for this, if you quit due to these safety concerns, it is considered a voluntary resignation, or leaving for your own reasons unconnected to anything wrong which the employer is doing. Since it will be a voluntary resignation you will not be eligible for unemployment benefits.


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