If I would like to know if I leave my place of employment, can I collect unemployment if I am being bullied and harrasssed?

I have continuously complained as well as other employees about the treatment received by the HR dept employee. She is nasty and bullies people all the time and it has been on going with complaint yet the company has done nothing. She has been brought in to the president’s office multiple times for warnings on her behavior yet it still persists. I am having mental health issues because of the constant harrassment and bullying and feel I shouldnt be forced to work under these circumstances. It seems to have escalated quite a bit recently rather than get any better. If I go in with another complaint and they still do nothing and I stop coming to work due to this can I collect unemployment?

Asked on August 30, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Connecticut

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, rude or boorish behavior does not give rise to a legal claim. Workplace harrassment or "hostility", is only actionable if it prevents an employee from reasonably performing their job duties and is due to some type of actionable discrimination (i.e. is based on race, religion, age (over 40), disability, gender, national origin, etc.). Absent that, you have no valid claim for voluntarily leaving your job. And without "cause", you would be ineligible to collect unemployment benefits. 


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