Can I file for unemployment or refile for workers compensation if I was intimidated into resigning my job?

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Can I file for unemployment or refile for workers compensation if I was intimidated into resigning my job?

I was at my company 5 years; I hurt my knee on the job. I was out 6 weeks but then came back to work gradually with light duty and going to physical therapy. Because they had me at reduced pay I went back to work full-time. My knee is still not 100%. But after 2 weeks I was sort of blackmailed into either resigning (they said I would get good character reference) or getting fired for “misconduct”. So I resigned. Was this a legal and what can I do?

Asked on July 9, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Blackmail means that they have something on you and they are forcing you to do as they wish in by holding that "something" over your head.  Maybe this is more like harassment and forcing you to resign.  The general rule regarding the right to receive unemployment benefits is that you have to have been let go "through no fault of your own."  They tried to cover their basis here by having you resign (quitting does not generally qualify) or firing you "for cause" which also does not qualify to collect benefits. But many states have carved out exceptions to the resigning matter in case law and allow a person who has been put in a position that gives them no choice but to quit the opportunity to collect benefits.  You need legal help here both on the issue of filing for unemployment and filing a complaint against your company.  Good luck.


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