Can I get unemployment for quitting because of unsafe working conditions?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I get unemployment for quitting because of unsafe working conditions?

I have been working for my current employer for 5 years and recently hurt myself due to unsafe working conditions that have yet to be addressed after years of being an issue.My body is under constant stress and strain because of my job and has led to several back, neck and shoulder problems. My HR department slacked at getting me the information that I needed to file for workmans comp after I fell and sprained my neck, shoulder and strained my upper back and has been very unhelpful in moving the process along and communicating with me on what I need to do. I want to quit and look for work in another field that will not hurt my body, and in a safe environment. If I were to quit under these conditions, could I collect unemployment while I look for new work?

Asked on July 25, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, quitting because you deem a job bad for your health (e.g. it is causing physical stress and strain to your body) is still considered a voluntary separation from employment: you are leaving at your own decision or instigation. Even if it is for a good reason, because it is voluntary separation from employment, you would still typically be barred from receiving unemployment benefits.

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