Can my husband get unemployment if he quits forreason ofhealth?

UPDATED: Sep 7, 2011

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Can my husband get unemployment if he quits forreason ofhealth?

My husband works at a mechanics well he passed out and went to the hospital, they told him it was chemical inhalation. His boss refuses to fire him so until he can find another job he has to work there. But his health is all I’m worried about right now, do we have a case for unemployment if he quits? His boss refuses to accept that it was chemical inhalation he believes it was stress, and the problem is that we can’t prove the chemical inhalation cause the chemicals get flushed with in the first 48 hours, he went back today after a week off and is not feeling well.

Asked on September 7, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The State of New Jersey does not stop someone who has quit a job from filing for unemployment insurance.  But be aware that it is a much harder claim to prove for the employee and the employer may in fact fight the claim.  The rule in New Jersey comes from a case that says that the burden of proof is on the employee who quits to show good cause. The ruling also says New Jersey law clearly intends to exclude claimants who leave a job for personal reasons and provide benefits only for involuntary job loss.  Now, from what you have written it appears that his boss thinks this is "stress related" and that could fall under "personal reasons."  Why, may I ask, is there no proof from the hospital?  Tests should have been run on admission so the presence of the chemicals should have shown in his blood stream or urine.  Have you called OSHA and reported the situation?  You need to.  This is dangerous.  Your husband is protected against retaliation under whistle blower laws.  Get legal help please.  It seems to me he is being forced to leave because of a dangerous condition.  Good luck.   

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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