If I quit my job due to a co-worker being very hostile towards and was denied unemployment even though I took the proper steps before leaving, can I sue my employer or appeal the decision of the EDD?

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If I quit my job due to a co-worker being very hostile towards and was denied unemployment even though I took the proper steps before leaving, can I sue my employer or appeal the decision of the EDD?

After going through the proper channels of reporting the incident to my supervisor, his supervisor, the GM and HR. I took a 48 hour leave of absence and I requested for my hours to be switched so that I would not have to engage so much with the individual. I was told I could not change my hours and nothing happened not even a verbal warning or write-up in this individual’s file. I was quote told,

Asked on July 6, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, unfortunately, you do not have a case unless the hostility you reported was directed against you because of your race, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age over 40, disability, marital status or religion. Harassment or discrimination at work on those bases is illegal, and the law requires employers to investigate and take appropriate action when harassment, etc. predicated on these characteristics occurs. If the hostility was due to one of these reasons, contact your state's equal/civil rights agency to file a complaint. 
But if the hostility was not due to one of these reasons--the coworker in question either generally is an awful, bullying, mean person, or else simply does not like you personally--your employer has no liability, because an employer has no obligation to get involved in the interpersonal disputes of its employees, or to force employees to treat each other with consideration, professionalism, and respect. Furthermore, if you leave due to a concern about a coworker it is a voluntary termination of employment; while it may have been the best choice for you and your family, legally, because it is considered a voluntary choice (i.e. leaving to make the best choice for you), it will render you ineligible for unemployment benefits.


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