If I have a formal complaint recorded but nothing is being done to discuss it remedy the situation and I quit, will I be able to collect unemployment ?

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If I have a formal complaint recorded but nothing is being done to discuss it remedy the situation and I quit, will I be able to collect unemployment ?

Collecting unemployment when it is a
hostile work environment

Asked on December 10, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No--if you leave due to a hostile work environment, it is a voluntary separation from employment and you will not be eligible for unemployment. There is a common misconception that an employer cannot bully his/her employees, be insulting or cruel to them, etc. That is not the case: as long as it is not due to discrimination against a specifically protected class of persons, the main ones of which are discrimiantion due to race, national origin, sex, age over 40, disability, or religion, an employer may harass, bully, denigrate, and otherwise treat an employee as badly as he or she wants. The employee can choose to put up with it, or if the employee feels his/her happiness, mental/emotional health, etc. is more important than a job, the employee can choose to leave; but if the employee chooses to leave, that is a voluntary choice to leave an unpleasant job, and such voluntary leaving renders the employee ineligible for unemployment.


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