Is there any legal actionthat I can take against my employer if I quit under duress?

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Is there any legal actionthat I can take against my employer if I quit under duress?

I worked at bank as a teller and they were going to terminate me due to my being short in my cash box ($3000). They let me quit instead of terminating me. My other co-worker who was short $5000 a month or so before me, assumed it was a co-worker who might’ve stolen our money. We don’t know for sure but I told my immediate supervisor that I thought someone was stealing. She said they don’t have video cameras that play like movie;s they just take snapshots every few minutes. I now can’t collect unemployment because I quit. Is there any legal action that I can take?

Asked on November 6, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No there really isn't any action that you can take.  The fact is that you didn't have to quit, you could have let them terminate you.  And they could have legally done so even without proof that you were responsible for the theft.  The reason is that most employment relationships are what is known as "at will"; meaning that you can choose to work for an employer or not, and an employer can hire or fire you for any reason or no reason.  While seemingly unfair it's the law.  The exceptions to this would be if this action was not allowed by virtue of an employment contract, union agreement, or company policy statement.  Also, discrimination must not have played a role in your leaving.


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