if the building that I worked in burned up, can I claim unemployment as a displaced worker?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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if the building that I worked in burned up, can I claim unemployment as a displaced worker?

I had been with the company almost 9 years. They have relocated to another borough even farther than the initial location. It would take me anywhere from 1:45-2 hours in transport. Also, my employer had no smoke detectors in the building. It was a 3 story building. I found out about the fire through all smoke coming through my window. I assumed it was a fire across from us as that was the direction of the wind pushing the smoke around. I then closed the window as was going to call 911 for them when I noticed smoke seeping through the floor borders. Can and should I sue them for life endangerment?

Asked on February 6, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

1) There is no such thing as a suit for "life endangerment": the law only provides compensation for what actually occured, not what might have. (So if you were injured, you could sue for your medical costs, for example; and if you'd been killed, your family might have had a wrongful death claim.)
2) A 1:45hr to 2hr commute is not far enough to definitely entitle you to unemployment compensation--many people in the greater NY area, for example, commute that far every day (I used to, for about two years). But it's on the edge: it might be far enough. You won't know until you try to apply and see what unemployment does; it is worthwhile for you to apply and give it a shot.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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