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I’m currently working for a European employer here in the U.S. I’ve been having health issues due to a hostile work environment. They are currently being sued from a previous employee as well. My physician is aware and told me I should leave the job. I would like to quit and collect my unemployment benefits. However, I’m not certain that I’d be eligible?
Asked on October 23, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 5 years ago | Contributor
The law does not protect employees from hostility or work-related stress (no matter how severe) unless the hostility was directed against them due to a specifically protected reason, such the employee's race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age over 40, or disability (a disability not created or caused by work stresss).
If they are harassing you because one of the specific reasons above (such as they are targetting you for hostile treatment due to your race), contact the federal EEOC or the NJ DCR to file a complaint. You might also be eligible for unemployment for this, but contact the EEOC or DCR first to discuss.
Otherwise, however, the employer may as hostile as it likes, as unpleasant, etc., as it likes, and if you quit, it will be viewed as a voluntary resignation and you will not be eligible for unemployment.
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