Personal Finance

Can You Collect Unemployment If You Quit Your Job?

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Your job has gotten worse and worse. You dread going to work every day but you’re afraid to quit. After all, you can’t collect unemployment if you quit your job.

Or can you?

Spencer Cohn, a national employee representative and founder of says don’t be so sure. You may still be able to collect, but you have to approach it the right way.

I recently interviewed Cohn on my radio show and he offered some advice on how to quit your job and collect unemployment. This is an edited excerpt from that interview.

Gerri:  So you say that people can actually quit their job and still collect unemployment? I think that’ll be a big surprise.

Yes, people don’t understand that. The problem is, typically what happens is somebody says “I had enough, I quit.” That’s the wrong way of quitting because when did it come about where you’ve had enough? Did you have enough yesterday? If you’d had enough yesterday, why didn’t you quit yesterday? Or a week before? Why today?

What they fail to do is document their complaints. Just like an employer does if they don’t like the employee, or they’re having problems with the employee, they document it. They send out reprimands and disciplinary notices.

What the employee needs to do is as soon as they’re disgruntled and have had enough, they need to notify their employer in writing and document it. They can say, “Listen, I went to the employer on such and such day and this is what I have a problem with, you’re putting more responsibilities and jobs on me that I didn’t agree to do when I was hired and I am paying for things that I didn’t agree to when I was hired, what are you going to do about it? How are you going to compensate me?”

And typically the employer will say, “Oh don’t worry about it, we’re going to work on it, I’m going to take care of you.” That makes the employee continue to work there. And then finally on the last day, they say, “I’ve been complaining all this time, I’ve complained several times in the month of December, I’ve complained several times in the month of February, nothing’s happened. What do you plan on doing about it?”

Finally, the employer’s going to say, “Nothing actually, because I can’t afford it.” Then you’ve got reason to quit. Clearly the employer has shown that he was going to induce you to stay by telling you he’s going to take care of things and change things and then finally admits, “Nothing’s going to change, if you don’t like it, you can leave.”

If you document it all these times and you have a hearing at least you are going to have the proof you need to show a good cause for giving up your job.

So does the worker need to quit in writing or is it okay to quit verbally?

There’s no obligation to give notice to your employer, unless there’s something in writing under a contract or in a handbook that you signed saying otherwise. Most employees give employers notice because they feel it’s the morally correct thing to do.

But how many times has an employer fired an employee and not give them notice that they’re firing that individual? It doesn’t ever happen.

What I would do, is I would simply say, “Today’s my last day.” I would not put down why or anything of that sort because what happens is the employer can always dangle this information in a future unemployment hearing. They say, “Hey, here’s why this person resigned and they even stated in their resignation letter they had a great experience, it was wonderful, they had great managers.”

And then when you’re at an unemployment hearing, you’re having to defend your own notice.

So, a notice is simply a notice: I resign on a certain date. There’s no obligation to put down why or anything of that kind, because things change. Who knows? You start thinking about it and realize, “I quit my job for a number of reasons I did not list when I turned in my resignation letter.”

To hear more of Spencer Cohn’s advice on collecting unemployment, including how to navigate tougher new rules for collecting, listen to the full interview: Listen online, download the interview, or listen on itunes.

Image: Burt Lum, via Flickr

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  • http://None Juan Monzon

    Question: I am in the state of Florida. My unemployment compensation claim appeal was dismissed because the mediator said I applied late. I participated in a hearing but no decision was made by those present. Do you take unemployment compensation claim cases or can you recommend someone to me who is in south Florida? Your response would be most appreciated. Juan Monzon

    • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep.

      I represent claimants in unemployment hearings in Florida as well as in most states, but I’m afraid you’ve reached out to me too late.

  • veronica kelly

    I was hired by Home Depot March 30th,1990 18yrs. as a Kitchen Designer,rest as flooring associate, and plumbing associate, I enjoyed working with people, I transfer to Florida with my New Jersey Salary, the store manager who hired me in the Gatlin is no longer there. In 2010 the three Designers including me was put on PIP that”s when the Economy crash and no one was buying kitchen, people was holding on to their money, the managers pretend they don”t know whats going on,from November through February I was called into the office for customer complaint, the first on said I told her the reason her foot is hurting her is because she is too fat, never happened,they tried to lay a foundation of bad customer service. second one customer tripped on a piece of 4×8 sheet of laminate, when I say what happened I went to the customer and ask if he was OK. he rolled up his pants and said he was.I had nothing to do with it, but for my own concern, I found out who place the laminate on the floor, I was called in the office again I told them I had nothing to do with it, the store manager Antonio Vasquez told me that if the customer had sued Home Depot I would be fired, but they said nothing to the associate that put it there.At one point I think the store manager was sending people directly to me and then make up these stories.the next customer customer came in the department and he wanted a design using the stock cabinets, which came to under $2,000.the husband liked the price. the wife came in she did not like the cabinets, and she wants a design using the special order ones, I could not do the second design at that time because my appointment had arrived, I told her that if I have the time to do it I will, and will fax it to her,that never happen I was the only one working, when you get overtime it have to be cut. now the customer refused to make an appointment, she comes in the next day I was sitting with my appointment. I explained to her that I did”t get the time to do the design, but as soon as I am finished I would take care of it and fax it to her which I did, it came to $5,000. I called and spoke with the husband who said it was too expensive, by that time she spoke with Antonio the store manager. I was called to the office again I explain to him what had happen, he told me that he knows the customer from his old store and I have cost him over $17,000 because that”s what the customer was going to spend, I told him impossible because $5,000 was too much. Antonio told me that I was given two Final warnings and in all his years with Home Depot he never see anyone gets two warning and still with the Co. I said to him that I know nothing two warnings unless he is talking about the PIP in 2010. March 30 was my monetary review I was called in the office April first I was called to the office for my review, everything was negative where customer service was concern, I was told this is a round table decision, he had the termination paper already filled out. he previously fired three Jamaicans I am the 4th.February 18 he brought in an associate from another store who is a kitchen designer and appliance person, at that time I was told by another associate that he was going to take my place, on my day off he would cover, now I am fired he takes over. the two designers in kitchen is now white.I think I am being discriminated. I gave them 23years.

    • Spencer, Nat’l employee Rep

      If you believe you were treated unfairly, you should contact and file a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and you should file for unemployment benefits.

  • Jennifer Jarvis

    I’m wondering if I have a shot at getting unemployment and if you could give me tips on how to fight in my hearing. I wish I had read this article before I quit because it might would have helped in my approach. My company required that we had a quota of recruiting 16 foster parents and I was unable to meet the requirement. I thought it was in the whole year but my supervisor told me it was 4 per quarter after I was working there. Anyway, in Jan they gave me a verbal written warning that if I didn’t get my numbers up my last day would be March 1st. Then in Feb I received a written warning, same thing. My supervisor said I could quit but didn’t say I had to resign. I wrote my resignation saying that I quit bc i wasn’t given the budget promised. What should I say to fight the dispute?



      It’s going to be difficult to fight for unemployment in your case because it wasn’t documented. We’re not saying it’s not possible but, unfortunately, we’re not attorney’s and can’t provide legal advice. Our suggestion would be to speak with an attorney to find out what your rights are and whether or not you have a case to fight for unemployment.

  • kaigler

    I quit my job because it was my last option. I was given FMLA to care for sick parent and reported my time accuartely for some reason my employer did not send information over to company that handles leaves until over 30 days later. Within that time I also left to take my maternity leave. Now this is where it gets confusing. My maternity leave went into effect 12/18/2012. On 1/3/2013 I received a call from the FMLA company explaining that time was denied for any dates I used prior to 12/18 because my company did not report time to them until 12/28. I contacted my employer 6 days before my delivery date and advised them of the issue. my sup stated that all they can do is place me on a final 6 month written. After maternity leave ended a tragic incident happened with my newborn son which required me to request for more leave. All FMLA was exhausted so I had to take a leave I requested a 90 day leave but was denied and only granted 30 days. With the written in place per company policy no sick time can be granted and i can not use personal or vacation time until after 30 days of attendance. which is not possible to do with a new born and sick parent. they refused to adjust my schedule etc. i filed for UI but was denied. During the first hearig my employer did not show up however I was still denied UI even after that hearing. I am now on my second appeal do you have any suggestions for me?

    • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep

      I would seek representation to try and salvage your situation. You may contact me to discuss further.

  • Erica Esser Burdick

    I am currently in the appeals process. I have filed and wondering how I should go about this. I did quit my job due to being a liability. I was working in a factory which requires leather shoes. Due medical condition I cannot comply with this rule. I do have medical documentation stating this. I did month prior to actually quitting receive a letter asking for my resignation. I sent an email with a PDF file attached. Stating what my limitations were and that I would know more then. I unfortunately left a message when I had quit because no one was available. The company states I never gave them any letter stating limitations. What should or should I not do? I’m a total wreck

    • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep.

      I’m not sure I completely understand our situation. It sounds like you were fired for not wearing the proper uniform, however, you state there was a medical reason for nor doing so. Could you give me further clarification?

  • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep.

    Well asking to work at home is not the same as being granted permission to work from home. Based on what you’ve written, it sounds like you were fired, so I’m not quite sure where your resigning fits in. Contact me to discuss further.

  • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep

    Well, I’d like to hear from your boyfriend. Unless he has a doctor’s recommendation that his work is killing him, I’m not sure what to believe. You can have him contact me to discuss.

  • Michael Bovee

    You should apply and find out. If declined, you would have the ability to appeal.

  • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep.

    The question becomes, why didn’t you quit years ago? The typical answer is: I needed the money. So what has changed now? You don’t need the money? If you’ve had enough, you should be documenting all dates and statements made to you over the last 6-9 months, ie., threats, language used, etc. . I’m not sure what you mean by the treatment is making you sick. Did your doctor advise you to quit? Try not to take things so personally. The customers aren’t YOUR customers, they are his. Be like “Tonalist” the horse that won at the Belmont Stakes last week. He ignored the rest of the field and won and yet he was barely on the radar. If you still can take it anymore, contact me for assistance.

  • noemi

    I resigned because my jobs was not safe and I sent a resignation letter I applied for unemployment and they sent me this: An issue has been identified on your claim. Please attend the non-monetary appointment listed below so a claims agent may resolve this issue. Does this mean I won’t be able to collect. I tried to get reassigned and they told me since the reduction in force process was over they could not do any
    thing. My appointment is on 08/13/2014 at 10:40am. What should I do?

  • garnet07

    I work for a fortune 500 company and I’ve been out on disability for 3 months I’ve seen several doctors because of a herniated disc in my neck and pain.also i have fibromyalgia which has been worse since I’ve had the problem with the disk and I have ringing in my left ear and hearing losd brought on by the new phone system they put in My own Dr. wanted to keep me out till mid October. I’m supposed to go back the end of October to see the surgeon to see if I need to have surgery . Then disibility called me today and told me that I have to go back to work they will stop paying me as of today! if I don’t go back and get fired will I be able to collect unemployment?

    • Spencer Cohn Natl employee re

      The question is whether you can work? The next question is when (what date) does your employer expect you to return. Then return on your due date and see what the employer can do for you and what you can do for the employer.

  • Gerri Detweiler

    What an awful dilemma! Have you considered calling your local child protection agency? I assume you can report your concerns to them anonymously.

  • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep

    Why would you quit your job? Based on what I’m reading, you’re more likely to be fired for not paying attention to your work….but first, how reliable is the information that this teacher has threatened to end her own life or was not properly supervising the children? Unfortunately, the fact that you “feel” this teacher is unstable doesn’t matter at an unemployment hearing. You will need an expert to make that assessment. If you are so afraid for your child, perhaps the best suggestion is to take your child out of the program, temporarily, file a complaint with Children and Human Health Services and after it has been investigated, then decide the next course of action. At this time, since the situation is appears dire, where you can’t sleep or eat, most certainly your own work is being affected so before you lose your job from this, take action now.

    • evelyn

      I saw her texting on her phone while my child was in the high chair eating by himself for over 5 minutes she was talked to about it and admitted it and said she wouldn’t do it again. She asked our boss if she could not have contact with my child because she doesn’t want to deal with them. They didn’t do anything because they did not want her to get upset and quit because she goes through extreme high and low emotions at work. She text another employee and said she wanted to end her life last weekend and that she was totally ok with it. I cannot afford to pay full price at another day care and have nobody else to watch him. So in fear for his safety I would need to quit and take care of him myself

  • Spencer, Nat’l Employer Rep

    Here’s an analogy for you, I left my wife for a younger woman and it didn’t pan out so I go back to my former wife and ask for forgiveness. If you leave your job voluntarily for personal reasons, collecting unemployment benefits will not be likely. If you left your job for reasons attributable to your employer, then your “chances” are brighter.

  • Credit Experts

    It’s unlikely. If you leave your job voluntarily for personal reasons, you’re not usually eligible. If you leave because of reasons related to your employer (say, you were laid off or subjected to illegal treatment), you would be more likely to qualify.

  • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep

    I would like to know more. When you were introduced to your job, were you informed where you would be working? Did they state your duties and responsibilities or who would be your supervisor? Were you informed that you would be the Controller? What did they ask you to improve upon? What were you told exactly to infer that you would be terminated? What prompted you to quit, Sounds like they misrepresented your position from the start, so why did you wait to quit? Why not wait to be terminated? I believe I can help you. Contact me to discuss further.

  • Spencer, nat’l Employee Rep

    Can you be more specific when you say, “The
    business income is not enough to pay my salary…”. Are you being paid what you started? Second, when you say, “I am always paid late if at all.” Is your weekly paychecks current? While I sense your loyalty to the company and your dedication, you do not own the company. If the employer wants to be an absentee manager, and ignore his business, that’s his decision, not yours. Your concern is getting paid timely, being paid what he represented when hired and you’re doing what you were hired to do. If the employer is not doing all of these things, then you need to let him know that he is not living up to his end of the bargain and find out if he plans on continuing down this path and for how long. Once you have a clear understanding on what his vision is then you can make your decision. Let me know his answer and then we can go from there. Keep in mind that unemployment doesn’t care if you are paid late, they only care if you are paid, so don’t think being paid late is good cause to quit your job. Contact me for further assistance.

  • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep

    The first thing I would do is prepare a letter outlining what your understanding was when you were hired, your pay rate, your hours, who was your supervisor, etc. and ask your employer if his understanding was the same. After you know what his expectations are then you will be in a better position to know your best course of action. I’m curious what it was that caused them to lower your salary range and when did that happen? Claimant’s allow themselves to be abused at the workplace because they need a paycheck but when an employee is being treated unfairly or taken advantage of, action needs to be taken immediately.

  • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep

    The nerve of some employers! Maybe your employer would like to tell you when you can go to the bathroom too. I would like to know when your appointment was scheduled and what was it change to? It seems certain that you will have an unemployment hearing. If so, get representation. You may contact me for representation.

  • Spencer, Nat’l employee Rep

    Do you have a hearing coming up? If so, you should contact me or someone to represent you at your hearing. My number is toll free (866) 805-9492. I was curious as to whether the times that were changed were unreasonable. Also, in the future, I would make sure that the physical therapy office does not change your times unless authorized by yourself.

    • Ruby

      Hello again! Dont know what to do. The unemployment was declined and I feel that is not fair because the manager caused it. I want to file an appeal but not sure how that works and what to do after I do that. Do you think that once I do that Ill have a chance to get unemployment? Which time works the best for you if you want me to call you. Thanks for all your help.

      • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep

        Call me anytime. again, my toll free number is (866) 805-9492. Spencer

  • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep

    I would need to know what your terms of employment were when hired. As far as they’re “ripping people off” is really not your concern, unless there is some illegal activity going on, then contact the police. Also, you mentioned “not given any breaks or lunches”, again was it always this way? And, your statement about the employer fighting you to attend church. Does this mean he is knowingly scheduling you on your day to attend church? As to quitting, regardless, your employer will contest your claim for benefits simply because employers do not know that one can collect benefits through quitting. What I would do before quitting is review with your employer these grievances in writing and see if he plans on correcting these issues. If not, bide your time, it’s tough out there, and actively seek other employment. If satisfactory, you should stay employed and look for other employment when you’re not working and leave on your own terms.

  • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep

    First of all, your daughter needs to separate her work from her child’s day care issues. With regards to her daughter, she needs to prepare a journal on how her child is being treated. The date the incident occurred, a one or two sentence describing the incident, who she complained to, and the response to remedy the situation. After accumulating 5 or 6 incidents, file a complaint with the Children’s Health and Safety. As to your daughter’s “child endangerment” allegation, it sounds like its inevitable when she returns to work, they are going to fire her. It seems suspending someone for being accused of a swear word is a little harsh, but that’s the employer’s prerogative. How does the employer know any child heard anything? What’s the policy on profanity at the workplace? There may be more to this story than your daughter is telling you, but that’s my guess. The good news is if she loses her job, she can contact me for help.

  • Makeitgreen

    Quiting my job gave two weeks notice I felt like I had reached the last possible position and pay rate that I can get I would like to know if I could get unemployment still

    • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep

      I can never figure this out? Why do employees give two weeks notice? Is it because it’s morally the right thing to do? I ask you, would the employer give you two weeks notice if they wanted to fire you? No, they’d fire you on the spot and probably escort you off the premises and if you were lucky someone might say to you, “take care”. Unless you are under contract, you are not obligated to let your employer know your business just like the employer would not share with you his/her intentions. But my question to you is, why did you give notice on the day that you chose to give notice? Why not quit the day before or a month before? Was it because you needed the paycheck? I assure you this is the wrong answer. If not, what made you give notice? Because you “felt” like you reached the last possible position and pay rate? The state doesn’t care how you feel. The state wants to know if the employer was justified in demoting you. The state wants to know if your last position and pay rate was a temporary situation or whether you were applying yourself. File for unemployment benefits and contact me if you are denied.

  • S.M

    My husband in June of 2014 took on a new job. The new company offered him better health insurance, higher pay, better hours, and all around was a better company. He left his previous employer with a 2 week notice and on good terms. On Oct 31, 2014 my husband went into work and they laid off 90% of the company. A main machine broke and would take months to get it fixed so everyone, but the managers were let go. There was no sort of warning or heads up. On November 1st we filed for unemployment, waited our 1 week waiting period and received one weeks pay. We then received a letter stating that his claim was “exhausted” and no further payments would be paid. We appealed it and were told it was exhausted because the wage “base period” was Jun 2013-June 2014 and he left his employer on his own free will. We expressed our understanding of him leaving that job, but that it had nothing to do with the most current job laying them off. We requested an “alternative base period.” Being Aug 2013- August 2014 which would give him wages from the most recent employment and allow him to collect on the employer that laid him off. That too was denied. He has been out of work for 2 1/2 months and has continued to request payment through the entire process. If they would accept the claim he is owed almost $4,000. Can you give us any advice or should we just let it be? Thank you!

    • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep

      Keep in mind that states usually look at the base period starting 18 months back from the date your claim is filed. He will probably have to wait awhile to collect at least until his last employer falls into the base period to collect benefits.

  • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep

    A common mistake employees make is accepting certain shifts when hired and then circumstances change or medical issues arise causing one to require different hours. The easy solution is to visit with a doctor, explain your situation and then if it can’t be treated or cured with prescriptions, (This would also apply to your foot issues as well.) your doctor will then recommend separating from employment for sleep issues or require you to have a chair. Then your boss can go back using the lock for its intended use- his bicycle! If your employer tells you the situation is temporary, find out how much longer it will continue and hang in there. (3 weeks is reasonable) If they refuse, which it sounds like that’s the path they are on, then submit a resignation letter that you are leaving for medical reasons. Then file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). As to bonuses- bonuses are gratuitous, unless they were promised when hired with specific parameters you might have a contract action against them, however, I doubt your company did that. Unfortunately if they keep changing the goalposts there’s not much you can do. Lastly, as far as your employer giving you additional duties, are the duties similar to what you were doing, or just more, ask for a raise or put in writing and inform your employer that you expect your productivity to go down because of the extra workload. Put your employer on notice! It’s not a one way street. And finally, I wrote a book, It’s called “Beat the Boss – Win in the Workplace” and is available on Amazon, either paperback or Kindle. Check it out.

    • Sparrow

      Thank you so much for your prompt reply! AND the great advice. I’m planning to see a foot doctor about a stress callus that’s in my left foot, and which never goes away. It’s in there deep – I use an emery board to sand it down, and once I had a foot doctor remove it, but it grew back. It’s like walking on a rock even on carpet – you can probably imagine what it’s like walking on a concrete floor. I’ll see if my new foot doctor thinks it’s a legitimate reason to leave my employment – my last foot doctor seemed to think that it was just an ongoing ailment that can’t really be cured, especially if I have to walk around on concrete for 7 hours a day, 5 days a week. We’ll see.

      As for my new duties, they are definitely in the “more” category – I now have to be an “assistant-assistant manager – to function as an assistant to my assistant manager, in other words – assign duties to production operators, among other things, that I never had to do before. It happened this way – I was sat down by two other employees and given a list of duties and told “This is what you were supposed to be doing all along as a ‘specialist’, and now you must do them”. It’s not enough that I now have to do what used to be done by “auxiliary” workers – I now have to step in and do what used to be done by my assistant manager. I looked at the long list of new duties and my reaction was “I’m supposed to do ALL THIS for $14 an hour?!!!” To say I took kindly to this would be untrue. I was unhappy about it, and I let my manager know – to no avail, as I’ve already mentioned.

      Anyway, thank you for your advice, and I will look into buying your book. I wish it were available on Nook, though – that’s my e-reader device. Thanks again!

  • Spencer, Nat’l Employee rep

    Are you planning on quitting? Don’t quit. Hang in there. Why is the employer putting you down? Because you’re not performing to their satisfaction? You must confront the employer and tell them to stop. Do not challenge anyone and say for instance, “if you don’t like me why don’t you fire me?”–That would be a bad thing for you to say. What you should do is tell them to stop immediately. If it continues, file a charge of discrimination against them while you’re working there and tell the EEOC that you’re being treated this way because of either your race, national origin, age, gender, disability, etc.(pick the one that applies). Also, buy my book, “Beat the Boss- Win in the Workplace” available on Amazon or Barnes and Noble websites.

  • JD

    Hello I recently went on Maternity leave and am now on FMLA. I bid on a shift change (to night shift) at the beginning of my leave. I did this so when I return from leave Ill be able to work nights for child care reasons. I was approved for the shift. When I addressed my manager about returning to work (2 months after I was awarded my new shift) she informed me I did not get this shift and stated it was because no one can change shifts during leave and the person that gave me the new shift was unaware I was on leave. I have tried everything I can to get my company to let me have this shift, or any night shift, work part time, or weekends only. They are denying all my request. Is there anything that I can do? I work for a huge fortune 500 company, if that matters.

    • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep.

      Clearly, your supervisor isn’t your best friend and unsympathetic to motherhood’s challenges and demands. And, there’s HR once again siding with management. I’d like to see that policy.about not allowing shift changes while on leave. There is likely no such policy. But aside from that, knowing that your shift change has been refused, you have a responsibility to find child care under your old schedule. Since your employer has changed course, they should give you reasonable time to nail down arrangements, since they caused your dilemma.. When you return to work at your previous schedule, put in for the transfer. Prepare for a 6 month wait. The employer will likely grant you the transfer, terminate you or you will lose patience and quit. Don’t quit. Hang in there, give it some time.To discuss further, feel free to contact me.

  • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep.

    It’s not up to your employer whether you get your benefits.Based on what you’ve written, you need only say, “discharged, my employer was not happy with my performance.”. I would suggest saying nothing further. If you are denied, contact me.

  • Lori Cathey

    I’m wondering about what I need to do about making money while trying to collect disability. I’ve been told I need to drop my hours to below 20 but I can’t live on that and I would lose my insurance through the company. I have multiple problems with my health and can not afford to be without health insurance or money to pay for prescriptions. My Cardiologist thinks my job is to stressful but no one is going to hire a soon to be 50 year old with multiple health issues. What should I do?

    • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep

      What’s your job? Do you work with alligators, a test pilot or professional poker player? Why is your job so stressful? Perhaps you just need to lower your standard of living and fifty is the new forty. Get a massage and take some zen classes. Life is what you make of it.

  • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep

    Certainly don’t want to challenge your boss. Threatening your boss is not going to help either. Make a journal of each incident. Document when you complained and the employer’s response. After you’ve acquired around 30 legitimate incidents of poor behavior by your employer, you should have good cause to quit to be eligible for benefits.

  • Deanna

    I quit my job because i had a verbally abusive supervisor that also degraded me and yelled and cursed at me. I put up with this for years, I even went to the general manager several times and he acknowledged
    she did not talk to me appropriately and would talk to her, She would get better for awhile and then it would go back to the verbal degrading abuse when something was done wrong. I told her several times she had no right to talk to me that way. She was awful. I was intimidated, and suffered anxiety and depression due to her treatment of me. I finally knew I had to quit or someone was gonna get hurt. I took it to the general manager who stated that he wanted to stay out of it and for us to handle it among ourselves. It was his thought that we were just two women that couldnt get along, but it was more that that, Her yelling and screaming and insinuating only somebody stupid would do it that way. I knew he was not going to do anything about it and I had to leave or eventually I would snap, It is not right for a supervisor to talk to an employee like that and several times would make me cry and she also talked to others like that and they say I should have gone to state eoe. They denied my appeal for unemployment and I feel this is why people go postal. Supervisors should be held accountable for doing this to an employee, What can I do? Crying in Arkansas?

    • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep

      Do you have an unemployment hearing coming up or did you already have one? I hate to Monday morning quarterback, but what you should have done was walk out the moment your supervisor verbally abusing her and come back to work the next day. You probably should have made a doctor’s appointment and then you would have record of your troubles. Finally, I would have called the police and have them show up to speak to your supervisor, since your employer was unwilling to take action. If you have an upcoming unemployment hearing, contact me and I would be happy to help you.

  • jackie

    I lost my job 2 years ago and accepted a job I was over qualified for at a company, but happy to be working and not on unemployment. 2 years later a position opened up that I am fully qualified for with 24 yrs experience in a 3rd party software they are implementing, I applied for the position and was denied because they wanted me to stay where I was hired because I was doing a good job there. There are many others in the company qualified for my current job and could replace me. In addition there are 3 others with the same job title and position that spend most of the day ‘not working’. I am the only one in the company with this experience and if I applied from the outside they would hire me. (the project director wanted to hire me) Can I collect unemployment if I quit because I was denied the job I applied for?

  • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep.

    Are you too intimidated by him to sit down and discuss your concerns? The first thing you should do is open a line of communication. Bring to his attention that his childish behavior is distracting and unproductive to you as well as the rest of the staff. Journal the incidents when they occur and your meeting. If the behavior continues, call the police and tell the police his behavior is threatening. I’m sure he’ll stop. If he doesn’t, then the police will put him in jail overnight and he can walk on eggshells behind the bars.

  • anna

    Okay I work in a assisted living facility and our new administrator refuses to provide us with gloves to do our job I’m a medication aid so we come in contact with blood bodily fluids all the time blood sugar checks wound care people fall and are bleeding sometimes eye drops etc do you think if I quit this would give the opportunity for unemployment cause I’m not getting the stuff I need to protect myself from infection ? ??

    • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep

      I’m not so sure quitting a job because your employer does not provide its staff with latex gloves would be good cause to leave your job and collect unemployment benefits. It reminds me of the movie “Moneyball” with Brad Pitt. There was a scene in the movie where the ball players had to pay for soda. They were disgruntled but it’s not enough to leave your job. I would bite the bullet and provide your own gloves and come xmas, deduct the amount of money you put out for the box of gloves from your supervisor’s next xmas present or birthday cake….and tell your administrator, I would have loved to get you a better gift, but my money went towards the gloves you failed to provide.

  • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep

    The best move is to contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and explain how you are being treated. I’m afraid going to HR is like contacting the enemy. You’re unlikely going to get a favorable resolution.

  • Bill Chambers

    I was hired on with another cleaning company working in the same building and been with them for just over a year now. But I’m having a problem with my supervisor where he’s yelled at me a number of times when it was completely uncalled for like for example there was a stack of paper’s that he wanted me and 3 other works to sign that were sitting at work so I signed them so I thought…then the next day he’s call’s yelling at me saying why didn’t I sign the paper’s. This is just 1 example there’s been plenty other times I’ve almost quit 3 times now but only reason I wont quit is I’m worried about not being able to get unemployment. So I want to report him only problem is I’m afraid too because I think he’s friends with our employer and not only that I’m afraid of it causing even more problems at work. Any idea’s what I should do? I was thinking of writing a letter, scanning it then email it to someone even higher up so it’s documented but then what do I just quit or wait to see if anything changes? I’d look for another job first but it might take awhile since my Fiance works fulltime midnight and I have to work around her schedule

    • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep

      Stop worrying and submit a complaint. Make sure you include examples of how you’re being treated and indicate how this behavior is interfering with your performance. If you’re fired for filing a complaint, you can show it was a direct result of your complaint. Start looking for a job, but don’t get caught looking. Employers can be very selfish, if your employer learns that you are looking elsewhere, he might pull the trigger faster.

  • jamie

    can you get unemployment if your boss verbally tells you that she’s going to choke you?

    • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep

      Did you feel threatened? If so, were you threatened enough to call the police? Did you call the police? if not, why not? Did anyone hear the remark and believe that your employer was capable of performing the act? Let’s start there and get back to me.

  • Dee Coleman

    Hello. This is a wonderful article, however, I wish I had found it before. I quit my job due to my employer reducing my pay over 50%. I filed for employment and did qualify based on the reduction in pay more than 20% rule. However, I gave my employer an resignation letter and included in my letter I quit because of personal circumstances. However, the employer requested an appeal and they are using my letter as reason not to pay unemployment, saying I quit because of personal reasons. Of course I had already presented TWC with proof of reduced payment. And it was my personal reason to leave because I would not be able to pay bill, etc with the new salary I was given. Do I have a chance to win this hearing? Please advise. Thanks!

    • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep

      Everyone has a chance to win an unemployment hearing. The key is to have the best chance available. Certainly, having representation increases your odds in winning. Having the best representative, increases those odds even more.

  • Latisa Jay-gray

    i want to quit my job as both management positions are vindictive and verbally abusive i havent really made any complaints as they are the managers and they would be the ones im complaining to and i feel that would make matters worse but i cant afford to quit my job so i would need unemployment until i find a new job but this is taking a toll on my mental health and my ability to do my job. What should i do?

    • Credit Experts

      Latisa —
      Scroll through some of the other questions and answers here for some ideas and suggestions. First, you’ll need to document these things — what was said, when and by whom and what the circumstances are. If people are doing things that are illegal, they should be stopped. If what they do is not illegal but is troubling to you, you may be better off (quietly) looking for other work.

  • erika ledesma

    Hello. I want to quity job because I dont get enough hours & they have to many employee issues that the boss ignores. I have 2 kids, bills & rent to pay & barely make $200 a week. Not to mention I’ve been here for almost 6 years and still don’t have a set schedul . Is it possible to collect if I quit for any of my reasons? Please help.

    • Spencer,Nat’l Emplyoee Rep

      How many hours were you promised when you were hired? Were your hours reduced? But ask yourself, am I better off quitting with no job versus staying on, bite the bullet while looking for other work on your time off?

  • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep.

    I doubt your therapist will be a witness for you at an unemployment hearing, even under subpoena unless you paid for their time during the hearing, which can be expensive. I would suggest on getting a note from your therapist advising you to stop working there due to your medical condition. Your other option would be to call the police. As silly as that sounds, that is what the police are there for- to help the public. This might scare the manager enough to change her ways and/or wake the employer up to do something about the situation.

    • CS

      Wouldn’t my being pregnant and the mention of this on her note disqualify me from collecting? I’m not due until mid July but I’m afraid if I quit now that it will be perceived as I quit because of maternity not because I’ve had it with the abuse. I need to be smart about this because I’m afraid of ending up without my job and without the benefits, my mom will care for the baby once he’s born and obviously I’ll be aggressively seeking work once he’s here but I don’t want to do anything to harm my chances.

  • PB

    Hi Spencer,
    I right now work for Verizon Wireless, as I have been there for over 3 years, I was put in an Acting Management role the last 3 months that was meant to move into a permenant position. Typically in a acting role Verizon will not invest money to send the manager to training but in my case my boss enrolled me in VZLU, which is management training and told me to book my flights last week. In the 3 months I have been in the management positon I have had one documented coaching, which wasn’t anything major about my performance. This last Friday, a week after I was told I was doing a great job and to book my tickets to management training I had to leave work to pick up my son from daycare as he was sick. This was the first time I had to leave early from work as a manager. Not but 2 hours went by and I was being asked to join my boss and his boss in a conference call for what they call a touch base. When on the call I was immediatly bombarded with him telling me lies to my face about about my performance. This was the first time in 3 months I had heard anything about this and I was asked to step down from managment starting Monday as it was now Friday. I would then be put back in a sales rep position. I wrote him a professional email, documenting everything he had said, along with proof of his lies. HR was contacted to come to the store to speak with the employess which is perfect for me because I know that they will speak the truth on my performance on a daily basis. I am contacting HR today as well. My question for you is: I’m so furious what my boss has done to me and it is obvious that I’ve had unfair treatment and he’s preventing me from moving up in the company that I will not work for him any longer. I’m looking at seeing if they will at least grant me to use me personal/vacation days that I have accrued because a bomb has literally been dropped on me and I need to figure out what I’m going to do for work. I will then quit because of unfair treatment. I’m so furious with him that I’m afraid if I see him at work I will be fired because of my anger towards him. Do you believe it will be an issue to collect unemployment with me quiting in these unfair work conditions. I’m nervous because I am currently pregnant and without a job I will not have insurance. Do you have any suggestions for me? I would greatly appreciate the advice.

    • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep

      Hope it’s not too late, but I would not quit, especially in your current condition. And, don’t be so fast to assume HR “will speak the truth on my performance”. They work for the employer, not you. If you’re still working there, I would suggest immediately marching down to the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (or file online) and file a Charge of Discrimination (while you’re working there) with them. If you quit, you have the burden to show you had just or good cause, if you are terminated, the employer will have the burden that you committed misconduct.

  • AVB

    Hi Spencer,
    I was recently let go today, a week earlier than what I had stated in my resignation letter. I was told that I would not be paid my full 2wks of pay, rather just a week and day of pay. Because I was laid off / fired before my 2 weeks, can I still apply for unemployment benefits.
    I have emails time stamped documenting when I sent in my letter of resignation, as well as letter dated the day I was let go.

    • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep

      Who is stopping you from applying for unemployment benefits? Go now. If your employer contests any part of your claim, contact me, I will help you.

  • deb

    I have worked for the same employer for 40 years. the ceo left and the new ceo has restructured and not for the good. there is hostility in my workplace and I have filed 2 times pertaining to being verbally abused. they just turn the other cheek hoping I will quit. what are my options?
    I need some assistance on this matter.

    • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep.

      Make an appointment with a physician, psychologist or psychiatrist and see if they advise you to quit. Then you can pack your bags and file for unemployment benefits. Or, you can do what millions of other employees do around the country and develop a thick skin. If someone touches you in an aggressive fashion, don’t be afraid to call the police.

  • Beth

    I worked at my last company for almost 10 years. The company was acquired and I was going to be losing my job so I hurried to find another job so I would be able to continue supporting my family. Started the new job a month ago but am completely miserable. The job I was hired for is not the job I am doing and I really need to leave before I lose my mind. Do I have ANY shot at filing for unemployment?? Thanks!

    • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep

      Are you in Misery? Is this a Kathy Bates movie? Seriously, you may have a possibility of leaving your job and collecting benefits if the job is substantially different from the one the employer represented. What about the compensation? My experience is that if an employee is miserable at work, it will be reflected in your work and the employer will beat you to the punch. Supporting a family can be rough, so if you are thinking about quitting, think harder, it could be more painful to be without than to continue working. The best course would be to continue working, while seeking other employment. It seems you were successful before. Always easier to find other employment while working.

  • Jennifer

    Hi I resigned my job due to stress of working with fellow co-works who either yell, hit or make it hard to preform my job. Plus, decrease in vision made it hard to preform my job to they standards. Customers felt uncomfortable. So, i resigned on these grounds, though in my letter in says I left for something else. I also complained to my supervisor etc about the issue even requested to move into support do to my vision even when the position was open. They said your doing a good job at the register. Can I qualify for unemployment.

  • KayG

    Hoping someone can help! I’ve applied for unemployment, at the beginning of may, and still waiting for my judisioner to call be about my claims. I have been on short term disibility leave since October of last year, and it ended in May. Since then I can’t get ahold of my HR to extend the leave or to even see what I should do.
    The reason for my leave was caused by a manager harassing me, causing extreme anxiety prohibiting me from going to work because Im afraid for my safety. I’ve complained to HR in the past and they would not present any solution other than talking to the manager who is harassing me, they are no help.
    Now I’m stuck in a situation where I want to just resign because nothing is being fixed, and I’m afraid for my life being there. Even my doctor agrees I need a new job. However, I have not been successful in finding a new job as of yet, even though I’m applying to atleast 3 different places a week. I need income to support my family and this unemployment is my only hope until I’m blessed enough to have a new job.
    So, what should I do? I don’t have dates as to when I made complaints because me being an idiot I though everything would be resolved.
    Do I quit, or hold out? Should I wait for the judisioner or cave? Do I wait to be fired? I just think that is so irresponsible, but I don’t know what to do to support myself and my family.

    • Spencer, National Employee Rep

      Decisions, decisions, decisions…look, you must take control of your own destiny. No one can wave a magic wand and say, “this is what will happen.” If you feel unsafe, call the police and get documentation. If you can turn the other cheek and continue working while looking for other work, then grin and bear it.

  • Kelly ‘Bixby’ Shuskey

    My husband and I work for same company. I work 8-3 and he works 3-10p.. Works great for us because we have an 11month old that we wish not to out in to daycare or hire a sitter for. They are changing his hrs to 11a-8p every day no days off. This is causing my hrs to be no longer available to me do to the baby. They are not tell him he has to fire me, but I will have no hrs available to work and no other place will hire me for the hra of 6-10a or 8-10pm. Can I get unemployment benefits do to a significant reduction of hours.

    • Gerri Detweiler

      Kelly – Spencer talks about this kind of scenario in his book Beat the Boss: Win in the Workplace. I’ll see if he can weigh in here as well.

      • Kelly ‘Bixby’ Shuskey

        Thank you. We were informed today bybrhe district manager that next week he and some other corporate people will be visiting and setting his schedule for him and if he fails to fallow their schedule he will be fired/let go. This is causing me sever anxiety as no one will hire me from 6amto 10am or 8p to 10 pm. I feel we are being bullied by the company.

        • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep

          I don’t know what you told your employer when you filled out your application for employment. For instance, did you tell the employer that you were flexible with your hours or did the employer inform you that your hours may change. Are you full time or part-time? Part-time hours range from 0 to 32 hours. Generally, reducing one’s hours will be a valid reason to receive unemployment benefits, however, if you’re status is part-time, the employer can essentially reduce you to zero hours so that might be an issue. Restricting the hours you work may be a problem with unemployment. When one files for unemployment there is an understanding that you are able and available for work without restrictions.

  • KayG

    Okay, so I was denied for unemployment, and im not going to appeal, too much of a hassel. But I’m wondering why I need to continue to report my work searches to the state, if I’m not collecting anything from them. Do I need to continue to report? I’ve looked in my handbook and online and can’t find the information I need to answer my question, so hopefully you can!

    • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep

      If you are not going to contest your denial of benefits, then there is no reason to do any work search for the state.

  • Nic P.

    Good afternoon, I’m writing to see if I left my job for being harrassed and threatened if i can claim unemployment.

    I work as a manager of a locally owned motel. ive lived on-site for 2 years. I moved off the property in march, 2015. Around the begining of April A man started coming into the lobby and threatening me. He said I was a snitch for cooperating with the police on a RAPE investigation. Numerous times this guy has come in and tried to spit at me or hit me. He calls and threatens me over the phone. He doesnt threaten or call when I am not here. I know what he looks like but not his name. I have reported 2 of the phone calls to the police recently. There isnt anything they can do with out a name apparently. The guy is bigger than i am and intimidating. I explained to the owners the situation and asked for security precautions. we only have an alarm system. no cameras or any other means to secure or protect the employees. They said they would get something after they came back from a trip, they didnt have time the day i told them but they would get something. I have brought it up multiple times with the owner in person as well but only have record of the one time i told them in april and they said they would do something.
    NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE! No cameras or new precautions.
    I also moved back on-site last week.

    After reading the article above I feel i am on the right track. I have been documenting each incident that has occured and have reported it to the police. I have been scared to quit my job because it is a really good decent paying job. But I am scared that if i stick around here seeing as how this unknown person knows where i live and work that I might get assaulted or worse.

    I am just curious if my situation may qualify for unemployment in Montana. I hate that I am too scared to stay but too scared to leave because i’d be broke. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep

      I understand you contacted the police and they can’t help you. If you are a witness in a criminal matter, I would contact the prosecutor for the State and inform him/her of the problem. They should be able to protect you. I don’t know what a camera or alarm can do other than document any assault for a story on CNN or FOX News. If the employer is not willing to act immediately, perhaps you should request a leave of absence. In any event, make sure you put your concerns in writing to the employer and I would include a deadline when you expect to hear back from him/her (5 days is reasonable). In any event, make sure you have a confirmation that your employer received your concerns. This will come in handy at a future unemployment hearing. If the employer denies you, then inform your employer of your immediate departure. If one reasonably believes their life is in danger, one doesn’t need to hang around and wait to be a target.

  • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep

    You never know until you apply….You seem to have 2 issues. One being, not receiving the raise you were promised and your rent increase. If you apply for benefits, you will likely have a hearing scheduled. Start preparing your evidence of the cost of apartments in a 100 mile radius where you looked for rent. if you need help, I can certainly help you with your appeal.

  • Jimwisconsin

    My wife lost her job recently.. she is 2 months pregnant. The employer states, though not in writing that they told her in March they were going to put her position to full time; this is not the case. In March the employer was asking my wife if she planned to have more kids my wife told her yes. Then.. in May they tell her she has to return to a full time position, from a part time position she was put into over 2 years ago… and that if she doesn’t accept the full time positions she will not be retained… my wife nervous about losing health insurance being pregnant again… tell them she can start in July… still very uneasy about the whole incident and feeling that she is specifically being pushed out because she intended on having more children. So my wife talks to the employer to make them aware of her new pregnancy, before she assumed the full time role in July, so that they are aware she is pregnant and not going to be able to meet the needs they ‘outlined’ in creating this full time position due to doctors visits and a future FMLA leave; specifically requesting to stay part time… Her employer told her that if she was resigning to write a letter.. she refused in writing to ‘resign’ stating that she did not feel she was resigning but that her position was being eliminated. Essentially; the full time role they had created was filled before she was let go, because she was not officially let go at any point, so the position was not even available while she plead to keep her part time position… nonetheless … what happens if they contest her unemployment? do we get into all the ugly questions that were asked of her regarding her plan to have children, mention how they did not even address the concerns she brought up in her last email about how she felt she was ‘singled’ out by her boss for wanting to have more children.. how others int he company were being asked the same questions… how the environment was ‘uncomfortable/unsafe to a pregnant woman’s mind?” We filed her claim as being ‘discharged’.. not sure if that is correct because the client never said “your fired” .. just that “because you are unwilling to provide your resignation we have no option but to accept your resignation effective 7/16… ” Because my wife is pregnant and because we felt and feel they were sweeping their wrong doings under the rug and simply adjusting all of their dates and information .. we did not respond and filed for unemployment the next day. … should we contact the EEOC .. can we contact the EEOC at a later time if they fight her unemployment.Any advice warmly welcome. Truth here is we have at least one other person that had kids and was recently employed by them.. she has provided me with a notarized and document supporting that she felt she was discriminated while there as well and that she has heard others experiencing the same thing. I have no intention of suing if it can be avoided, simply my goal is to allow my wife to collect unemployment until she can secure a new position…

    Why in the world would they push a pregnant woman out of a company last minute and then try to force her to write a resignation letter? We are now in a situation in which the medical coverage she was provided (nearly free) is being replaced with my employers which is nearly 17000 a year.. we don’t have her income and are in a very bad place.. unemployment until we can get her back to work is the only way we can see ourselves staying afloat….

    Help please.. (our fingers are crossed that they do not fight her unemployment; her unemployment ‘fired’ questionnaire.. included a section in which it asked if ‘a grievance’ was filed, to which we stated her last email to her employer was.. which included that she felt she was being discriminated against and that other were too.. to which no response was provided.. does this help or hurt?

    • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep

      First of all, you shouldn’t rely on your wife’s unemployment to keep you afloat. It’s a pretty good bet that your employer will contest her claim so acquiring her benefits is likely several weeks away. Secondly, based on your question, you should have filed a charge with the EEOC yesterday. Lastly, you are correct in that your wife was fired. Being told to sign a resignation letter or you do not work here any longer is an ultimatum, which is of course, no choice.

  • Cmoore

    I feel I am about to loose my job either by quiting or being fired. I have been asking for paystubs every week since starting the job about 8-9 weeks ago. I’ve gotten one excuse after the other. Checks are hand written, hand delivered. I am the only employee with the exception of temp help here and there. Three weeks ago, I finally get to see my paystubs. I have been paid less than what I am supposed to be paid. This created an argument. The amount of pay has been adjusted and I am receiving the correct amounts now. However, I am still fighting to get my paystubs. I have not received one since that day. I constantly try to bring it up via verbally, by text and email. I am being ignored. Now, ANYTHING I say is being ignored. I’ve tried to ask if there is a problem, If I am being terminated, etc, etc but NO response. I have even videoed this for documenting this situation. Three days ago, I fell and was hurt on the job. My boss was standing right there and said nothing. I was advised to send her a letter documenting this. I did. I also stated in the letter, I was NOT planning a workers comp case at this time. I have not missed a day of work including the day of the accident even though I am in a lot of pain. She sent me an email yesterday advising me she filed a claim for me.
    I am beginning to feel she is trying to get me to quit so she doesn’t have to pay the hirer wage that she had agreed to. I’m fairly sure I would have no problem collecting unemployment but could not make it on the amount I would receive.
    Any suggestions would be helpful
    Also, I am afraid of filing or going forward with HER filing of Workers Comp. I don’t want it to jeopardize my finding other employment later on down the road.

    • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep.

      Don’t be so sure you’ll collect unemployment benefits if you quit, in your scenario. Why are your continuing to work if you know your pay is incorrect? Stay employed and file a charge with the Department of Wage and Hour. if you’re injured and it happened at the workplace, file for Worker’s Comp, why not?

  • KR

    I would like to know if I can apply for unemployment I quit my job to work for my neighbor (a close friend ). He needed me after he was Diagnosed with stage four Cancer now 3 month later he died earlier than expected. Can I get unemployment?

    • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep

      You won’t know until you file. There’s a lot of variables here. For instance, which state you file in, when you quit your previous job and when you started working for your neighbor, whether your neighbor was an employer as defined by your state. If you’re denied, let me know and I can probably help you.

  • Diane

    I have worked for my company for almost 11 years. I work out of a satellite office in NJ but report to my company in Las Vegas. I started out working in my home my first few years then opened up the office which is a sales/service office. I do legal work for them. The last 4 years I am the only one that comes to this office and it is not being utilized for what we originally leased it for. It is in poor condition and is always being repaired by our landlord. My significant other sold his home in NJ and wants to relocate to FL. I went to my employer and asked for him to consider me relocating to FL and working from home as all my work is via computer and occasional travel, nothing would change but my address. Many people in my company have done it and are still doing it. I also stated to them to consider closing the office to save money as it is not being used for what it was originally leased for. (I did this verbally and in an email) I was told that the CEO and my Senior Director would discuss with HR. A few weeks ago I received a call from my Senior Director and I was denied by them and that I could not work out of Florida. I resigned and last day will be 10/9/2015. I was told they are relocating my position to Las Vegas and will be closing the office. I was told by my Senior Director that he spoke to CEO and HR and he said that since I have given them 11 great years of work that I can file for unemployment until I find work in Florida and get settled. My question is, if I tell unemployment I resigned it seems I will be denied as my reasons for leaving are not justified or are they? Please advise. Thank you

    • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep

      If your employer is closing the office in NJ then your position there would no longer be available and is eliminated. This is a discharge. The fact that your employer offered you a position in Las Vegas is an option to remain employed with the company but that would be your choice. If you refuse to move to Las Vegas, it’s still a discharge because you were hired to work in NJ. When filing for unemployment, I would suggest you label your separation as a discharge.

  • Wunder

    I was wondering if I could file for unemployment if i quit because I didn’t feel safe the store was robbed and I was the manager on duty no cameras or panic buttons in store and I went to work the next week but the owners didn’t seem to care or ensure our safety and I was afraid every night I worked I felt unsafe. Just wanted to know if I have a good reason to file thanks

    • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep

      Generally, the rule is that if you don’t feel safe, make like an egg and scram! Having said that, every situation is different. Does your store have a history of robberies? Where is the store located? Can you produce a police record as to the number of times the police have been summoned? How did you raise your concerns with the employer? Did you have a sit down or did you mention your concern in passing? What was the exact response? I’m not sure what that means when you say the owners “didn’t seem to care”. Did the owners indicate that they would investigate and work on installing preventive measures? If so, you should give them a reasonable time to cure the problem. And finally, if there’s no history of robberies, are you just being a little paranoid? These are the questions any judge would have in deciding whether your leaving was with good cause.

  • Dani

    I’m contemplating quitting my job of 9 years due to lack of childcare. I’ve worked the overnight shift and now I have no one to watch my child while I’m at work. Last year she missed school and as a result was left back. I’ve contacted the company’s hr office in writing asking for a schedule change and they let me know (in writing) that there was nothing that they can do. Would I be able to quit and receive unemployment due to the circumstance?

  • Spencer, Nat’l Emplyoee Rep

    I don’t speculate. If I did, I’d be a weatherman, and I’m not. I will say that you need to pick a position. Either you left because of a lack of hours or you left because of threats by your boss. If the threats stopped, would you still work there? If your hours increased, would you still work there? I would pick lack of hours because the other is problematic. If you were threatened, did you call the police? Did you continue working after being threatened? If there was a police report, then I would go with that, otherwise it is easier to collect benefits by showing a lack of hours.

  • Jennifer Flowers

    I quit my job 7 weeks ago after working for the company 10 years. I was hired to work 7 to 3:30 but right after they hired me they asked me to work 4am to noon which I did but it contiued for the duration of my employment asked many times to go back to regular hours but was told there numbers on production didn’t look good on paper if I did this so was always denied but I was never paid a shift differential seeing how I was working 3 hours of 3rd shift then 5 hours of 1st shift and not being trained on things other new people was being trained on and then resulting in raises that I never got the chance to do mainly because it was a man’s shop. Can I get unemployment for this reason?

    • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep

      I would need to know more about your situation. How long was this going on for? Did you complain? What was the employer’s response? Best answer is to file for benefits and review your situation with someone (like me) who represents employees at unemployment hearings.

  • Jelisa

    I worked at a car dealership from September to April 2014-2015. My car broke down and I had no transportation to work so I quit and found a closer job. Which I was fired from May 2015 29 days later. Then I found another where I was for 3 months June 2015- August 2015 . that I was then fired from. Will I still be able to collect I have a hearing October 2,2015. I noticed Domestic violence(dv) is a reason, i have proof i was going through a dv issue as well. What do I need to do and say on my phone interview?

    • Spencer, Nat’l Employee rep

      Getting to work is fundamental to working. Having said that, did you speak to your employer first about options before quitting? Perhaps your former employer would have picked you up or made other arrangements for you. I know you’re probably saying, “my employer could care less about me.” but one never knows until you ask. The reason I’m saying this is because when you claim unemployment benefits, it will probably go back to this employer and these issues will be discussed. Quitting a job to better yourself is great, the question is, “Was there an offer to you for the new job before quitting?” This makes all the difference in the world in terms of collecting unemployment benefits. I would need to know more on your specific situation. You may contact me to discuss further.

  • HG

    Hi Spencer,
    I work at a law firm in the Accounting department. I really enjoyed my job until I became pregnant. Since then, everything has gone downhill. I’ve suddenly felt belittled and harassed. About 5% of my job deals with boxes of files that I must lift and get ready to send to our offsite storage. The first issue was when a supervisor of another department told me he didn’t want me touching the boxes because he didn’t want me to file workers comp. He yelled and cussed at me in a room where he thought we were alone and made me cry. Luckily, there was someone else in the room behind some storage shelves who heard everything. I told my direct supervisor what happened and she told my director and I took it to HR. I have several emails documenting this. I was very upset over the whole issue and although they talked to him, nothing was done. HR advised me to not say anything to anyone about what happened. This is the second issue- my supervisor told everyone in my department what happened, despite the HR confidentiality. Suddenly, everyone was watching me, thinking about the workers comp comment. I told my director, with the supervisor in the room, that the supervisor told everyone what had happened and now I felt more harassed. She lied and said she told no one and the director did nothing. After this, I brought a doctors note saying I can’t lift more than ten pounds due to being high risk. My director told me I’m inconveniencing them. Since then, I’ve been called to HRs office several times, where I was now denied tuition reimbursement and also questioned why I have missed work. I’ve had a rough pregnancy and have missed some work but always offer to work on my days off, which I have been denied, despite others being able to do the same thing. I have also documented this on my time cards. The last issue was my supervisor saying I’m taking too many bathroom breaks, despite the bathroom being ten feet away and I’m only away from my seat for less than five minutes, she told me I need to stay in my seat except for my breaks. This week I had some bleeding which the doctor said could be from many things, including stress. I have now written my resignation letter, where I stated I felt harassed after I became pregnant and have talked with HR several times with no follow ups and that I could no longer put my baby at risk. Do you think I’ll be able to file for unemployment, despite quitting?

    • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep

      I really wish you hadn’t quit just yet. I would have suggested you contact the EEOC and file a charge of discrimination. Then you could have watched the employer squirm. Then if they fired you, you could file another charge of retaliation. I assume you already quit, so go file a charge with the EEOC now, it’s not too late. Then go file for unemployment benefits. If you’re denied contact me.

      • Nikki

        Hi, can I get some advice from you?

        • Credit Experts

          What is your question?

        • Cindy

          Sure. Go ahead.

  • Nina

    I started working in July and was working over 40 hours a week.with no break .. then when I got my check they shorted me 9 hours and 34 minutes and was told that she had taken the 30 min breaks out and paid me the rest with a personal check and took the taxes out and told me it will reflect on my next check.. (which it never did) and it’s Oct 5 2015. Then she refused to pay me time in a half.
    Ok. After that she wrote me up with a verbal warning for calling out on to separate occasions (streets flooding and the office was closed, and my car broke down) and made me sign a document saying I will take my breaks 1-1:30 (she made me the only one in the office assigned to a break time)
    Then on 9/9/2015 she fired me with a doctors note… then called me in for a meeting a week later for a meeting and told me she didn’t mean it… but that same day she told me to come back… she suspended me for missing the days That I was fired. And she cut my hours to 30 hours a week. (Which comes up short every 2 weeks) I have to keep correcting them about my hours… then today she told me she’s cutting my hours to 20 hours a week… 5 days a week… I told her I couldn’t do it with only 15 to 20 hrs a week and she said thank you! Now she wants me to sign papers saying I resigned… I don’t know what to do???

    • Spencer, Nat’l Employee Rep

      I would write on the paper, “I was hired to work full time hours. My employer has changed the parameters to part-time hours which I never agree to work when hired. I asked if this was a temporary or permanent situation and was informed it was permanent, so I’m leaving for greener pastures.” I would also suggest your supervisor get some help because it sounds like she doesn’t know if she’s coming or going.

  • Julie

    I have a very strange situation. I am the hr representative at a very small company. The company is family owned and the nepotism is deep. for the entire duration of my employment, I have witnessed the owner’s 2nd cousin (shop manager) harass and itimidate the employees that report to him. As soon as one looks at him the wrong way, he develops a vendetta and virtually plays “cat and mouse” with the poor employee until he’s done playing and fires them. It is horrible to witness. I have a conversation with him several years ago that if he has a problem with an employee’s performance, he needs to document that and we can build a case to terminate the employee (trying to be diplomatic and get away from the cat and mouse business). It did no good. Recently, he has chosen one of his supervisors for his “mouse”. It started with him calling her a vulgar name and through the course of the following weeks with intimidation…micromanaging her, putting heavy objects in her work space that she has to move to do her job. She, being aware of the nepotism, emailed the owner and general manager requesting a meeting off premises. She also hunted me down, outside of work, during my lunch hour to inform me of what is happening. I apologized to her and explained that I couldn’t do anything for her since she had already approached upper management. She requested off premises meetings because she is afraid of the manager seeing her come into my office…fear. I know that this type of hostile work environment needs to be investigated, but the upper management won’t cooperate…they told her she had an attitude problem. Everyday, as I watched “hunted employees” before her, I see her getting more fearful and angry looking…desperate. I fear daily that it’s going to turn into a workplace violence incident where she goes off and starts killing people (this is not the first time I’ve worried about this). Today I gave my resignation because I just can’t take the personal liability for a lawsuit that the company leaving me vulnerable for or the fear, as I explained above. Can I file for unemployment based on constructive discharge? Help, please.

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