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Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19869
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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I am ready to quit a job but they contest unemployment claims.

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I am ready to quit a job but they contest unemployment claims. I have been here 11 years had great reviews and never had disciplinary action- In February I had to report that number on a federal grant were incorrect the prevoius year- Not my error I just caught the error and reported it. Since then I have received "strong" emails regarding my accuracy, had my FMLA (intermitant) discussed with an open dorr so other employees heard and have now been told I will be receiving a write up for to many abascances though there is no poicly defining "too many", I have never taken a day off witout pay and the employeer has signed every single request. I really just want out!
Hello,

Thank you for the information. Will you tell me what your specific legal question is? Also, are you alleging that your employer is discriminating or retaliating against you because of your use of FMLA, or because you are member of a protected class under employment discrimination laws? Have you spoken to HR about your concerns? I am not clear on who it is that suggested that you give notice and that there would be no contest to unemployment claim. Can you clarify that statement?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry- I believe it is a hostile work enviroment and do not want to remain here- I feel ill walking into this place each day. If I quit I know I have to show cause to draw unemployment and I am not sure I have a strong case. I guess that is my question. Do I hav eenough to show casue to quit?

Hello again and thank you for your reply, although I don't see where you answered the following questions: (can you please do that so that I have enough facts to assist you?)

Are you alleging that your employer is discriminating or retaliating against you because of your use of FMLA, or because you are member of a protected class under employment discrimination laws?

Have you spoken to HR about your concerns?

I am not clear on who it is that suggested that you give notice and that there would be no contest to unemployment claim. Can you clarify that statement?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Q1: My boss seems clear that the FMLA cannot count in terms of being off of work, but I do beleive it plays into thier "perception" that I miss to much work. No- I don't think at this time they have discriminated


 


Q2: Yes, I have spoken to HR- no help there


 


Q3: I am the person thinking that giving the notice may be best- I have seen it occur with other employees

Thank you again for that information, it was helpful. In Washington, as with other states, if an employee quits their job, they carry the burden of proof to show that they quit for "good cause" attributable to the job and that they exhausted all of their remedies with the employer before they quit. This is not an easy burden to carry and generally speaking unless the employee can prove that the employer either engaged in an illegal act (such as discrimination, retaliation for asserting a legal right under wage laws, WC, FMLA, or similar laws, or filing a whistleblower complaint with OSHA, IRS, etc. ) or drastically and adversely altered the terms and conditions of employment (such as hours, pay, duties, etc.) in such a way that the employee can no longer work there because of economic, medical or familial reasons. Other than that, it is nearly impossible to show "good cause" to quit.

As for whether you would have that cause, I cannot say with certainty (no one can) because I do not have all of the facts from the perspective of the employer and also because the decisionmaker (the State) would bring their own perspective to the decision once they have heard both sides. What I can say though is that what you described is not hostile work environment harasssment unless it is based on your use of FMLA or because you are a member of a protected class under employment discrimination laws. In other words, there is no such thing as unlawful hostile workplace harassment without discrimination. It is a legal term of art that only applies in discrimination cases. So, unless that is motivating these actions and the State believes that these actions were "severe and pervasive" and you had exhausted you remedies within the company to resolve it, then you could not use this as a reason for quiting with "good cause."

Unfortunately, your best path to unemployment is by actually being let go involuntarily. At least in those cases, the employer carries the burden of proof at the unemployment level to show that you intentionally, or through gross negligence, violated a company policy, standard, rule, etc. If the facts are as you have shared them, they would be unable to do so and you would win your unemployment claim.

You can read exactly what the State says about "good cause" to quit by going to: http://www.oah.wa.gov/Unemployment.shtml#establishgoodc

So, from an unemployment perspective, you are better off being terminated, as you do not appear to have a sufficiently strong case to quit for "good cause" even though the employer is being unreasonable and perhaps unethical. But from a mental health standpoint, it may be better to quit and move on. If you cannot afford to do that without other income, then you are in a position of trying to actively find employment before you quit your job, so that you do have to depend on winning an unemployment fight.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
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