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TexLaw, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Contracts, Wrongful termination and discrimination
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If I willfully resign my position with a NY business due to

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If I willfully resign my position with a NY business due to a hostile work environment, can I file for unemployment?

Thank you for your question.

Let me start by explaining the law in this area and then we can talk specifically about your specific situation. Employment law in New York, and throughout the United States, is very biased in favor of the employer. Most employees fall under what is known as the At Will Doctrine, unless the employee has a written employment agreement which defines the terms of employment. Under the At Will Doctrine, the employer is free to treat the employer as it wants to, including creating a hostile work environment by harassing or treating an employee unfairly, as long as the harassment is not based on an employee's race, gender, age, disability, religion, national origin, political affiliation or belief, genetics, arrest and conviction record, marital status, genetic predisposition and carrier status, veteran status, sexual orientation, or retaliation.

Further, you are eligible for unemployment in New York if you must have worked and been paid wages for work in at least two calendar quarters in your base period,
You must have been paid at least $1,600 in wages in one of the calendar quarters in your base period,
The total wages paid to you in your base period must be one and one-half times your high quarter wages.

Further, you must have not resigned from your employment without just cause which constitutes a constructive termination.

A constructive termination will be found where illegal employment discrimination is occurring which causes you to have to quit because of the hostile work environment.

Now, in your situation, you have stated that you want to resign because there is a hostile work environment. Given the law as stated above, do you believe the hostile work environment has an illegal discriminatory basis? If so, please explain further.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No. It's an upstanding company. The situation is peer to peer. When I sought resolution more than two years ago, I was told to work it out and it was reflected in my annual performance evaluation. While the humiliation and disrespect continued and escalated, after I addressed it with my peer, I was afraid to speak to management again for fear of being let go. As a result, I've had to seek medical attention for anxiety and have resorted to anti-anxiety medication. I can't continue this way.

I'm very sorry to hear this.

Unless the harassment is based on illegal discrimination, your resignation will be counted as voluntary.

What is the co-worker doing to you exactly? If there is an illegality that he/she is personally doing, you can take personal action against him/her to stop it.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No, she isn't doing anything illegal. She's a very subtle and skilled bully. I saw it within three weeks of her employment and tried to stand my ground. She just wore me down.


I've already resigned, as this has taken an unfortunate toll on my health and well being. I didn't think I was an unemployment candidate, but it was worth $38 to know not to bother initiating the process.


Thanks for your time and the helpful information.

You are welcome.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. Please also kindly consider rating my answer positively so that I am compensated by the website for my work on your question. Rating positively does not cause an additional charge and does not prevent us from further discussing your questions.

Best Regards,
TexLaw and 2 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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