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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 18905
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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To whom it may concern, Thanks in advance. I quit my job of

Customer Question

To whom it may concern,
Thanks in advance.
I quit my job of 5 1/2 years because I asked my boss for a day off to go to Maryland (I live in NY) for a my cousin's son's Drs appointment. Yes, I know this is not my son but he is truly like my own child and my cousin was afraid that her language skills would be subpar in determining the best course of action for her child's medical future. He is flying in from GA to go to this appt to address his medical condition as they could not help him at Emory in Ga. I told my boss that I would like to take that Monday off (unpaid) 2+weeks in advance and that I would make up that time by working the Saturday and Sunday preceding the appt. She said no, mostly because she doesn't understand what it means to have family obligations but also because she is a control freak. I told her that I have to go to that appt so I have no other option but to give my 2 weeks notice, 1/21was my last full day of employment.
Most of the friends/co-workers I've spoken to have said I should just file for unemployment regardless of quitting but mostly under hostile work environment but I think it is largely colored by their own interactions with her (in the last 5 1/2 years, she has only been able to keep 4 employees over the 1 year mark, and that doesn't mean she hasn't been trying to aggressively hire.
I know that since I quit it can be complicated but can I file for unemployment and have a good chance of getting it by just saying exactly why I quit or do I have to file, claim hostile work environment, go to a hearing, and then have it dealt with in court? I'd rather not even file if it is highly unlikely that I even get the unemployment benefits as I'd rather not have to go to court and provoke her as I don't expect to be unemployed long.
Thanks so much and sorry for the length of this message.
Best Regards,
H
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for trusting your question to JA today. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of law practice and over

Hostile work environment is a very specific allegation to make, as a basis for quitting a job. You have to establish a long history of harassment sufficient to cause you fairly severe emotional trauma and you have to show that you'd made numerous efforts to resolve the issue with the employer, who ignored the request.

You haven't really stated facts that show that in this case, and unfortunately taking this off is not a legally protected activity. I certainly understand being close to extended family members, but the laws protecting medical leave don't extend that far, so the employer isn't breaking any law by refusing the day off.

If they aren't breaking a law, then it's not legally unreasonable to demand that you be there. Your resignation (or if they terminated you for missing if you didn't resign) would be a basis for arguing that you are not entitled to unemployment.

I'd still file though. Force the employer to put forward the argument and if you can point to anyone else at that office that has missed a day of work and was not terminated or forced to resign, you could get unemployment based on the employer's inequitable application of the rule.

If you have any further questions, please let me know. I invite follow up questions, so use REPLY for those. If you have no further questions then good luck going forward and please do not forget to rate my service with a top-three rating so that I receive credit for working with you today. Also, feel free to request me in the future, if you have questions concerning a different matter.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
In what situations could I point to for inequitable application of the rule? would a personal sick day apply? No one has been in this situation in my office. I understand this country doesn't acknowledge the importance of extended family relationships and responsibilities and I don't want to waste my time fighting her if the likelihood would be on her behalf bc it isn't necessarily about the money but the principal for me. If it is highly unlikely I will get it I'd rather not give her the satisfaction of winning.
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

A personal sick day might apply, but you also have to keep in mind that employers are allowed to manage the time off that they allot, to some degree.

You'd need to show that this was entirely unreasonable, that others have frequently been permitted the same type of time off or, even better, if there are incidents of people missing time without approval but not being fired.

I won't lie to you here, it's not likely so if you'd rather not give her the satisfaction of winning then it's probably not a claim you want to make. For some people though, it's about getting their day in court (or with the referee here at least), which is why I mentioned it.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do you suggest that I apply even if I don't decide to fight it?
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

There is nothing to lose there, so sure. The employer still has the burden of proving their case and I've seen employers fail to properly put their case forward and lose without the employee even being present.

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I wanted to check in and make sure that there was not any additional information that you required. If you need further assistance, please use REPLY and ask me for any additional information you may need. If not, take care and have a great day.

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