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This sort of situation where you have a reason to have left the job turns on whether the unemployment commission finds for you or not. It is a question of fact as to whether you had a justifiable reason for leaving that made it so that it was not a voluntary resignation. You will have to claim unemployment and then if the claim is denied, you will have to demonstrate that you had no other choice but to leave work because you could not work under the conditions on the job site. The decision will be in the hands of the unemployment commission whether this would be justifiable or not, and decisions on issues like this go both ways.
If you can show that the safety equipment provided is not enough to comply with safety standards, then you would definitely win your unemployment claim.
Please let me know if you have more questions or wish to talk about this issue further.
We are provided with basic safety equipment that may comply with osha standards but it does not ease my concern over my safety. What I have derived from your answer is that there is no definitive answer you can give? It ultimately lies with the person who is studying my claim and if my boss can prove he provides what I need to comply with osha? Even if my personal feelings lead me to believe roofing has become to dangerous. Also they do not comply with osha standards on chemical uses does this strengthen my claim?
Unfortunately, this is the case. There is no definitive answer becuase your unease with working on the roof is subjective. Thus, the credibility of your feelings will have to be weighed by the unemployment commission. The fact that they are not compliant with OSHA on chemicals is a good thing you should bring up.
The claim should really look something like, "I was forced to leave the job because of unsafe work conditions and non-compliance with OSHA regulations".
However, often times employers don't know how to contest an unemployment claim. So you may simply want to start the claim by stating you were laid off and then explain later on that you meant you were forced to leave as stated above.
It's a risky move, but the fact that you have been injured on the job before and that there are some issues of OSHA non-compliance do weigh in your favor.