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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I need to know about my rights at work? I want to know if I

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I need to know about my rights at work? I want to know if I have grounds for quitting and collecting unemployment. I feel unsafe, and harassed.

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question. I am extremely sorry to hear about your unpleasant work environment.

As a general principal, a claimant cannot quit his or her employment and remain eligible to collect unemployment benefits. This is because one of the requirements for eligibility is that the claimant be unemployment "through no fault of their own." When a claimant quits his or her job, the EDD reasons that they are unemployed "through fault," since they made the voluntary decision to become unemployed.

Notwithstanding the above, if a claimant is found to have voluntarily quit work with "good cause," he or she will not be disqualified for benefits. The Unemployment Insurance Code prescribes a number of circumstance that will constitute good cause, but the one most relevant to your circumstance is codified at Title 22, Section 1256-23(f), which states:

"A claimant who leaves work due to mere annoyance with or a general dislike to another employee or his or her supervisor leaves without good cause. A claimant leaves with good cause if he or she leaves work due to a course of conduct by another employee or his or her supervisor which subjects the claimant to continued abuse, endangers the claimant's health or safety by such conduct as actual or threatened violence or acts affecting the claimant's mental well-being, causes demands for an unreasonable quantity of work to be produced by the claimant, or unreasonably discriminates against the claimant."

If your work environment can be described by the bolded portion of text, then you may very well be able to collect unemployment benefits even if you quit your job. See this link and scroll down to Subsection "E" for more information:

The threshold issue is being able to demonstrate that the conflict goes beyond a mere annoyance or dislike and is actually impacting your mental well-being or posing a threat to your health or safety. In other words, the mistreatment must be serious. If you can prove this is the case, as it very well seems you may be able to do, then an individual in your circumstance would be able to quit and collect benefits.

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX this information helps you and I wish you the best.

If you do not have any further concerns, I would be very grateful if you would give my answer a positive rating and click submit, as this is the only way I will receive credit for assisting you. If you have any additional concerns that you would like me to address, please feel free to let me know by hitting the REPLY or CONTINUE CONVERSATION button and I will be more than happy to continue assisting you.

Finally, please bear in mind that none of the above constitutes legal advice nor is any attorney client relationship created between us.

Thank you and very kindest regards.

I should also add, for information on how to file a claim for unemployment benefits with the EDD, visit this link:

Have I answered your question? If not, please let me know what additional information you are seeking and I will do my best to assist you further.

If I have answered your question, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating for my service. This will not cost you anything extra but is necessary for me to recieve credit for my answer.

Kindest regards XXXXX XXXXX wishes moving forward.
Patrick, Esq. and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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