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I had to leave a nursing job at a hospital due to bullying…

I had to leave a...
I had to leave a nursing job at a hospital due to bullying and harassment and retaliation. I left February 6, 2018. I never resigned but it was constructive termination which I;m currently pursuing both here on this site and with another lawyer who I'm unhappy with. Can I receive unemployment if my status with the hospital is "resigned"? Thank you.
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
3/6/2018
Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,626
Experience: Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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Thank you for trusting your question to JA today. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of law practice and over 20 years of experience in the legal field. I’m happy to be of assistance. (The system will automatically generate a phone call request to you. Unless I specifically state, during our discussion, that a phone call is possible, I intend to just use this chat format as I am not in a position to accept a phone call).

You can, but it is rather difficult. When your status is "resigned" the default determination by the state is that you are disqualified for unemployment. That presumption is rebuttable, but the burden is on you to prove the constructive discharge.

You'd have to basically establish two things.

1. That your conditions in the workplace were such that any reasonable person would have left, if in the same situation.

2. That you addressed these concerns with your employer, who had the chance to cure and did not.

If you can establish those two things, then you have an argument for constructive discharge which can lead to unemployment qualification.

If you have any further questions or other facts that you would like me to consider, 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 three, a four or preferably a five star rating so that I receive credit for working with you today. Please rate me based on my service and not on your satisfaction with the law, which I am not in control of and I am just reporting to you. Also, feel free to request me in the future, if you have questions concerning a different matter.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Thank you. The nurse manager who suddenly claimed that I was a physical threat to her when I did not consent to sign off on her poor four month review of me scared me so badly that I might get arrested while at the hospital, that I handed in my badge to show that I was not a threat to anyone. When HR contacted me to tell them my story, they emailed back, "We would love to talk to you but we don't work with lawyers", and they also refused to allow me to bring my laywer to a phone meeting. After being falsely accused of being a threat to this nurse manager, there was no way I would talk to them without legal protection. I have these emails. Would that help me establish that I could not effectively tell my story/give my documentation of the harassment to the hospital?

Unfortunately, they can legally refuse to talk with you with representation. This isn't a criminal law matters, so you aren't legally entitled to have representation during a discussion with the employer.

However yes, the emails would help to show that you explained the situation to the employer. The issue I see though is that they offered to speak to you and you refused. I understand why you did so, but that could have a negative impact on your ability to show that the employer refused to try and work with you. They did, though they refused to work with the attorney which they can legally do.

I do not think that completely ruins any chance of getting unemployment, but I do think you have to address your refusal to talk to them with the state, so that the state understands your position and doesn't find that you were being unreasonable there.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Thank you. The nurse manager is currently talking about me on the unit. I have texts from a colleague on the unit who has told me that she is telling other nurses on the unit that I handed in my badge to her and resigned. None of that happened. In addition, I think it's illegal or at least defamation and/or slander for her to be talking the staff about my employment and my case. Please advise and thanks so much again. I'm just so scared of not being able to get future employment and that my reputation is badly damaged by her at this point.

It is not either illegal or slander for an employer to talk about an employee's employment status, so that isn't helpful necessarily. There is no confidentiality in an employee's employment status, though many commonly think there is.

Where it can become illegal is if the employer makes false statements. Then it can be defamation of character, but typically only against the individual making the claim. You could sue that individual manager in small claims court, which often has the effect of causing a person to stop lying.

Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,626
Experience: Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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Allen M., Esq. and 87 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
I don't mean status as in whether or not I am employed. She is discussing my conversations with her to the other staff, my work there, and how I left.

And that is not illegal by itself. Again, for anything said about you to be illegal, it has to be false.

If she were telling 100% truth about your conversations, how you left, what you said, etc. then there would be nothing illegal about that at all. There is no confidentiality in employment status, conversations, meetings, etc.

When she makes false statements, those can be defamation of character and that is it.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
She is falsely stating that I resigned in her office and handed her my badge. She is also falsely reporting that I threatened physical harm to her.

Yes and those false statements (and only those) can form the basis for a defamation of character claim directly against her.

I was not saying you didn't have a claim. I was just framing what your claim could cover. Just the fact that she is talking about what happened between you is not enough. Some people think there is some sort of confidentiality in these sorts of matters and I was making it clear that there is not.

Your claim would have to directly focus on the false statements.

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