04-19-2006, 01:39 PM
Yesterday I quit my job due to what I think is a hostile work environment created by my female boss who just plain doesn't like me. She had ridiculed and berated me in front of co-workers in meetings and in the office generally, made me make appointments to see her when she sees the other reps at any time with no appointment, called me stupid, ask my opinion and when I gave it screamed at me to shut the f*** up, accused me of being a spy for a competitor, took my biggest account that I had earned (sold) and gave it to a new rep to get them to accept employment and when I complained told me that the big boss said he didn't give a sh** if I quit over it, told me to do something and then when I was doing it told me that she never told me to do it, accuses me constantly of lying in front of others, didn't send my contracts in for commission payment by the due date resulting in having to wait another 30 days to be paid claiming she didn't have time even though she had them for 3 weeks before cut-off date - mine were the only ones not sent, constantly and repeatedly told me that I wasn't selling correctly because I have a different sales style than she does, finally she has decided that I need taken down and peg or two because she says I don't know who the boss is and said she was going to change my pay from salary + commission to straight commission and I would be required to do daily call sheets when no one else has to do them. I should also mention that she says she holds me to a higher standard than the other salespeople even though we are all paid the same and have the same dollar amount of sales leads. As of yesterday when I quit, I was the number 2 billing rep at the company out of 15 reps with sales only a bit below #1 and twice those of #3. I just couldn't bring myself to work for this witch one more day. I felt like throwing up driving to work in the mornings. Do I have any legal recourse? Can I collect unemployment? What are the guidelines for constructive discharge in WV? Thanks in advance.
What you describe does not meet the legal definition of a hostile work environment. It has nothing to do with the atmosphere being unpleasant. Unless you are being subjected to either sexual harassment or illegal discrimination under Title VII and related laws (race, religion, national origin etc.) it is not a hostile work environment under the law.
I don't know offhand the criteria for a constructive discharge under WV law, but I do know that unless it is based on a protected characteristic as described above, what you are thinking as a constructive discharge is not illegal.
Nothing you have posted gives you any legal recourse. It is not illegal to be a jerk.
Usually if you quit your job, you do not get unemployment. Only an adjudicator in your state can tell you if you will qualify, but I wouldn't count on it. You might get lucky, but it'll be beating the odds if you do. Still, it doesn't hurt to apply. You never know, and there is no cost to apply and no penalty for being wrong.
I am not unsympathetic. I have been in a similar situation. But not everything that is unfair or unpleasant can be dealt with by the legal system.
05-31-2006, 07:16 AM
UPDATE. I was awarded unemployment compensation by the Deputy Commissioner based upon the documentation and digital recordings I made since last December when I realized my ex-boss was out to get me. The company appealed it to the Board of Review and then got the pages of documentation and transcripts I had prepared. They withdrew their appeal and I will continue to receive unemployment compensation for 6 mos. or until I find employment. I see an attorney tomorrow to talk about taking it a bit further. I have never in my life been treated that way on the job. I still feel humiliated and traumatized. Will those feelings ever go away?
That's not a question we can answer. A lot of how long you'll have those feelings depends on you.
I'm glad you got unemployment, but just remember that getting unemployment does not mean that the employer did anything illegal. Unemployment benefits does not equate to illegal behavior on the part of the employer. Speak to the lawyer by all means, but don't be surprised if your options for taking it further are limited.