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  • Demeaning Boss makes work hell in New York

    Hi all,

    I have been at a full time + overtime administrative assistant position for approx 4 months. We constantly have to deal with micromanaging, demeaning rude comments, name calling, swearing and threatening to be fired quite often (and I mean screaming at top of lungs here). It makes for a very hostile work environment! You are always made to feel guilty when you take a lunch or ask to go home for the day, even if you've already worked overtime! There are only 13 employees in this company and no HR department. I feel there is nowhere I can go.

    Can I quit and get unemployment or do I have to be fired? I had an excellent work record prior with a company for 6 years until I left there to take this job, now that job is no longer available. I have another job in mind but it doesn't open for 2-3 months but I want to quit NOW. HELP! It is affecting my home-life.

    Any help would be appreciated!

  • #2
    While I'll concede that this does not sound like an ideal work environment. It by far does not fit the description of a "hostile" work environment as intended by the legal definition. This term is used when describing discrimination or sexual harassment. Discrimination occurs when you are treated differently because of membership to a protected class (i.e. race, religion, national origin, etc.). So far you have not mentioned anything indicating that this is the case.

    I agree that your boss sounds like a jerk. Unfortunately being a "jerk" is not against the law.

    You ask about unemployment. Generally speaking you would qualify for unemployment as a result of a "no-fault" discharge or lay-off. No one can tell you what you should or should not do. That decision is ultimately yours. And the determination on if you would qualify for unemployment is at the discretion of the state UC board.

    Based on what you posted here, I would not put much hope in collecting UC should you decide to voluntarily quit.

    This seems like a bad situation that is only getting worse. It sounds like you've already made the decision to leave. IF this other opportunity that you mention is not available for a few months, do you have any short-term options to hold you over till then?

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    • #3
      I had a feeling you were going to say that. Too bad for me, huh. To answer your question, no, no other job lined up at this time. I guess if they don't get rid of me I will have to just "wait it out".

      Thanks,

      J

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      • #4
        I agree with rob. You can not collect unemployment if you quit, and if you are fired, you must still get the approval of the UC. It sounds like your boss is immature, and cruel, but he/she has not crossed that line, to make things hostile. Sorry you have to go through this. Stay with your job, or go to another one until the one you want is available. Good luck to you!!

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        • #5
          I actually would have hopes for your ability to collect unemployment, if you can persuasively demonstrate the rude, threatening, unprofessional and overall unbearable workplace environment you describe.

          The Baord of Review for the DOL has found that "a supervisor's continuing use of abusive profanity when reprimanding the claimant, despite complaints to the employer, provides good cause for voluntary leaving of employment."

          See the following link and look under cases in Section 1650:

          http://www.labor.state.ny.us/ui/aso/..._1600.htm#1650

          I added the italics because it will most definitely be necessary to demonstrate that you sought alternative resolution to this conduct prior to resigning. In other words, complained whether it be to the supervisor, his/her boss and/or HR. If it does not appear any of these are real options, and given the size of your employer and the fact there is no HR that may very well be, then I still think you must address the situation with the owner or owners at least one (1) time just to be most sure of your argument. Finally, it would be most helpful, if not disposotive, if you were able to secure the testimony of any other current workers (very difficult I know) or former workers to corroborate your testimony.

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          • #6
            Thanks so much for your help! The grievance link provided much information!

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