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Can I collect UI if I quit due to intolerable circumstances. OR

by Amber
(Albany,Or)

My name is Amber and I work for a private ophthalmology practice and have been there for several years. I am an Optician and I sell and dispense eyewear.


Since August a co-worker whom I work very closely with has been abusing cocaine. She has verbally told other co-workers she is doing it and comes to work high out of her mind, calls in "sick" and comes in late consistently. She can barely do her job which makes me due twice the work and she is rude to patients when she is "coming down". She is horrible to work with.

She has even called to score drugs while at work! My manager is aware of this, and has told the owners about it and they refuse to drug test her and/or fire her. We also have an on-site lab who makes our glasses. There are three guys who run the lab. There is suppose to be at least one guy back there at all times to assist the opticians. Every day they all three go on a break leaving no one in the lab to help when needed. My manager has also told the owners about this and how it affects the opticians and again they do nothing. This place is so stressful and ridiculous.

My manager can't accomplish anything therefore nothing ever changes. I have anxiety and depression when I'm there and feel trapped.


Hi Amber,

Just so we remain focused on the reason you want to quit .. let's leave your anxiety and depression out of it and the fact that no one is in the lab during breaks.

You want to know if you can quit because despite letting management know about this employee who in turn has spoken to the owners .. nothing is being done.

I can't answer your question with a yes or no answer because I have questions to ask you.

Beginning with, but not limited to ..

Does the employer have a drug testing policy? (This alone could present problems for an employer)

Have you, yourself brought the complaint to the owners since your manager doesn't seem to be able to do anything about it?

And finally, how would you substantiate?

Clearly, a co-worker's drug use could present a danger to your safety at work. When something illegal is going on at work .. we are not expected to just work and take it.

This should be of great concern to an employer if not one, but multiple people tell the employer someone is coming to work high and also calling their dealer during working hours. A failure to address the situation is irresponsible to all employees.

As always, I suggest documenting your efforts to "preserve the employment" .. both with the manager and the owners. Lack of documentation to substantiate efforts to preserve the employment is the usual place a claimant fails. I cannot stress enough the need to document employment as an employee .. as well as most employers document employment.

If you would like to discuss your situation more .. I offer consultations.

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