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Doctor stated my job was detrimental to my health


(Florida)

Question: Doctor stated my job was detrimental to my health, so I quit.


I will be 60 years old next month,have been working since age 15 every year except two. I have always received good letters of recommendation and never quit a job without having one to go to, well until now!

I work in the medical field and a little over a year ago I left a good job to follow a doctor to their own practice. If only I knew then what I know now I would still have a job.

This has been one awful experience for me due to my boss being very very moody and throwing temper tantrums. Using the F work all the time, saying I am so pissed off ect.

I have never worked for someone so mean. I do think there is some age discrimination also. This boss is about 10 or more years younger than I am.

I am the third one in a year to get the brunt of her frustrations and anger. The looks, the attitude, the mouth, the standing with the arms crossed and shaking the head no in your face. Like what you did or said was a lie when it was true and at times I had a witness.

The three of us who are no longer there have all been older. The first lady got fired and replaced by a younger friend, the second one just lost it one day and walked out in tears yelling at the boss about how mean they were. Then it was my turn for the disrespect and treatment.

Well, I tried my best to handle it. Even the other younger employees told me at diff. times they can't understand why I get treated this way.

One day I too lost it- I waited till time to leave after crying all day. The next day I had to call out due to still crying and my eyes were swollen shut.

I went to the doctor and was told I couldn't keep going like this. The job had become detrimental to my health. I had to go on anxiety medications. Now I have nervous breakdown written in my medical records.

I tried to stay at the job but that didn't go well. Every night I came home with a severe headache, every morning I had a very upset stomach. My heart beat faster and felt like I couldn't breath while there working.

I resigned and gave a three week notice. I wrote a letter because my boss could not speak to me about it without yelling. I am now looking for another job.

It's pretty hard at this age to find something. Would there be any chance of getting unemployment till I can find something else to do.




Answer

Hi,

Yes, there is a chance and not because you say your "boss" discriminated against you based on age, but because your doctor went so far as to advise you to quit because of a medical disability, or illness.

However, many people in your position don't get UI benefits because they believe it's the harassment that may of started the problem and then becomes retaliatory in nature after trying to address it with the employer ..

Regardless of whether the employer is a harasser or not .. there can be good cause to quit for health in Florida to collect benefits .. if you are able and available for work .. albeit less stressful.

In fact it's the medically documented advice of the physician to quit and your documented efforts to resolve the source of your anxiety that gives a person better than just a chance.

The Florida unemployment department does not have the jurisdiction to decide matters of proven or in your case, unproven claims of age discrimination as far as I know, but they can and do consider testimony about actions and behaviors of employers and employees as unreasonable.

But, they have to believe the testimony is the most credible. A burden of proof should be concerned with how to show your testimony is undeniably, the most credible.

My thought is credibility must be compelled with supportive evidence.

Relevant testimony that is also substantiated with a document, "nervous breakdown in my medical records" is also a medically documented condition.

(Not sure, but pretty sure those suffering from panic/anxiety disorders may be protected by the ADA as well. Disability is another protected class that can experience discrimination).

But, it's Florida UI statute which offers you the chance to collect benefits, and as usual, the devil is always in the details you didn't know to provide here.

443.101(1)(a)1.
Disqualification for voluntarily quitting continues for the full period of unemployment next ensuing after the individual has left his or her full-time, part-time, or temporary work voluntarily without good cause and until the individual has earned income equal to or greater than 17 times his or her weekly benefit amount. As used in this subsection, the term “good cause” includes only that cause attributable to the employing unit which would compel a reasonable employee to cease working or attributable to the individual’s illness or disability requiring separation from his or her work. Any other disqualification may not be imposed.


As you can see the possibility of being allowed Florida unemployment benefits is there because of an illness you and your physician seem to of clearly, attributed to the employer.

The rest, I'm sure is the truth of the situation for you, but it really isn't relevant or focused on the possibility of what the UI law has to say.

The concern I have though is I don't know the content of those conversations you had with the employer trying to resolve the problem between work and your health. This is why I say it's always better to document even conversations and there is an easy technique for doing this ..

Attribution of the fault being the employer's prior to deciding to quit is most easily done by doing what you can to resolve preserve employment.

When you have your efforts documented .. and you think you're as reasonable as that imaginary reasonable person used by whomever may be deciding your right t9o benefits, you create another document laying everything out that has brought you to a decision to resign.

Reasonableness is needed, but this is opposed to the hypersensitivity and desperation most employees are feeling by this point ..

By the way, although I don't directly address matters of discrimination (Civil Rights Act, ADA, etc.), rising up to meet those requirements of proof .. many UI reps I refer folks to .. do offer their services to employees.


Florida Unemployment Representative

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