Quitting a job for a good cause. What proof do I need?

by Anonymous
(Florida)

Hello,
I reside in the State of Florida and in fact relocated to this State for a job last year.
My work situation is such that I work all the time for an abusive employer. My salary was cut back in Feb due to "the economy" yet the conversation was prefaced by an invitation to leave voluntarily. I am now at my breaking point and have to leave before I go under of mentally abuse. I intend to file unemployment citing good cause, what proof do I have to submit? Thank you,


Hi Anonymous,

Why don't you tell me what proof you've got.

What have you done to first try to correct the abuse?

Good cause is examined on a case by case basis. There are general principles about what you should do first, but ultimately everybody's situation is looked at separately and a judgment is made.

What one person considers mental abuse .. another may see as only an annoyance. The standard used to judge this has to do with "a reasonable person".

Chris

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May 06, 2009
Just another opion
by: Chris - webmaster:)

A claimant is in fact acting as their own representative at an unemployment hearing. They are probably in one of the most stressful times of their life .. worrying about feeding their kids .. worrying if they will be living under a bridge in the near future .. stressed about finding another job (because unemployment pay sucks) .. and a myriad of other problems created from the pressure of a job loss. Then when the unemployment pay is threatened .. they are forced to rely on the state website for the information to prepare, which I personally think is inadequate, incomplete, and misleading as to the possible ramifications that may be awaiting them.
If a state is going to corral a person into thinking they can handle their unemployment hearing on their own .. Give them the tools to actually prepare.

Sorry Anonymous, I use to try to keep my opinions out of my answers .. for the most part, but I'm finding that harder to do of late. I'm thinking of starting a blog called "Howling at the Moon" for all my outrages:)

May 06, 2009
Proving Good Cause
by: Chris - webmaster:)

You're absolutely right about he said / she said. This if often the situation at a hearing when someone quits for what they believe to be good cause.

I realize I'm always asking about what "proof" a person has, but it's very possible to establish proof for "unemployment purposes" through testimony that is credible and convincing. Those people that conduct unemployment hearings are given a lot of leeway in their findings when judging credibility and a states unemployment laws are usually construed in favor of a claimant. Truth be told, the employer is often times held to a "higher standard" when it comes to proving their "burden". This isn't written anywhere, but it's true, nonetheless.

I think you have a strong piece of proof if you can prove the employer was already advertising for your position before you quit. It adds weight to your contention that the employer was cutting your pay and overloading you with work in an effort to get you to quit. Use whatever you think will help without harming your position.

So I'm basically saying that there may come a point when whether we feel confident or not about the outcome of "the decision" that will be made, we have to at least make the effort and try with what we do have.

Convincing testimony can rule the day if a claimant focuses on the objective reasons for quitting "due to the employer", rather than offering the information from a subjective point of view. This is really what the "reasonable person standard" is.

If anyone ever wonders what the real value of having an attorney is .. I think it's their training to see a situation objectively and then develop a strategy which is keenly focused on a point of relevant law that offers the path of least resistance. Of course it doesn't hurt if they are a natural born litigator.

I know this to be true too .. claimants who do not understand this concept can lose an unemployment hearing, even if they may be deserving, simply because they fail to bring up the one thing that would allow a decision to go their way.


May 06, 2009
response burden of proof
by: Anonymous

Hi Chris:
It's difficult to establish "burden of proof." As I didn't punch in by the clock, how do I indeed prove that I worked all these hours and how do I prove that the environment was hostile. It sort becomes a " he said, she said" kind of thing.
Yes I did accept the pay cut as I felt I had no choice in the midst of a full blown recession, but the conversation was prefaced by an invitation to leave voluntarily which leads me to believe they wanted me out anyway...this was only confirmed a few weeks later when it was announced that extra staff was to be brought in due to extra projects. They advertised my position on the sly which I do have proof of and another confirmation they were looking to get me out. In regards to long hours, well I have email proof of things that were expected to be accomplished over the weekends and of course verbal conversations but who does one prove that?
Anonymous




May 04, 2009
Pinpointing the problem
by: Chris - webmaster:)

Hi Anonymous,

You really haven't said what YOUR proof is that these conditions existed.

Back when your pay was cut .. you accepted the change. But now, you want to quit because of a hostile work environment. You need to focus on the reason you want to quit.

When a person quits it may very well be for valid reason with regard to conditions that are "unreasonable", but if the employee cannot prove that they have taken steps to correct the situation or relate facts that show they had a valid reason for believing that further efforts to correct the situation would have been futile .. they aren't going to prevail.

It's the same for an employer who decides to fire someone three months from the date of the rule violation without another documented rule violation. They are going to lose.

You need to focus on the existing problem that is causing you to want to quit. You need to be able to show that the actions of the employer are unreasonable .. and you have tried to get the employer to see their mistakes and they have failed to correct their mistakes.

Then the state has to agree with you that the employer was acting unreasonable. Good cause is examined on a case by case basis.

Let me tell you what I think is the biggest hurdle for employees .. They think like they are prisoners of the employment and have no control over their employment when in fact "at will" employment is actually the state of being an independent contractor who must abide by an employers rules and policies for the convenience of the employer deducting and managing the payment of our income taxes and the benefit of them matching what we pay into SSI and if we're lucky a few other fringe benefits like health insurance.

It's easy to understand how we become a monetary prisoner of employment, but if we are going to be forced to rely on unemployment benefits as monetary support until we find the next employment prison .. why don't we get a handle on what it takes to get unemployment.

Employment doesn't need to place a person in a vulnerable position. Vulnerability is removed when we understand our rights and what's necessary to protect our rights.

I realize I have ventured off into one of my personally held beliefs here, but Anonymous, you have yet to say anything specific enough for me to address about YOUR situation.






May 04, 2009
response about proof
by: Anonymous

Hi Chris: I read somewhere that good cause constitutes unreasonable work hours and I certainly consider working 7 days a week or close to it unreasonable. A forced pay cut prefaced with an invitation to leave voluntarily....harsh emails and verbal exchanges that are constant, making you feel incompetent when in reality the system in the office is set up to fail you, an unreasonable work environment making you feel so repressed and stepped upon that it is mentally draining to go to work every day.

thanks for your input.





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