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Can I quit a part-time job at a morally questionable place and retain benefits?

by Natalie
(Pittsburgh, PA)

After being laid off (in PA) in November, I was still recovering from a car accident and needed surgery, which prevented me from seeking another job. Anyhow, I've since returned to the job hunt and my one and only interview turned out to be at a, ahem, "gentlemen's club" for an admin assistant position. I debated long and hard over whether or not to take it, and even delayed my start date to see if I got any other interviews, but eventually, I took the job. It's only the Friday of my first week there, and I already cannot take it. The atmosphere, obvious drug use, etc. is too much for me to take. However, despite the fact that it's part-time, I would be making as much as my paltry unemployment payments. I attempted to call my local UC office, but since it's a holiday weekend, they're closed. I'm supposed to file for unemployment this next week. My question is: Can I quit this strip club job without it affecting my unemployment? I simply cannot survive in this morally bankrupt environment! My prior jobs have all been within the marketing realm. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Hi Natalie,

You are very astute to understand that quitting will raise an issue of whether you quit "suitable work".

There will in all likelihood be an interview to determine this before they give you back the benefits.

They may wonder if you took the job knowing the nature of the environment .. why you now have objections. I would focus on the "obvious drug use". That is illegal.

I wish I could give guaratees, but that's just isn't possible. Often times everything is dependent upon the way we present our reasoning for quitting. I am a strong believer that "credibility" .. one of those intangibles that decides which way a situation may flop, can be heard loud and clear, in the same way we know that we feel doubt when we are being lied to.

I think you need to stress the illegal drug use as your reason for quitting. with the morally bankrupt atmosphere of the work environment as something you didn't know if you could handle, but felt compelled to try because you didn't want to be on unemployment anymore.

At least that is how I would approach it.

If you'd like to discuss this anymore feel free.

Happy 4th!!


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