Do I qualify for unemployment if I resigned for good cause?
Thank you for creating your very helpful website.
I recently resigned from my job where I had been for almost four years. All of my previous reviews under the manager who did hire me (and moved on) were categorized as “above average” and cited me as a “valued employee.”
A new general manager was hired four months ago, and for some reason that I still cannot understand (except that I had good ideas and asked good questions), seemed intent on making my life miserable. He began a “behind-the-scenes” e-mail campaign to me, giving me endless assignments which I kept trying to meet, and did meet 99% of the time. The 1% that was not done was focused on, and I would receive e-mails pointing out what wasn’t done vs. what had been done, and that the 1% needed to be done right away. Then I would receive a brand new list of things to do. It became like swimming upstream, like I was being set up to fail.
Whereas under the old GM I was a valued employee, under the new GM, I was being treated like a delinquent employee. Additionally, the small bonus compensation that had been agreed to when I was hired by the old GM was severely reduced by the new GM so that it became a negligible form of income.
On three separate occasions, I was verbally attacked (no screaming, just a lot of unprovoked anger and hostility). The first time, I was called into an impromptu meeting (behind closed doors) with the new GM and also my immediate supervisor (with whom I had not previously had problems), and the work that I did was methodically criticized. I was even criticized for items that had not been done during the tenure of the previous, departing GM (even though those items had not been important at all to him). This first attack made me late for a meeting that had been scheduled with our company’s clients.
The second time was the next day, when he came into my office, closed the door, and proceeded to angrily criticize me for not having gotten back to a client within 24 hours — in the big scheme of things, an item that would have normally been considered a minor task. I am very self-motivated and had actually just finished e-mailing the client (48 hours later) because I had been busy with a AAA priority project that was deadline driven and that had been met. Previously, the company had given itself two weeks to get back to clients on this topic, but the new GM did not listen to me at all as to why we did that. He also proceeded to criticize a project I had completed the previous day that took five hours and came out great. Another colleague complimented it. It appeared that he was looking for any small reason to lash out and take his anger out on someone (it appeared to me that I was the only one being targeted).
The third time, I had just completed a huge project with great success and was on another very tight deadline for a second big project. I said (and I meant it) that I would do the best I could to meet the second deadline within the time frame we had. He came storming into my office, shut the door, and told me I had an attitude problem (I had never been told this by any employer), and that this was an ongoing issue. He then proceeded to intentionally criticize different projects I had completed or was working on. People who know me and have worked with me know the quality of my work.
During his short tenure, I lost substantial weight due to stress. I had had a chronic cough for more than a month, also due to stress. I was also suffering from insomnia.
It became clear to me from the demoralizing e-mails that were methodically sent at least once a day, that he was trying to get rid of me. No matter what I did, it was never enough. His behavior was unpredictable: I never knew when I was going to be attacked verbally or on e-mail. I actually felt he was trying to provoke an argument, although I always responded calmly and professionally.
There was an ethical tipping point where I was sent an e-mail that gave a laundry list of items that “needed to be completed” by the end of that same week. I completed all of them, and completed them early. It was then that I realized that I could no longer be his whipping post and take this continued treatment every single week. For my own health, I had to leave, although I did not want to do so as I had previously liked my job (before it was made humanly impossible). I would have stayed had the new GM not created such a hostile work place.
I wrote a letter of resignation and gave two weeks notice to complete any work. I was told to leave that same day.
I am convinced that if I hadn’t left, I would have been layed off or fired for who knows what reason. I feel as though he was pushing me hard so that I would leave.
My question: Am I eligible for unemployment?
First, let me just say your submission is a wonderful example of what a “detailed” unemployment appeal letter might include, but it’s lacking a few details I’d like to see.
1. Your account of how you used the established grievance procedure for this type of situation as outlined by the employer’s policy.
2. I didn’t see any mention that you printed out and retained the emails or forwarded the emails to the parties that should of been made aware of the alleged harassment.
3. Joe, do you have medical documentation from a physician advising you quit or take a medical leave to alleviate your medical issues and did you present it to the employer?
Without the ability to prove good cause through the use of documentation plus your testimony you increase the difficulty level of obtaining a favorable ruling. Although in the absence of documentation a credibility decision can be made .. it’s not a position I would choose to be coming from.
You also did not mention if during any of the impromptu meetings .. the employer was documenting.
I am not saying your position is impossible, but I’m am saying your position would be easier if you possess information which could add some weight to your position with hard copies of your efforts and examples of the type of treatment which ultimately became so unbearable you felt you had no choice, but to quit.
This is a discussion, so if you have anything to add let me know. I rarely tell anyone if I think they are eligible or not .. basically because I don’t make the decision. Rather I try to point out possible weaknesses or strengths in the information you provide.
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