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Employer simply could care less about safety, training, or anything that doesnt directly involve him making money!

by will
(Louisiana)

Questions: Employer simply could care less about safety, training, or anything that doesn't directly involve him making money!


After accidents that almost killed me, after getting griped at multiple times because something crew does isn't safe, the employer still doesn't want to provide scheduled maintenance or supervision of myself and crew.

I asked him two different times where a hospital was located in an unknown area. He would never find out. He still sends me and one other ( a newly hired kid) out in mid of nowhere to swab down a high psi gas well, on his workover rig.

So I quit. Will I be able to draw unemployment?




Answer: Our collective employee right is to a safe workplace.

Hi Will,


There is not many questions about quitting a job for whatever reason, that don't have me asking about your ability to fulfill a burden of proof that the reason was good cause and you made adequate effort to preserve the employment.

Not, because I myself wouldn't of reasonably quit, regardless of getting benefits, but because the question is made conditional .. in this case, will, Will be able to draw unemployment benefits.

That is your burden to fulfill because you quit and only, because you want to collect unemployment. I'll try to explain again, what fulfilling the burden would have me thinking about .. if I were you.

Proving that a claim for benefits consists of good cause is determined per how the UI law of Louisiana is interpreted by state and federal precedents related to humans acting reasonably and with prudence.

Although unemployment agencies have limited issues they can address about what happens at work, two, voluntary leaving and discharges, relate to the actions that led to the end of the employment relationship.

However, if you read enough appeal decisions you will find a pattern that findings don't ignore the totality of the impact of other state and federal laws that an employee could of accessed and used that may of helped to protect the job and an employee right outside of the entitlement of unemployment benefits for losing your job through no fault of your own.


So, your reason is a voluntary quit due to unsafe working condition, and the issue for the UI agency is whether the claimant voluntarily quit for good cause. (Unsafe working conditions are mentioned in ALL state UI laws as possible good cause).

But you have to prove you had no choice, thereby shifting the burden back to the employer as being at fault for your decision to quit.

Did you make any effort to identify the safety violations of your employer and follow the rightful course of ensuring the employer compliance regarding your right to work safely?

This would be central to what I would be thinking about as an employee concerned about my and other employees safety. It's where you try and exhaust your alternatives to save the job, prior to quitting.

How does one make those exhausted efforts to preserve the employment, rather than to simply, quit when you have to show you were actually, desirous of remaining employed unless the employer (quit should be attributable to the employment in some way) gives no choice?

Granted, it is an uncomfortable position for most employees and some will feel it's easier to simply remain the victim of a wrongheaded employer.

But, eventually most will get fed up and quit out of frustration anyway .. and still ask the simple question about quitting and getting UIB's.

So, here's a brief analysis of what I might of done before the words "I quit" ever passed my lips .. if I was depending on drawing benefits and if I were you Will.

At the very first safety incident, I would of researched to find out if my concerns were relevant safety violations affecting the industry I worked in.

Somewhere amongst the rules for workplace safety I
might be able to verify violations existed in my working conditions and being legitimate to raise my safety concerns per procedures in an employee handbook or my own common sense when there are no rules provided by the employer.

Then, I'd document my efforts to correct the defects and objectively, preserve my employment.

I'd print relevant rules out .. and since it's me, I'd probably send a well informed and detailed email to the proper people above my head, which includes links to the rules I found and examples of common practices I believed to be putting myself and others in danger.

This makes the employer aware (and that I am aware). If I had suggestions to resolve the problem .. I might offer this as well.

This is all an effort to give the employer a crack at making the correct choice to take action and resolve a situation that may be illegally, endangering my life.

And, now I have documented proof of an effort I made prior to quitting if that in fact becomes necessary because of inaction.

I would always do my utmost to remain professional and objective all the while .. avoiding the tendency of employees to fill an email with unsubstantiated emotionally driven recriminations.

But what happens next, even when I am acting reasonably and professionally, is up for grabs.

Reasonably, the employer should take immediate action to verify the identified OSHA infraction is indeed occurring and correct it if necessary.

It is not ironic to mention that employee safety violation are cause for termination of employment due to misconduct and that the door can swing both ways.

An ethical, moral and responsible employer has a vested interest in restoring safety. Even if an employer is a bit sketchy, they should see correcting their safety procedures helps to put an end to the dangers .. which in turn limits culpability of the potential financial liability of ignoring the safety rules in the workplace in the event of personal injury or death resulting from ignoring violations.

Unfortunately, you've suggested I was working for the type of employers that avoids responsibility in favor of a buck. He might also, just try to discredit me because I got the nerve to complain about anything.

I'd be wondering if he would pursue writing me up to falsely accuse me of something to fire me and eliminate me as a threat.

This would be okay with me if I were only concerned with getting unemployment as I would continue to counter document and keep bringing up what I thought to be the cause for this action.

Firing me would shift the burden of proof to the employer which means he's the one that now has to prove misconduct was committed on my part and all I have to do is rebut with a preponderance of evidence that shows he's manipulating the facts.

I'm pretty sure, I wouldn't stand still for either ..

I'd likely,
file an official complaint immediately against my employer.

I would no longer be worried about being fired if I still had a job and decided it was time to file an official complaint, because it's also like drawing a line in the sand which lends credibility to any argument at an unemployment hearing the employer actions were unfair and after a legitimate employee concern .. raising the specter of retaliatory behavior.

Of course, I would of been documenting everything all along, just as if I were an employer trying to protect the business I depended on for a living and of course, to support and make credible the testimony I'd expect to eventually be giving at an unemployment hearing if things didn't work out.

Want unemployment benefits .. then don't forget about other legitimate employee rights and when to use them legitimately.

The freedom we are allowed is to choose to exercise a right without fear of retaliation.




Louisiana Unemployment Appeal Representation

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