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Good cause to quit in Florida?

by Anonymous


I have a boss who is what I consider to be abusive in many different ways. Aside from the pounding fist on the desk and yelling and cursing, there are also other things. For example, awhile back we had a customer come in who was sexually harassing me. My boss was out of the office at the time but I told him about it later. The customer tried to stick his hand down my pants, tried to kiss me, etc. I told my boss I didn't want to be left alone in the office with him ever again. When the customer called to say he was dropping by with a payment, my boss told him to come by at a time he knew I would be alone in the office, thereby opening me up to more harassment by this customer.

He threatened to cut my finger off once for changing a customer's name in the computer.

He burps and farts like a frat boy all day.

He uses drugs nearby and the smell gives me a headache.

The office is a pigsty and he refuses to let me clean it. He will not bring in a vacuum cleaner and will not hire a cleaning service. The dust is extremely thick and I believe it is what is causing some breathing problems I am having.

I am wondering if any or all of this would be sufficient to prove good cause and be able to collect unemployment while I look for another job.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Anonymous,

I'll leave the "proving" up to you, but just about everything you mentioned here would make me quit.

1. An employer has a duty to protect employees from sexual harassment not only inflicted by other employees, but the employer's customers, vendors, etc.

2. He's threatened to cut your finger off....did you feel physically intimidated??????

3. The filth, burping, and farting.....I don't know if that alone would be enough...did it look that way when you took the job?

4. He's using drugs on the premises? That's illegal and we are not expected to condone or tolerate illegal activities.

I suggest you read this part of the statutes and be sure to click on 448.102(1) link. It lets you know what you should do. If there is no higher authority than the pig....that may alter the extent of the efforts required by you. I suggest you put everything in writing, give it to your boss and save a copy for use when and if you need it.

Comments for Good cause to quit in Florida?

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Mar 19, 2009
Some answers and clarification
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your response.

The question isn't whether it would make me quit, it's whether I can leave and get unemployment benefits. I would LOVE to quit but can't afford to if I won't get benefits. In this economy, I suspect it may take awhile to find other employment.

In response to your post:

1. I thought that was the case. The messed up thing is that he has gone out of his way to expose me to it in this case.

2. Yes, those were his exact words "I'll cut your f*cking finger off!" Nice, huh? I did not really feel physically intimidated, I have years of martial arts training and I'm sure I could defend myself. However, I don't think I should have to put up with threats of violence in the workplace.

3. It wasn't spotless when I started but I had seen his home before I came to work here and I thought that since his house was clean, the filth in the office must be attributable to the secretary. But now there is another 8 years of filth on top of what was here when I got here and I think the dust build up is causing some breathing problems.

4. He is not using drugs directly on the premises but he is using them just outside the door and in an area where it comes in through the vents.

Finally, the pig is the highest authority. He is the owner of the company and I am the only employee.

Thank you in advance for any further comments or help you may have.

Mar 19, 2009
Preparing to quit a job and collect unemployment
by: Anonymous

Hi again:)

I can't guarantee you would receive unemployment. There are no guarantees for an employer when they decide to fire someone either, but they greatly increase their ability to sustain a disqualification through the use of documentation.

Actually, the question is whether it would make a "reasonable person quit". The reasonable person standard is always applied when deciding whether a person quit with GOOD CAUSE. You are right nobody should have to tolerate this, but you keep sticking around. If you had quit when the employer left you alone to deal with the harassing customer again....after you had told him about it...that might have been good enough..or even when he threatened to cut off your finger, but you didn't.

I suggested you read the statute because it says:

448.102 Prohibitions.--An employer may not take any retaliatory personnel action against an employee because the employee has:

(1) Disclosed, or threatened to disclose, to any appropriate governmental agency, under oath, in writing, an activity, policy, or practice of the employer that is in violation of a law, rule, or regulation. However, this subsection does not apply unless the employee has, in writing, brought the activity, policy, or practice to the attention of a supervisor or the employer and has afforded the employer a reasonable opportunity to correct the activity, policy, or practice.

If you tolerate certain bad aspects of a job for any length of time you run the danger of being seen as acquiescing to the condition, which is why the burping, farting and filth are not strong arguments to quit with good cause. In addition, you brought up health issues, if you have documentation from a doctor saying it is the work environment causing your breathing problem...then do it.

On the other hand, an employer who fails to protect an employee from sexual harassment, threatens physical violence to an employee and smokes whatever illegal drug outside, inside or wherever at a place of business, thereby creating a moral dilemma can and should be used because a "reasonable person" would not tolerate this, but I do not suggest you quit until you have in written form, explained to the employer "all your grievances" (including why the place needs to be cleaned) because so far none of these instances have made you quit.

Either the work situation will improve or if the employer reacts badly or ignores the grievances you now have supporting evidence that you made the attempt to allow the employer to correct the varying problems.

Please understand that people do quit and end up getting benefits without this step, but it's an iffy proposition and not one I recommend especially if you're wanting to get as close to a guarantee as possible.

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