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Harrasment and HR not doing anything

by Bri

About 2 months ago I "voluntarily" quit my job. I had worked there for almost two years, but could not handle it any longer due to unprofessionalism and lack of respect.

I filed for unemployment and received benefits. After 8 weeks of receiving benefits I just received a notice of hearing letter in the mail, they are fighting it through reason of misconduct. I "voluntarily" quit my job using a point system, after receiving a 6th point I was automatically terminated, but I never received a call from my ex-employer saying I was.
2 months before I left, I and other associates were continuously having harassment problems with a "supervisor", she was always making up untrue stories. I had written a 2.5 page letter to HR, of which they said they read it, were looking into it, and would get back to me. The letter basically stated everything that happened and that I was seeking resolution in the matter, and that I didnt know what to do, whether to quit, switch to a different shift, or building.
Needless to say, 2 months passed and I never heard anything from HR. The 6 points that i accrued were all accumulated in those 2 months. I did in fact receive warning about my absenteeism.

Going into the hearing in 2 weeks, I am going to defend my case under section 402(b) stating my absenteeism was not due to misconduct, rather than I had no other alternative other than to voluntarily quit due to personal reasons of being continuously harassed. I also will be taking in the 2.5 page letter I had given to HR that shows that I tried to maintain the employee-employer relationship.

I am 85% sure I am going to be starting a full time job before the hearing. I am not looking to receive additional benefits, I just dont want to have to pay back the benefits I have received, if I lose.

Do I have an O.K. case?

Hi Bri,

I will just take this opportunity to caution you.

Your argument stinks.

You received benefits by telling the unemployment department that you quit your job due to harassment?? Yet you admit that you were in violation of the attendance policy and had received warnings about your attendance.

Can I assume that you think you quit because no one told you that you were fired?

The details that matter are lacking here.

What was the cause of the absences in those two months?

The only attendance problem I can think of that is a voluntary quit .. is job abandonment by not calling and not showing for work.

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Apr 09, 2013
by: JKinnon

i am a sales associate for walmart. im having problems with my shift manager, she works the sweat off you i work in houseware department but i always am being force to work as a cashier or other departments thats not concerning me leaving my area uncomplete and my supervisor is upset thinking i am not following rules. the shift manager belittles all her associate she talks to us any kind of way if you dont do what she ask your getting wrote up, i am not a dept manager but i ahve too do modulars price changes etc and dont get paid for the work i do as a dept. manager ive wrote HR received no call back ive called market pffice home office they always ask for a message yoo call me back i am a single parent im hanging in because i have responsibility but im tired of yhe disrespect and stalking on the job is there a way i can quit under good cause and still get unemployment til i get another job tilu

Hey yourself,
Sorry .. there is no way I'm going to tell anyone to quit their job because I think they can get UI benefits because they have good cause ..

I explain what it means when it's the employee that has the burden of proving you exhausted all reasonable alternatives to quitting so you can make your own judgement call as to when you might have good cause as far as the UI dept will be concerned.

My opinion .. you don't have it.

I get it .. you have a tyrant for a boss .. you take care of job duties that are supposed to be done by a manager, you work in depts. other than your own and the way you are being treated by the shift manager is much like everyone else is treated ..

And Walmart HR won't respond to you (what a surprise).

It's Walmart ..

Oct 13, 2010
by: Bri

Yes I was warned about my attendance, and even signed a paper.

I am already receiving benefits, just got paid today. My whole defense is about not having to pay back those benefits I already have received.

I heard from a family member that even if I lose I do not have to pay them back, and I can keep on collecting (which I dont plan on doing). But if I want to collect benefits in the future they are going to take 10% from each of those payments for 3 years or something. I havent found anything on Google about this, so I have no idea if the person is correct or not.

This is something I can direct you to.

The USDOL has a chartbook which details the possible consequences of fraud and "non-fraud" recovery provisions of each state.

The part that is bugging me about all that happened to you is if you documented and actually filed a complaint with HR to resolve this issue with a new manager .. and they failed to do anything, you might have had a case to prove good cause for quitting .. before they fired you for attendance.

When problems arise at work .. it can be likened to a game of tennis and the ball is the burden to prove that is batted back and forth between employer and employee.

Oct 13, 2010
by: Bri

My job reviews also were "attacked". I had exceptional reviews, and a new manager came in and gave me the lowest score possible in all job categories. I would ask him reasons of why he gave me these low ratings and he did not have an answer for any of them. I think it was funny how I got a low rating in "safety" category, but a few weeks prior I was recognized by the safety department of having zero safety incidents.

I really have no defense If I go in and just say, yea I quit due to misconduct. The only chance I really have in winning is my HR reasons and hoping that theres an old perverted man in there that agrees on my side.

But I will make sure to update this with a comment, once I have my hearing.

Oct 13, 2010
HR aka "Human" Resources
by: Chris w/ Utips

Thanks for that comment Tom. It validates my contention that when things start going south at a job .. it is the proper time to scour the internet or yellow pages to find an attorney to help you out with a veiled written threat from an attorney.

My experience, which required me to speak with HR directors on a daily basis, told me that an employee who got themselves an attorney .. scared the s**t of of them. It's now their job at stake if things reel out of control.

I have serious doubts about Bri getting unemployment because even an employee on intermittent FMLA can be fired for violations of an "employer's reasonable rules and policies. And as in your case and most others, "poor performance" seems to be the favored excuse by employers and HR, because it's all a subjective spin which can be created.

In UI it's when the "employee did not meet the reasonable and expected standards of the employer". It's difficult to combat lies that are found more "credible" or persuasive by adjudicators and hearing officers.

So here's my point. If anyone is in this situation and they aren't a lawyer or can't afford a lawyer .. tread carefully after making a complaint. Counter document everything and anything that is odd and certainly, any attempts to document a performance issue with the reasons you believe the employer is talking out their *ss .. professionally, of course:)

And never, never think you are justified to violate one of those "reasonable" rules. It's like handing over the keys to your kingdom to the employer.

Human resources doesn't mean resources to help people .. Humans are the resources and the attitude toward employees by that department, is in many cases, the same as a stapler on the supply room shelf.

Oct 13, 2010
Similair thing happened to me
by: Tom - Bay Area CA

I am curious before you wrote the letter to HR, were you warned about your attendance? I was in a law firm in San Francisco and what happened to you is similiar to my experience. I was working with a first-year attorney who became so verbally abusive I lodged a complaint against him with our office manager/my supervisor (who had just joined the firm 2 months prior). Long story short, after lodging my complaint against the first-year the complaints started against me. I was late, I took long lunches, my job performance was poor, etc. What they were doing was setting me up to terminate me but that had to follow the policy of the firm. And what a better way to do it then say "job performance" I mean this guy became so unbearable, one day he was standing at my desk and doing his usual screaming and yelling, there was a paper stapler, kind of a heavy one, sitting on my desk, I was ready to pick that F**ker up and whack him in the head and just walk out. HR didn't nothing. They sided with the first year. Also the two other attorneys I worked with, whom never ever complained about my work, etc., started to make the same complaints. I was really shocked! HR, I think in any profession will do nothing to support their support staff.

Good luck! p.s. I did get unemployment as the firm did not fight it and they also 'paid me off' to leave the firm.

Oct 12, 2010
by: Bri

I received benefits by telling the unemployment office that I called of work (which I did) and it gave me an infraction point, which in all terminated my employment.

The cause of absences was that I got fed up with the woman harassing me and HR not doing anything about it.

I do not understand why this is not a good cause for quitting, as I made attempts to maintain employer/employee relationship-it was the only alternative left since HR was not doing their job.

I guess im up a creek without a paddle?

It can be good cause, if you quit and the harassment would be seen as intolerable by a "reasonable person desirous of keeping their job"

But you told me .. and I quote, "About 2 months ago I "voluntarily" quit my job."

You were in fact terminated from your job for an attendance violation. This means the employer has the burden of proof to prove you were in violation and that you had been warned your job was in jeopardy. You were.

So the reasons for the absences must be something not in your control.

Normally, I would be asking about whether you were gone from work on the advice of a medical doctor .. due to stress from the harassment, but you didn't mention it.

So I guess, you're the one trying to do the switch-a-roo on the reason for separation .. since you have documentation that you had a legitimate harassment issue concerning a supervisor and HR failed to do anything about it.

But you didn't quit .. you were fired for violation of the attendance policy.

What? Were you protesting? Why were you absent from work?

I guess you will just have to let me know if the PA unemployment referee agrees with you that you had every right to violate the employer's attendance policy due to the non-responsive HR department.

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