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Hostile and Corrupted Work Environment, MI

by Anxious and Scared

I am writing to find out if I can quit and be able to collect ui benefits.

Here is my story. I accepted a position with a small company not quite 3 months ago. I had been previously downsized from a company due to the current economic conditions. In the interview I was told this position would be doing book work for this company and another company that the owner owns as well. The job has turned into a nightmare literally. No one here is following laws. The GM tries to write people up after the fact and back date paperwork, the Office Manager has a file for applications labeled men and women, the I-9's are not complete, they were taking state taxes out without any w-4 form (they just used the federal w/h amounts). is a nightmare. When I talk to the GM about all of this stuff like the applications he just kind of laughs. Then the owner is a hot head, this morning he was screaming and cursing like a trucker because things are not going the way he would like for them to go and finally when I got over to the other place this gentleman owns it is screaming audit. The other lady that is in business with him doesn't understand business and accounting. She is taking cash out of the register and paying people under the table and buying whatever. Sometimes she is buying for the business but the reciepts just pile up. I am so nervous because we live in a small community and if they were to ever get audited I don't want people to think I am okay with the way things are run or that I am as corrupt as they are. I worry about this constantly to the point I am having extreme diarrhea every morning, I am crying a lot, and having anxiety attacks. I live in MI and they are really strict about unemployment. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Hi Anxious,

Most unemployment statutes have some language in them that tells you quitting is okay if your employer asks you to break a law or do something that you object to on moral grounds.

And we are all supposed to be protected from retaliation if we blow the whistle on an employer.

I can't give you guarantees, but given your position of keeping books I fully understand your dilemma and it's very possible that the employer's practices and any acquiescing on your part could endanger you legally and your reputation.

I don't know how or what you could use to prove this, because you can't take those kind of records. I have little doubt you would have good cause if your assertions are about what they have you do that is illegal.

Here is the link to Michigan's decision digest.

Michigan Decisions

I just took a look at a few decisions under Voluntary quitting .. and there were a couple that stuck out.

Dexter v Winter's Sausage 10.14 (forget about the verbal abuse)

Hibbard v Tuff Kote Dinol Rustproof 10.15 (this one has to do with illegal activities violating consumer protection laws)

I would be surprised if the employer even contested if they are engaging in illegal activities. I would take the stance that by allowing you knowledge of the illegalities you were faced with a moral dilemma which could only be resolved by quitting.

Another possibility might be asking a lawyer how to handle it.

I've got this nagging feeling that you may actually need to blow the whistle on them, but I don't know for sure ...

My main concern would be that you keep yourself protected from any legal problems this place is going to end up with .. that to me is the good cause .. for quitting whether the unemployment department thinks so or not.

Sorry I can't be more helpful .. I'm anxious and scared for you myself and I do not want to lead you wrong.

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