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if i am having issues at work and dont feel confortable anymore, can i quit and collect UI

by Natalia Lowe

There are two reasons why I am having trouble at work. First my executive director is very intimidating and makes it hard for me to do my work correctly. My work is always criticized and she raises her voice when she tells me what I have done wrong. She also smokes medicinal marijuana during work hours and in my car. Because I have been stressed at work my home life has become also affected. I am stressed and my kids see that it has taken a toll on me.

Second reason why I am also not being very productive at work is the lack of childcare. Because the state of California is having a budget crisis, my children are not attending summer school, and they are home. I have no money to pay for childcare, I can barely pay my rent and bills.

Please let me know what I can do?

Thank you,

Mrs. Lowe

Hi Mrs. Lowe,

The California benefit determination guide is linked to on this page.

For the childcare issue, you should read VQ155 and VQ 360 and for the other issue of quitting due to "working conditions" VQ440 I suggest reading it all, but (E) at least.

The reason most people don't get unemployment when they quit due to the behavior of a co-worker or a person in authority over them is because they do not first make any effort to preserve the employment.

Employment is a relationship. Both parties are generally held to this concept of "preserving the employment" before they get the desired result as far as UI benefits go.

A behavior needs to be fairly egregious to warrant an immediate quit or termination without prior efforts to save the relationship.

An employer uses "progressive discipline" to warn employees and employees need to use the grievance procedures and document their efforts to resolve the problems they are facing at work.

I also think an employee needs to be more objective and examine whether they are being overly sensitive to criticism. The reason I believe this is because in the employment relationship it is the employee who is most vulnerable. The very nature of working for an employer makes us dependent on them for our life outside of work, therefore we always have more to lose.

Personally, I would not tolerate anyone smoking anything in my car and you would definitely be within your rights to prohibit that.

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