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If I quit a job in Florida, do I have just cause to collect?

by Andrew Brez
(Broward County, Florida)

I started working as a chiropractic assistant just over 9 months ago. The doctor (and owner) was working with only a front desk girl and hired me as a 3rd employee. I was hired to aid him on the clinical side of things. After just over 2 months the front desk girl was fired and I was expected to not only take her place but continue to do my job. I did not receive any more pay for doing both these jobs and did question this. He explained that he was "still looking for the right person" and about 2-3 months later he hired another person at the front desk, though she was fired Three Weeks later. I again found myself doing both jobs for another few months until he hired the 3rd front desk girl in this time. She lasted nearly 3 months and was fired a few weeks ago. I am back doing both jobs and the stress level is getting too high for me to continue such things. He said, "we can handle the patient load at this point, maybe when we have more volume another person will be hired."

If I quit (and I can even give him 2 or 3 weeks notice so he can find a replacement if that helps), can I collect unemployment?

On a side note, the billing practice which he has me doing is "questionable". I do not want to turn him in as that is not my goal
in this situation. I also am not sure I can bring it up to him. I would rather leave this part out of it, but if it's something I must do and submit, please let me know. Thank you!


Hi Andrew,

There's never any guarantees, but I think you may have a case. You've been employed for 9 months and during that time you have been expected to perform a job you were not hired to do. Each time you accept this you are reinforcing the perception that you are willing to do it. You need to go to him this time and tell him you were not hired for this job and he either needs to hire someone because you find doing both jobs to stressful and it is not what you signed on for .. or that if he insists then you would like to renegotiate your employment since the conditions and duties are not what was agreed upon at time of hire .. he might fire you which would definitely not be for something considered misconduct or if he refuses to try to correct this problem you then have documentation to support that you did try to preserve the employment .. I guess I forgot to mention that there should be a formal letter to go along with the conversation. This is how you establish good cause, through attempts to first preserve the employment.



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Jul 14, 2009
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Can you please help -- what documents??
by: Andrew

What exactly do you mean by documents? And how is that helping to support my unemployment claim if I quit? I have already asked him to give me more pay since I am working two jobs and he said he is already paying me more than any other employee he has had and cannot find a reason to go any higher. (this could be because he never had a clinical assistant, and I'm sure you can understand that the degree and licenses required for this position would naturally carry with it a higher wage than a front desk person). I have also asked him to simply let me do the job I was originally hired for. He said "times are slow" and "we can handle it between the two of us" that there is no need to hire more people in the slow time this summer, but maybe he will if things pick up in the fall.

Let me know what it is I should write down and bring with me to work tomorrow. Though, even if I present it to him, he can throw it away and deny it later anyway, couldn't he?

Does it help my case if I give 1 or 2 or 3 weeks notice? or does that not matter at all either way?!?!

Thanks again so much for all your help and your quick reply!!!!!


Andrew,

I am not going to write the letter for you.

Since you have done all I suggested. You have choices. You either stick it out and continue in the employment until times get better or you can write a resignation letter .. giving notice.

The letter should reference your discussions with the employer and the specific reasons you are quitting.

For example:

1. Being expected to take on the duties of the front desk people he is constantly firing and now his refusal to hire another person.

2. The original conditions of hire. I mean what he said your job would be when he hired you for the "clinical job" .. not the front desk job and billing.

3. Your discussion with him regarding hiring someone and or increasing your pay to take on the added duties for a job which your training and licenses do not qualify you to do. (Do you have experience in AR/AP, accounting, etc.)

Andrew I do not give guarantees to people that they will get unemployment. I try to tell people why they don't get unemployment.

Documents? I preach document, document, document. And Andrew .. use a copy machine so you have one also. Sometimes we need documents to submit to the state .. to prove or back-up what we tell them.

If you quit a job, the burden of proof is yours to prove that you had no choice, but to quit and it has to be with good cause. Good cause is established by proving that any reasonable, ordinary person would do the same in a similar situation. It might also be worthy of noting that the "reasonable person" is first in the mind of the adjudicator .. and then possibly the hearing officer if necessary.

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