If i quit my job in NJ because I'm being harassed, can i still recieve unemployment?

by C
( New Jersey)

Ok so the women that work at my job are totally clicky and play favorites to the other girls. I never complained about this until about 2 weeks ago when things were just becoming too ridiculous with me and another girl constantly getting reprimanded for things that the other girls were doing and NOT getting in trouble for. By the way I work at a daycare.


So the other day a little girl was brought to the classroom I was currently in who I didn't think was old enough to be in that room (going by state ratios and everything) so first I didn't have to bother the assistant director (who was in charge that afternoon) I texted the woman who's room the child is normally in, only I didn't know my cell was shut off and the text didn't go through. Once I realized it was off and I didn't get any response, I called my Assistant Director (who was in another room at the time) and simply asked her if this child was old enough. Not only did she give me major attitude and yell at me telling me that she knows what she is doing and I should not question her, then she hung up on me. So I took it as she was in a bad mood and moved on with the day. Later that afternoon, I was in the same room with the assistant director for over 30 mins and she never brought up the issue again. The next morning I come in to work and my head director (which is my assistant directors boss) comes to me and says 1. I know that you texted a coworker to ask how old a child was at 7:45 at night, after work hours, I also know that you combined with the room next door and you didn't ask. Your not supposed to do that. So I tried to explain that when I texted the woman from work it was actually before I had called my assistant manager to ask. What I hadn't realized is my cell phone had been disconnected for a few hours because the people who are also on my plan did not pay there portion of the bill. Therefore the message I had typed the girl at like 2 in the afternoon did not send until later on that night and the girl whom I texted never seemed annoyed or angry that she got a text at night from me. My director was professional and told me just don't let it happen again and was perfectly fine to me the rest of the day. The assistant director however ignored me all day, did not speak to me or the other girl who got told about combining rooms with me. The girl who I texted also didn't speak to me and ignored me. So later on in the day I was talkin with the girl I combined rooms with the day before standing in our doorways (which are next to each other) and she said I can't believe they are giving us attitude and not speaking to us over nothing. So in response I said oh well if they give you attitude and aren't talking to you then give them attitude and don't talk to them. So then my assistant director comes running into the hallway screaming at me and this other girl "give who attitude, me attitude, go ahead and give me attitude cause I'm done, I'm the boss!, I could care less if you gave me attitude". Me and the other girl never raised our voices to her or even got a word in edge wise if we wanted to to her. She screamed at us so loud one of the parents walking down the hallway heard her and made a comment to the other girl whom I was speaking with (the teacher in the other room). she said oh I guess I walked in on something not
good huh?...which is extremely unprofessional since this woman is my assistant director. So I was angry and upset but I finished out my shift and went home. the next morning I called my head director and informed her of what was going on to make sure I still had my job. she said no one was going to get written up or fired and she would discuss it with all parties involved... This by the way was Friday morning. The day went on and yet again I was ignored all day by the woman who I sent the text to and now 2 other coworkers were giving me dirty looks and ignoring me as well. So I again let it go and went about the day and finished out my shift. Later on that night while I was at home, after work hours I got a text message from a coworker who wasn't even involved in the situation asking me if I put in my two weeks. All I said was no. she texted me back and said aww damn..(because she was upset that I hadnt quit). So I responded if u are going to be rude to me then please lose my number. she again texted me about 3 more texts about how I was immature and everyone wanted to know if I put in my two weeks. So now its going to be Monday morning and I do NOT want to go to work. I feel completely uncomfortable being there and I know no one wants me there and they are all going to do what they can to make me quit now. Would this be a good reason to quit? I want to go in and tell my head director that I am calling the district manager and informing her and everything that went on and that i am quitting because even if something gets said to the one woman who started all of this, now she has gotten 3 more coworkers involved who had no part in it. and they are all now being ignorant and rude to me. PLease let me know what i can do because i HAVE to have a job or be able to collect unemployment because there is no way for me and my boyfriend to get by without it. thank you so much!!!


C.

I wouldn't quit, I'd just make sure to document these conversations you're having with screamers professionally and save the text messages.

At this point, I believe if you did quit, it would likely be determined that you quit without good cause .. for a personality conflict with one, or more of your superiors at work.

The premise of quitting with good cause attributable to the work, or a boss is you must allow the employer a CHANCE to correct or address the situation, which may not actually be workplace harassment but some personal vendetta due to a personality conflict, orchestrated by the Asst. Director.

I've heard email is on it's way out, but if I were you, I wouldn't just choose to speak with the Director I'd document the content of any an all conversations in a professional manner, but still in such a way to convey what your situation is really like, so if necessary, when the director doesn't do anything to stop the Asst. Dir. screaming tirades, you can at least show you made efforts to protect and preserve your job and the employer did not think they needed to do anything.

Your concern is protect yourself and your ability to meet the burden of quitting a job, or to prove a discharge wasn't for misconduct, but because you brought a real problem to the employer .. and they did nothing.

So, I'm basically saying I don't feel comfortable to say, one way, or another whether you have taken adequate steps to assure you can prove good cause for quitting your job.

Read more about workplace harassment, or retaliation at the EEOC.

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