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In Florida, can I quit due to verbal abuse and unrealistic policy changes after having a baby?

by Troubles in Florida

I have worked for my employer for 3 years very small company with only the boss and two employees. I have only been late once by 15 min and let them know I have also been promoted since starting. Prior to having my baby I had only called in sick twice. I took 6 weeks off to have my first child unpaid. Prior to having my baby, the work environment was pretty intense, my boss swearing, screaming and hollering; also with my employer’s children running around screaming and hollering here and there also.

Upon returning to work the verbal conditions have only escalated and do not appear to be getting any better; there are good days and bad days. In addition, prior to having my baby I was always able to take unpaid half days here and there; if I made up the time fine if not no big deal. After returning to work and having my child sick a few times, new policies were put into place; absolutely no unpaid time available for sick or personal reasons. Vacation time must be used if not you must make up the time within the week which is virtually impossible for me. I understand this policy is within the employers rights but, this is virtually unrealistic for me and were not in place prior to my child. We have absolutely no family in this state to help with our child I understand this is not my employers problem. I tried to work something out asking to work only 35 hours a week instead of 40 hrs and that was tried and basically denied. Basically, I feel as though I am being discriminated against as a new mother. Also because of how intense the work environment is, I am having huge anxiety. If my child is sick, I am scared to call in sick to stay home; I have sent my child to daycare a few times when I should have really stayed home. I have gone above and beyond for this job; to my knowledge because of the intense work environment, I am the longest lasting employee since early 2000. My question, what are my options and if I quit will I be able to draw

Hi Troubles,

Quitting always puts the burden of proof that you quit the job due to the work on you. If you quit due to the "hostile work environment" it will probably become a he said / she said matter, unless you have documentation which proves the verbal abuse. The conditions that have always existed won't carry much weight because you have worked there for three years and until now have accepted those conditions, such as his kids running around and even to some degree his demeanor.

I would ask if the policy changes can be proven by you .. are they in writing?

Needing to take time off to care for a sick child and being fired for it would not be good cause for the discharge if you are able to prove the reason.

By this I mean, doctor notes or even testimony or a statement from a daycare provider. So I personally think that in your situation it is the boss that may shoot himself in the foot if you are diligent about providing documentation to the employer when necessary.

The policy that states there is no unpaid time available for illness or any other reason is a ridiculous policy because it is basically saying you can't have anytime off for any reason. I sincerely hope the policies are in writing and not being based on "word". A policy stating no paid or unpaid time off for any reason would make for "good documentation" to show the rule was unreasonable.

I don't understand what you were trying to say about the vacation time.

Just remember that if you quit a job in Florida the quit needs to be attributable to the work and you must prove that it was. It's possible to do without documentation, but if you do win it will be because your testimony is more credible than the employer's in the hearing officers decision.

I always jump to the hearing officer because unemployment claims for quitting are often denied initially and require the appeal process to fully develop the facts in the record.

I understand you may have more questions because this process works better through a conversation .. so don't hesitate to ask me to clarify a point.

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