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Is this good cause for quitting?

by Jaime
(Liberty, NY (USA))

I currently work for a place that I have worked full time for 6 years. This past month they cut me to part-time. I am currently filing partial benefits and looking for full time work in the meantime (been on a few interviews recently and waiting to hear back). This employer has done several things illegal and this has been confirmed with a phone conversation at someone in the Binghamton dept. of labor standards/human rights. Some of these illegal activities include not issuing vacation time Jan. 1 as the employee handbook states (I was full-time Jan. 1 and when the days were finally issued last week, they told me I wouldn't get any since I am part-time now). Another issue is they do not have the labor law posters hanging. Another is they issue straight time and as comp time instead of time and half for OT over 40 hours. My last issue was they put me at part-time then hired another to cover the two days the took from me. (the dept. of labor rights division sent me forms I need to fill out and send back, which I will be doing this week to file claims against their illegal activity). Now for the past few months this has become a very hostile environment for me to work at. My father passed away January of this year. During my father's illness, my boss made it more difficult then need be. Not only was she making issues about the way I was handling my father's illness/passing (we were extremely close and I was having a hard time with his illness and passing) but she made my work environment increasingly difficult. Constantly in my face trying to get a reaction out of me. Picking on even the shoes I was wearing. It was nuts. Anyway things just have gotten worse. I feel like she doesn't want to fire me because then she has to pay unemployment benefits. I even asked her at one point to make this civil and let me go. She refused and even laughed about it. I have now gotten to the point that I get extreme anxiety attacks on

the days I have to work. I get so shaky and sick to my stomach. It is getting worse too. I even had my sr. co-worker state she feels my boss is pointing me out for no reason at all. I really can't see myself going back there. I really am getting sick over this. I want to quit and have read I can claim the hostile work environment as a good cause. Question is if my employer denies my benefits and I have to ask for a hearing...will I get benefits in the meantime? I am hoping to have a job in the next 2-3 weeks (the one interview looked promising). I need to know I will be able to get benefits for the next 2-3 weeks if I quit today because I really don't think I can get myself to go back anxiety is crazy. Also, if I don't get the job that looks promising and I need to file for a I get the benefits during the hearing. I really see no other way. She is getting worse and there really is no reason for it. I mean I have been there 6 years with no problems until the past few months and now everyday she is getting worse. It's like she is trying to get me to react and blow up so she can fire me and still not have to pay unemployment because I would then have created misconduct and seriously I am to the point that I don't know if I could control myself around her much longer. Please help me if you can. I am so sorry for this long note but I just really need to find a way out without getting denied benefits.

Hi Jaime,

Way to many different issues going on here for me to address with a "free answer". And I might add that they aren't all unemployment issues, but labor law issues. If unemployment is what you want ....

I suggest you visit the NY Unemployment Interpretations.

I think you will find it useful .. or you could always save yourself the time and ask a lawyer

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