NJ-- Can I quit my job if I'm being demoted?

by Jill
(NJ)

I have worked for a telecommunications company for 3+years. I began at an entry level Customer Service position. After one year of employment I was offered a better developmental role on a temporary basis with potential for permanent promotion.


During the year I was in the developmental role, I was verbally abused by a co-worker on a number of occasions in front of other employees; which caused me much embarrassment.

When I brought up reporting the co-worker to HR my manager stated it was not a good idea and HR would be looked at as a trouble maker.

I persisted with my desire to report the behavior; as I began to grow scared of a physical attack by the co-worker. The manager refused to let me contact HR directly...instead SHE filed a complaint and the issue became more of a mediation session.

During my time with HR; I expressed my fears and the abuse I endured. I also informed the rep. of my manager attempting to deter me from reporting the abuse and how she refused to let me contact them directly.

Afterwards I emailed the HR rep with dates and times of the co-workers harassment but never received ANY follow up from HR regarding the incidents.

A month later I was told the developmental role was over; but received another developmental offer in a different department. I accepted the offer and excelled at my work.

During this time, I wanted to branch out and find a permanent position with the company. I applied to more than 8 internal positions; but to my surprise did not make the cut.

While working in the 2nd developmental role; my life was threatened by a customer. The customer verbally abused me and told me he was
going to come there, rip my eyeballs out and kill me. I became very frightened...this man knew where I worked...he knew my name etc...When I went to HR to request a police report; they at first trivialized it ("unhappy" customers were part of collections); but finally relented and contacted the police.

After the death threat, I was offered a developmental analyst position. I did very well. I was always given positive feedback and was urged by the manager to apply for the permanent position. I applied and felt the interview went well.

I came back from a week vacation to find all of the equipment on my desk was gone and was brought into the breakroom to be told not only did I not get the analyst job (they decided on someone external); but that I would be going back to the original CS job I started at 3 years ago. I was blindsided and humiliating.

After 3+years I had never moved from my original position and in 3+years I had only received a $2 pay increase (although I was doing the work of a MUCH HIGHER pay tier).

I feel this job offer is inappropriate...as my career profile has changed since I first became employed.

The thought of going back to talking to customers on the phone scares me too, since the threat against my life.

It's almost like the company is trying to force me out...they know I would never want to go back to the CS job...I have become so stressed and anxious about the job!

Can I quit and still have proof for unemployment?
I haven't quit yet...but I don't think I'd be able to stay working in that capacity.


Hi Jill,

Question: Does the demotion come with a pay decrease?

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