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Quitting before being fired - New York

by Diane
(New York, NY)


I quit my job at a very large insurance corporation in NYC nearly an entire year ago. I filed for unemployment but was denied. I was ignorant to the facts upon my application. I quit for several reasons and may actually be able to show cause.

1) The company was in horrible straits and the writing was on the wall, so to speak. I worked in the private global real estate sector and the VP's were dropping like flies". We were getting memos on a weekly basis informing us of our employee stocks going from little to almost nothing.

2) The job was so stressful due to what was going on; I started to become sick. All of my supervisors knew I needed help. I even conducted interviews for some time and just before we were about to hire someone, the Chairman issued a hiring freeze. I couldn’t sleep some nights, I had to leave the apartment I was renting, I was even hospitalized for a week due to lack of sleep, stress and exhaustion (it is on record and I have all the correspondence, I also have a record of nearly every day I was out via email).

3) About 2 weeks to 1 month before quitting; I was forced to sign a written warning sheet. It was corporate procedure. It entailed a written statement from my boss (who was reluctant to write it, as he knew my situation but remained helpless to fix it). I had to sign it, recognizing my excess of absences for the month of April. It has the signature of my boss, myself, and the head of HR for my division.

4) I was studying for the exam to apply to law school and had a horrific commute and often my days lasted nearly 10-12hrs. I had to quit or I never would've been able to apply to law programs for this coming fall. To be honest, if my situation wasn't so stressful, I may not have quit for law school.

Hi Diane,

Are you in law school now? This could be a problem.

I also see other problems.

Because you didn't say when you filed or give the date of your denial .. I'll assume it was
also nearly a year ago.

1. You said you quit nearly a year ago. Did you appeal? New York has a 30 day deadline from the date of mailing for 1st stage or lower level appeals. 20 days for 2nd stage.

2. You didn't provide information about what you told the state was the reason for quitting. You didn't provide the reason they gave you for denying benefits.

3. From what you've said here, if it's different from what you told the state, I'd expect an adjudicator to deny.

Ultimately, even though you mentioned some things I would normally suggest a person "focus" on, such as the health issues which you say are well documented, are diminished because of the lack of focus.

One could assume some alternative motivations for quitting from what you've said ... other than health issues.

1. Quitting in anticipation of discharge. If I were an employer I would try to create a connection between that written warning and your resignation. Not good cause. The title also suggest this, but I actually didn't read the title until I was proofing my response.

2. Your stated reason for quitting is to study for exams so you could apply for law school. Not good cause.

But, in amongst all this are possibilities.

1. The high level of stress documented by medical professionals. Yet you did not mention FML which would have stuck you right smack dab in the middle of a protected class making that written warning only harmful to the employer.

2. Even without FML employer's who discharge when someone is ill .. especially when it can be proven have basically shot themselves in the foot.

If you're studying law, (and I never have) isn't it kind of fundamental that an appeal needs to be focused on a valid point of law? Or do they suggest you throw in everything including the kitchen sink and hope for the best.

So you tell me, how you'd go about getting a denial reversed. Unemployment ALJ's are not looking for several reasons why you quit. They are looking for the reason that will allow them to allow you benefits .. as long as your appeal is timely.

Here's the link to the interpretation index for UI

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