Unemployment Benefit was denied Massachusetts

by Mark
(Ludlow Massachusetts)

Unemployment Benefit was denied because:

Employee disagreed with employers work policies



Reason for disagreeing with employers work policies:

Transferred to unsuitable work conditions and or work equipment


I was hired back after being laid off from Utility Mfg and was told that I would not be hired back to the straightening department but rather the cleaning room and waste water treatment facility, after 2 months on this new assigned job an employee went out on sick leave for several months, I was told at that time that I would have to return to the straightening department until this employee return from sick leave.

After the employee returned from his sick leave I was informed that he would now be the primary worker in the cleaning department and that I would be working in the straightening department from now on because the work conditions would be too much for him as he had back problems as well.

I spoke with the Operations Manager
about this change in work environment and how it’s effect on my back and legs was unsuitable work conditions for me and also the fact that I was told prior to my returning to Utility Mfg that I was not being hired back to work in the straightening department.

He asked me at that time if I wanted to give my notice and I said no and returned to my duties in the straightening department. On occasion Jeff would ask if I needed a break from the straightening department and assign me to other shop duties such as maintenance on machines. The reason for these breaks were acknowledgment on Jeff’s part that the repetitive walking up and down the 50 foot bench running thousands of feet of wire a day was a discomfort to my back .

In fact we both knew the cleaning department was much less stressful on the back and that was the reason he hired me to work in that department. We both knew Jeff and I that
I had issues with my back and the fact that the other employee was afforded the opportunity to take my job because he too had issues with his back after he returned from sick leave was unfair and very much unsuitable work conditions for me, as I had to work in that department for several more months until it lead up to my leaving Utility in April 2009.


A change by the employer in my job such as permanent reduction in hours to less then full time work

At the time of my rehiring Utility Mfg was working a full 40 hr work week, around February of 2009 all employees were told separately that Utility was going to reduce its operational hours to 32 hrs a week.

In the past we worked 32 hrs work weeks, but were enrolled in a work share program sponsored by the state where each employee would receive a check every two week for the 8 hrs we missed on the Friday shut down. No employees were enrolled into this program this time around and were given no notice as to why and if this benefit would be forthcoming.


Unreasonable Treatment


I experienced being treated unfairly and
degraded, the fact that another employee was given my job because he too had a back issues made it more difficult to perform at Utility Mfg even after several requests to management to resolve the issue.

I experienced being treated in manner that made me feel degraded, on one occasion I was assisting “Quality Control” on a project where Jay asked me to hand him some bolts, by accident I handed him a handful of nuts he then opened his hands a let all the nuts drop to the floor and said those are not bolts hand me the bolts, I then gave him the correct items and proceeded to pick up all the nuts he let drop to the floor. The incident was totally uncalled for and gave me a feeling of being degraded.


In closing I would like to state for the record that the moral in the shop prior to my quitting was less then acceptable, management kept everyone in the dark as to our status as far as profit sharing contributions and the out look of this very unstable environment I felt that I had no choice but to remove myself from this environment.

I did not feel that my many meetings upstairs with Jeff and the things we talked about were ever going to change. To continue to work in this environment I felt was detrimental to my heath and well being even if it meant that I had to quit a job that was paying me $20.35 an hour with 3 weeks of vacation time due to me in 5 months witch would have been August.

I feel that my decision to leave Utility was in good cause due to unfortunate chain of events and the fact that I made several attempts to management to resolve the ongoing issues, this is what lead to my departure of a job that I held for almost 20 years.


This was not a decision I took lightly, as a matter of fact I tried to just deal with the issues on a day to day basis witch is why I believe is one of the reasons I was hospitalized for two days in November for chest pains while I was on my way to work one morning .



Hi Mark,

You are missing the necessary ingredient.

Medical documentation about your back problem.

Work sharing programs are a voluntary election by an employer .. they don't have to do it.

If you had documentation from a physician which you presented to the employer, saying that you too were unable to work in the "straightening department" and they couldn't accommodate you .. then you would have had good cause. If the employer hadn't accommodated the person that came back from sick leave .. then he would have been eligible for benefits.

The incident which made you feel like you were being treated in a degrading manner sounds fairly mild. We all have to put up with some crap at work.

You may of course appeal and present all the reasons you believe you quit with good cause at a hearing and see how it goes. A hearing officer will have the ability to ask more probative questions.

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May 22, 2015
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denied benifits
by: Michelle

I had a epileptic seizure and some small strokes and was out off wok for two weeks, because my money was running out I only had two weeks left on the books, so I told my doctor I was fine I thought, I went back to work and did not have the speed I once had and I was very confused, so I went into my boss office to tell him I could not do this I need to leave so he said go back to work or leave so I went back to work But I could not keep up with my workers, I also asked if I could go some wear else he said he needed me wear I was so I went back in to tell him I could not do my work and he said give me your key and leave. I called work tor some reason and the resource lady said why did you not come see me, well by then the damage was down.

Jun 23, 2009
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Unemployment Benefit was denied Massachusetts
by: Mark

I thank you for your response I will look into the medical documents that I do have, I think what bothers me the most is the fact that I did have several meetings with management about the issue.

The phrase "good cause" is a tough one, would any reasonable person quit their job of 20 years making a decent living as far money goes and just throw it all away? I mean their had to be a point that one would just say I give up on these issues with management as the issue at hand was falling on deaf ears. I went as so much as to see a doctor and she provided me with anxiety medication.

I have filed an appeal and have been doing my homework and reading a lot on this site to help me prepare for this hearing. I thank you again for your time and honest effort as it has helped me .

Mark


Mark,

You're right "good cause" is a tough one .. because it's subjective, yet it is judged by another objectively.

When you had those meeting withe the employer .. at any time dide they offer FMLA? Did they think you needed to see a worker's comp doctor for your back issues?

I think you should narrow your focus for the appeal to the "primary reason you quit" if it was due to the anxiety or back problems .. focus on that and keep the problems with co-workers out of it.

That kind of stuff is just harder to prove .. "objectively" that is:)

Medical documentation is good solid stuff and it's hard for an employer to put a spin on it .. if you know what I mean.

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