Can I collect unemployment if I resign due to an uncomfortable work environment after being wrongfully accused of something?

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Can I collect unemployment if I resign due to an uncomfortable work environment after being wrongfully accused of something?

I’ve been wrongfully accused of altering documents that were placed in the client’s file. I’m contemplating on turning in my resignation because of the stressful environment it has caused.

Asked on September 27, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you cannot collect unemployment because you are uncomfortable in your workplace--otherwise, almost everyone would resign and take unemployment.

An employee can only get unemployment if he or she was fired (and not for cause) or if the employer made it nearly or actually impossible to do the job as hired--e.g. transfered someone who had commuted 15 minutes to a location 2.5 hours away; switched a day shift worker to night shift; etc. When that happens, that can be called "constructive termination," and the employee may be able to quit and get unemployment.

However, simply being uncomfortable, treated badly, disrespected, etc. doesn't fall under that category. If you leave for those reasons, it is treated as a voluntary resignation or quitting, and you can't get the unemployment compensation.


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