If I quit my job because my company is makingme do somethingunethical, will I be eligible to receive unemployment?

UPDATED: Oct 18, 2010

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If I quit my job because my company is makingme do somethingunethical, will I be eligible to receive unemployment?

The company that I work for has started doing tech work on computers. They charge $150 for a virus removal. They now want us to tell customers that we need to run a diagnostic on their hardware to see if it is damaged, at an additional cost of $70. This almost never happens; you’re more likely to get hit by lightning. Sometime software damage can occur but the virus removal also comes with a free “software” diagnostic. Additionally, if we damage the software on a computer by removing a virus they want us to charge $40 to fix it, even if it is as simple as changing a setting. I have a huge problem with this.

Asked on October 18, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Alabama


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

If the company is actually doing anything illegal--such as deliberately damaging computers in order to get the work of repairing them; or lying to customers in the information they provide or representations they make; or even infecting computers so as to then be able to "find" a virus--you should contact the authorities (try the state Attorney General's Office; if that's not the correct office, they'll be able to direct to the right one). Doing so may either provide protection from being fired or possibly entitle you to compensation.

If the company is simply conducting business in a way you disagree with, you have no recourse.

As for unemployment--if they are not doing anything illegal, if you leave voluntarily, you will definitely not be eligible for unemployment. If you believe they are asking you personally to do things that are illegal, that *might* allow you to collect unemployment...but you'd have to allege that as the reason, which the company will presumably dispute and which, if you can't prove, could even lead to you being sued for defamation. As a general matter, there is no middle course--either say nothing (and either stay or leave as you see fit, but without unemployment if you leave) or, if you think it's really criminal, you probably should be talking to the authorities and seeing if they agree that there is criminality.

Note that asking people to buy services they are unlikely to need is not itself illegal as long as there is no misrepresentation about the service. After all, people buy lots of warranties and insurance they'll almost certainly never need.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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