FileUnemployment

Hostile Work Environment & UI Benefits

Author : William

Updated : June 21st, 2019

If you landed here, you might be someone who is considering about quitting your job because the environment at work no longer feels secure or peaceful or you could be someone who already quit the job voluntarily because you could not take it anymore. Since UI benefits are usually offered to people who lose their jobs due to no fault of their own, it is only natural that you might be wondering if you are eligible or not. Here’s some happy news, unemployment benefits, in most cases, are offered to people who quit because of hostile work atmosphere!

Hostile work environment
Looks Familiar? Unpleasant Workplace

Eligibility

Your eligibility will depend upon the nature and extent of hostility of your work environment. In general, following cases are said to accepted as circumstances for constructively discharging you.

  • Criminal activity that you tried to bring to the attention of your employer
  • Health or safety issues that you tried to bring to the notice of your employer
  • Hostile environment due to illegal harassment or discrimination, such as due to your race, religion, age (40+) or a disability
  • Hostility in the form of retaliation for bringing criminal behavior, health/ safety issues or discrimination to the attention of your employer or relevant government organizations

That said, there are some other things that we need to understand. An unpleasant place of work or a difficult boss who treats you and your colleagues badly or some similar issue may not be considered as hostile environment. What we have to understand is that there is no legal rule which says that the employer must keep the employee happy. So the employer has no obligation to ensure that employees get along. Likewise, the employee can neither have the legal expectation nor right of a pleasant workplace.

Minor disagreements with superiors or co-workers, differences in opinion hardly count as hostile work environment. We are not say that you should not leave the job, you may if the atmosphere is difficult for you, but, you may not receive any benefits in a situation like this. Approach an unemployment attorney to know for sure whether you are eligible or not.

Determining the Eligibility

Once you file for UI benefits, the unemployment department will conduct a probe into the circumstances that lead to your job separation. The officials then compare your statement regarding the work environment and what they found out during the probe to determine the genuineness of the case.

What can I do to prove my side and fight hostile environment at work?

Proving that your work atmosphere was indeed hostile is not a very easy task. Especially if you are the only one who was picked on. But there are certain things that you can do to aid your claim.

1. Document everything: Keep a journal, carry an audio recorder, create backups of online content or hate mails. In short, whatever you can document and save, do it. While documenting, make sure that you record the date and time as well.

2. Talk to someone: If there is anyone you can trust at work, tell them about the problem. It could be your boss, your co-worker, someone at human resources or even the janitor. Tell someone about it. During the probe by the UI dept., if they learn that nobody knows about the fact that you were harassed, it may render you ineligible for UI benefits.

3. Keep track of your complaints: Use e-mails or any other form of recordable method while submitting your complaints. This can later prove to be useful.

4. Don’t quit your job right away: Unless you are in imminent danger, don’t quit immediately. If you really need UI benefits, try to avoid quitting immediately after the hostility begins. Stay back until you have sufficient evidence to prove to the UI authorities.

The final word

The most important thing is to ensure your safety, especially if the hostility is physical in nature. Keep your friends and family informed, have someone ready to raise an alarm if needed. If you cannot continue anymore, take some time off from work and collect your thoughts.

We understand that a hostile work environment is one of the most difficult situations a person can face. Try to remain calm and composed. Apply for another job, spend quality time with your friends and family and follow the steps we discussed here. We sincerely hope that everything will get better for you and we shall always be here to help you. Use our discussion forums to clear your doubts and concerns.

If you found this useful, share it with others who might be facing difficulties at work too. Together, let’s help the victims of workplace bullying and harassment. Good Luck!!

If you have questions, please post it on our discussion forum.

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    1. Angie,

      The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

  1. I have exhausted my unemployment benefits in the state of Texas. When I called and asked how to go about with the extension, I was told that the extension were done away with in 2013. I’ve been looking for work and have yet to find something. Is it possible to receive an extension or are my exhausted benefits the end of the line? And if there is a way for an extension, how do I go about the claiming process?

    1. Jarese,

      I can understand your situation. The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available.

  2. I’ve been receiving UI bennifits for 3 months. I was surprised yesterday when I opened an email asking for one of the companies information, why I left, etc. I called the UI office this morning and was told that this fortune 100 company is able to reply, furthermore fight my claim and possibly making me pay back the claim. I’m just very confused how they, the old company can chime in 12 weeks after my claim was already processed. Even more confused, as the original letter has that companies name on it.
    Thanks!

    1. Evan,

      If you suspect something amiss, please raise an issue with the Unemployment Office. This might be a classic case of fraud.

  3. Hi Jeff,
    I am in California and last month I exhausted all of my unemployment, I turned 61 and never thought that age would be such an issue but can’t seem to land a job. Question – if I don’t get a job by the end of my “current benefits years end” can I open a new claim and be able to receive additional unemployment after my current benefits year runs out?
    Thanks, Don

  4. Can you receive unemployment while receiving severance payments or do you need to wait until all severance is paid to start receiving unemployment?

      1. I’m confused. When I called the Texas Workforce Commission they said Emergency Unemployment Compensation has not been offered in Texas since 2013.
        I asked about Extended Benefits. They took my information and I received a determination that I was eligible. The next day I got another determination that I was not eligible due to:
        ” Issue: Insufficient Wages Between Benefit Years
        Decision: Your claim is not valid. We have cancelled your claim and cannot pay you benefits.
        Reason for Decision: Our investigation found you have not earned wages equal to six (6) times
        your weekly benefit amount since the beginning date of your last benefit year.
        Date of Cancelled Claim: 09-22-19
        Beginning Date of Your Last Benefit Year: 09-16-18
        Law Reference: Subsection 207.021(a)(7) of the Texas Unemployment Compensation Act.”

        Actually I had earned ~30k from a severance package since the beginning date of my last benefit year.
        Six times my weekly benefit amount is only~ $3k??

        Any idea?
        Any help would be appreciated.

    1. If you are receiving continuing severance payments, you are not eligible to file for UI benefits until those payments end. You should file your claim after 7 days of the receipt of your last severance payment.

  5. I have been trying very hard to get a number I can call to have one (1), I say again one (1), question answered. I am a contractor and have been working in many states in the course of my career. My last job was here in Mobile AL at ST Engineering Aerospace and I saw something about needing to be employed for 18 months in Alabama to qualify for benefits. I had a claim in Tennessee and they have a way of filing when you have worked in different states. I forget what it is called but my question to you is does Alabama have a way that I can file after working in different states?

    1. Kevin,

      Please note this is a private forum. If you’ve filed from TN, suggest you reach out to the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  6. DO YOU HAVE TO ACCEPT A POSITION THAT HAD OFFERED YOU SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER WAGES THAN YOUR PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT; ESPECIALLY IF THE WAGES DO NOT COVER YOUR MONTHLY FINANCIAL
    OBLIGATIONS?

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