Generally speaking, people who lose their jobs through no fault of their own are eligible for unemployment benefits. If—instead of losing your job—you quit your job voluntarily, you will not be eligible for these benefits. The fact that you quit your job, however, doesn’t always mean that you lost eligibility for unemployment, as it may be the case that you were forced to quit due because of the conditions at your place of work. If you’re concerned about your unemployment eligibility, it’s always in your best interest to consult with an experienced unemployment attorney.
As mentioned above, if you leave your position of employment to look for another job (or for many other reasons), you won’t be eligible for unemployment compensation. There are, however, exceptions to this rule. The legal concept of constructive discharge is one such exception, and it refers to working conditions that are so intolerable that you reasonably believe that you have no other option than to quit. In such circumstances, quitting your job amounts to an involuntary act.
There are a variety of situations that can rise to this level of intolerability:
- Unlawful and persistent discrimination that’s based on gender, disability, age, race, national origin, religion, or any other class of protection
- A hostile work environment
- Retaliation that’s unlawful, including demotion, discipline, and other retaliatory actions to lawful behavior
You shouldn’t have to work in an environment that negatively affects to your well-being. If you’ve quit your job because the situation in which you worked became intolerable, you should discuss your eligibility for unemployment benefits with an experienced attorney as soon as you can.
The Potential for Additional Compensation
In some cases, a hostile work environment may also entitle you to bring a lawsuit for discrimination. These claims typically must be predicated on overt discrimination or sexual harassment. Some examples of the kinds of workplace issues that may entitle you both to unemployment benefits and making a discrimination claim include the following:
- Sexually suggestive comments or jokes
- Quid pro quo sexual discrimination (requesting or demanding sexual favors for job placement or advancement)
- Threats or comments based on your race, color, or national origin
- Retaliation for participating making a complaint regarding discrimination or participating in a discrimination investigation
If You’re Concerned About Unemployment Benefits, Consult an Experienced Unemployment Lawyer Today
Your job is a big part of your life, and you no doubt take considerable pride in your work. If the situation at your place of employment becomes so intolerable that you feel you have no option other than to quit, it represents a very upsetting turn of events. Many people who feel forced by circumstances to quit their jobs believe that they have no recourse, but that’s not necessarily true.
The Law Offices of Kenneth P. Carp in St. Louis and St. Charles understands just how stressful these situations can be, and our dedicated unemployment attorneys are committed to aggressively advocating for your rightful unemployment benefits. We’re here to help, so please contact or call us at (636) 947-3600 today.