+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Erikaturday is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    3

    Should I have complained? (MN)

    Hello,

    I recently quit my job because of sexual harassment and discrimination. I applied for UI immediately afterwards and cited my reasons for quitting. Unfortunately, the UI dept. in my state (MN) told me I am ineligible for benefits because I didn't complain to my employer about the harassment or abuse and therefore I did not have a good reason caused by my employer to quit.

    I plan to appeal this decision, but first I would like to know if there is a law or rule somewhere that says sexual harassment or abuse allegations made to the UI dept. are only legitimate if I first complained to my employer before quitting?

    Here's a little background on my former workplace: It is a very small company consisting of 13 employees. There is no human resources dept. or person designated with a human resources title. My supervisor was on maternity leave the entire time I worked there, the manager WAS the abuser, and the owner/president of the company worked very closely with the manager. I felt I had no one to go to with my issues.

    For my UI claim to be denied makes it seem the behavior I had to endure is permissible. Because I failed to complain or try to stop the behavior I'm in the wrong. Please let me know if there is any recourse I may pursue.

    Thank you so much.
  2. #2
    Beth3 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    14,991
    I plan to appeal this decision, but first I would like to know if there is a law or rule somewhere that says sexual harassment or abuse allegations made to the UI dept. are only legitimate if I first complained to my employer before quitting?

    Not that I'm aware of but it's quite likely the UC adjudicator made the decision based on precedent set by similar claims. You have nothing to lose by filing an appeal however.
    A person, who is nice to you, but rude to a waiter, is not a nice person. (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails.)
  3. #3
    pattytx is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    small town, PA
    Posts
    9,442
    They didn't say the actions were "permissible". They said you should have reported them and given the employer a chance to stop the behavior. If you felt you could not do so, then you should have filed an EEOC complaint.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You have not won the law suit lottery; in fact, you haven't even won the law suit scratch-off.
  4. #4
    Erikaturday is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by pattytx View Post
    They didn't say the actions were "permissible". They said you should have reported them and given the employer a chance to stop the behavior. If you felt you could not do so, then you should have filed an EEOC complaint.
    I understand they said I should have given the employer a chance to rectify their behavior, but what I asked is was it a law that I do so?
  5. #5
    Erikaturday is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by Beth3 View Post
    I plan to appeal this decision, but first I would like to know if there is a law or rule somewhere that says sexual harassment or abuse allegations made to the UI dept. are only legitimate if I first complained to my employer before quitting?

    Not that I'm aware of but it's quite likely the UC adjudicator made the decision based on precedent set by similar claims. You have nothing to lose by filing an appeal however.
    Thank you.
  6. #6
    swalsh411 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    7,897
    There may not be an actual statute in your state which requires you to first give your employer a chance to rectify the situation but it well established in precedents everywhere that this is a required step. In other words you can't jump ship at the first sign of trouble and expect to collect unemployment if you didn't even make an attempt to resolve the situation and remain employed.
  7. #7
    commentator is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    4,917
    I suspect I know what you are thinking about doing, and believe me, it isn't the right thing to do. When you receive your decision denying unemployment, the initial decision, you send back an appeal. This submission does not need to make any argument whatsoever. You simply say, "I wish to appeal this decision." That's all, you do not give the reason why or submit any evidence or anything at this time.

    They will get back to you and schedule either an in person or a telephone hearing. For claimants, I sort of prefer in person hearings, as they are very much less comfortable and handy for the employer to attend. But either way, in the weeks between the denial and the hearing, you will continue to certify for benefits. If you win in appeal, you would be back paid for all the weeks you have certified for.

    Now, when you go into your hearing, you do not want to go in and start blasting the hearing officer with "They can't deny my claim! There is NO law that says you have to check with the employer or file a complaint with their supervisor before you quit because you are being sexually harrassed or abused, so you have to give me my unemployment!"

    A better way to proceed in this case would be to detail the circumstances. How long you have worked for this company. Where your supervisor was (on leave) at the point when you began to have problems with this person. How small the company was, and what a close relationship with the owner this person had.
    Detail how long it had been going on. How many incidents, and approximate dates when they occurred. What happened on these occasions. Were other employees of the company aware of and had observed this behavior of the supervisor toward you? In other words, witnesses?

    Though it is not a law, the first thing they ask when taking an unemployment claim where someone has stated that they had a valid job related reason to quit a job is "What did you do to try to solve the problem before quitting?" Where not trying to solve the problem internally first would be valid would be if you were in actual danger of being raped or assaulted in some way, and you walked right out and pressed charges.

    Otherwise, you are giving the company no opportunity to fix the situation, no chance to work things out and keep you from quitting. When they present their case to unemployment, of course they are going to say, "If we had known it was happening, we would have corrected it at once, of course."

    What if the employer's representative at the hearing says, "We had no idea there was a problem. She never said anything to anyone, just quit one day." And of course the supervisor you are accusing is going to totally deny he did or said anything inappropriate.

    While both parties in the appeal hearing are under oath, there is always the possibility that either one or both of the parties might be lying. The hearing officer has to make a decision based on the evidence available, which of the parties is the most believable under the circumstances.

    So even though there is not a law requiring you to do so in order to be approved for unemployment, if you had said anything to your supervisor or co-workers, or had gone to the EEOC, or had discussed this situation with the company owner, even though he might not have been nice to you, it would certainly have strengthened your case that there was something negative going on, and that it was so bad you found it necessary to quit your job.
    Last edited by commentator; 04-08-2010 at 02:19 PM.
  8. #8
    csi7 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1,034
    For your appeal, listen to the questions asked specifically by the hearing officer. Do not respond to any employer questions until the hearing officer restates the question. Stay calm.

Similar Threads

  1. Neighbor complained about my cooking smell
    By dave8338 in forum Condos and Co-Ops
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 05-09-2010, 12:37 AM
  2. Being complained about by our neighbors below
    By nmasson in forum Landlord / Tenant Issues
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-21-2010, 03:31 PM
  3. Wrongful Termination, complained on boss
    By Chris Moore in forum Hiring, Firing & Wrongful Termination
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 10-30-2008, 09:05 AM
  4. Student punished because parent complained
    By CALLEY in forum Education Law
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-20-2002, 12:17 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

© 1995-2012 Advice Company, All Rights Reserved

FreeAdvice® has been providing millions of consumers with outstanding advice, free, since 1995. While not a substitute for personal advice from a licensed professional, it is available AS IS, subject to our Disclaimer and Terms & Conditions Of Use.