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Hostile Work Environment Definition

Learn How To File an Unemployment Claim

Economy Down, Unemployment Claims Up

With our economy the way it is, I decided to prepare a guide to filing for unemployment benefits. My idea was to explain how the unemployment system works, what the standard is for accepting or rejecting claims, and then add in stories from my own experience about what the best tactics and common mistakes are in filing for unemployment benefits.

Scam “Services”

In researching what others were already saying on the internet, I was alarmed to find “businesses” selling something that at first looks like legal services for people who want to file an unemployment claim. However, after you fill in your information (I did it just to see what the site was really offering) you have to check a box agreeing to a long waiver — where you agree you are not buying legal services, or even buying help with filing your claim. Then you are taken to a second screen where you pay the business $9.95 and they send you a “customized report” on where and how to file. In the fine print you also agree to $2.50 per week charged to your credit card so you can “access” their non-existent resources.

Where To File – For FREE!

For free, you can see where to file right here, for all 50 states.

The main thing you need to know, however, is the standard you must meet in order to get unemployment benefit compensation, which is this:

The Standard That Decides ALL Unemployment Claims

Unemployment Insurance Benefits are intended to provide temporary financial assistance to workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own.”  That last sentence is the key to unemployment claims.  Follow these four tips in order to implement that sentence:

Four Quick Tips For Filers

So a few quick tips if you can’t wait for my full report to come out.

  • Never write down that you “resigned”. Instead write that you “were constructively discharged” (which means you were forced out).
  • Even if you were terminated, always maintain that you “were willing and able to work.” This should be a theme that infuses every answer on your unemployment claim application.
  • Example: “I wanted to continue working at ABC Company but was constructively discharged by the hostile work environment created by my manager’s behavior.”
  • Don’t go into HOW your manager constructively discharged you on your application, leave that for your phone hearing or write a response to your manager’s response.
  • Know your deadline! Follow the link above and learn how many days you have to file your claim. Then put it on your calendar and circle it in red.

Conclusion: Don’t Pay, There’s a Better Way

There is plenty of information here if you need to file your unemployment claim right away. Coming soon, however, will be my full report on filing successful unemployment claims. Even if you can’t wait for it, remember, don’t pay money to anyone for unemployment claim insurance advice.

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  1. Good article on unemployment and the claims process however I am trying tonight to file an appeal to their initial decision denying benifits; and find very little information anywhere on how to best state my case that it was definately an intolerable work environment and not another “personality conflict” with the supervisor who has had over three dozen employees and perhaps as many as 50 ( a twelve person staff) leave his department in just over three years. Perhaps an issue you could address in the future. I will say that I’ve found your site the easiest, most usefull, and informative that I’ve come accross.

  2. Just for the record, I was denied unemployment benefits from a staffing agency! It was the first time I had EVER used one, so I wasn’t familiar with their policies. My orientation took all of 30 mins with a video on safety, another 15 mins to sign and fill out my name on about 10 different forms, then a quick 5 min hurried interview with the Manager before she sent me off on an interview. I was hired on the spot – even though the staffing agency Mgr did NOT forward my resume to the company! I worked for 6 months and then the company ended my assignment.
    The staffing agency was notified on my last time sheet submitted as well as me calling the original Mgr asking for another assignment – which they didn’t have available for me. I continued to call her and ask, but no jobs were available for 2 wks, so I filled for UI. Because I did NOT drive across town, sign in on the staffing agencies list, their HR manager reported that I voluntarily quit working for them, so my unemployment was denied!!!!!!!
    Even though I talked with the Mgr over the phone and there were no jobs available for me, the simple action of NOT signing their register in person every day disqualified me.

  3. Jmell,

    Thanks for sharing your story. It seems to me that you lost your claim on a technicality — calling in and signing in both achieve the same thing, namely, that you checked for work each day. The equities are in your favor here. Have you appealed the initial decision? If not, and if there is still time, I encourage you to.

  4. This article was very interesting and helpful. I am just wondering what kind of questions are asked during the telephone interview?

    I had a boss that created a very hostile work environment, constantly micro-managing and nit-picking me. Even made me cry during a meeting.

    In the end, I was let go for an “unacceptable performance” that day. It was seriously over something stupid. I am wondering what I can do to prepare for the interview. The guy is a sneaky bastard, I was vacation time was paid out and this was quite a surprise.

  5. RC,

    On the telephone interview, the hearings officer will want to find out if you lost your job “due to no fault of your own.”

    Your manager will probably claim you deserved to go, because of this stupid problem.

    You should focus on these points: 1) I was never trained on how to do this the right way; 2) I would have done it the right way from now on if they had kept me and just me how to do it; 3) This is not a central part of my job duties — all my core job functions I did very well.

    Also, if you were with your employer for some years and have some good performance appraisals, be sure to submit them to the hearings officer. This will demonstrate you were, in fact, good at doing your job.

    Remember: never trained before, refused to train now, not an important part of your job.

    Stick to those three points and you’ll get your benefits.

  6. This is RC but I forgot my password, just wanted to thank you for all your help undercover lawyer. I passed the interview with flying colors! lol hope I can ace some upcoming job interviews.

  7. Hi there! I would really appreciate your help to my question. I was a running a modeling agency for my employer and I gave him my two weeks last Thursday because he had a dispute with one of my models in the office over a him sleeping with her (totally inappropriate) and not calling her back (I had no idea any of this was going on), this lead to her arm being completely bruised and battered and her screaming about assault in front of our entire staff.

    Well he wrote me an email today stating that he did not agree to let me finish out my two weeks. So I am planning on filing unemployment tomorrow. Should I file under early termination or hostile work environment due to an overly sexual environment?

    I would really appreciate your advice as I am in no position to be without work, but felt obliged to resign after what happened with my model. My reputation in my industry was at stake if I continued working with this guy…

    Thank you!!!

  8. P.s. this is in the state of California…

  9. Bestsy, On your unemployment application state that you were terminated. You were terminated, because you were not allowed to work up until your resignation date. State that you were terminated for blowing the whistle on sexual harassment and battery of an employee.

    Battery is an unlawful touching that causes “damages” to the person who is touched. Damages can be things other than physical damage, but in your example the model WAS physically damaged (bruises), which would also impair her earning ability.

    Remember, throughout your application and during any hearing on your application, you always answer that you were ready, willing and able to continue working in the job you loved *except for* the illegal harassment.

    Yours, -Curt

  10. I was terminated for harassment and discrimination. They said I made comments to females, but when i asked what I said, and who I offended, they wouldnt tell me. They also used past allegations which were never proven in my termination, as a history of my conduct. When I file for unemployment do I put discrimination as my discharge or breaking company policy as they state in my termination.

    How do I win this in my interview, they are totally wrong, and I know this has something to do with my boss, not liking me.

  11. Good article. My boss called me into her office, and told me I was being let go as of May 31st, due to my position being eliminated, and I received a letter stating that as well. I also asked if I could collect unemployment, and she said yes. Now, after I filed for unemployment, she told the unemployment commission that I was “discharged” for excessive absenteeism/tardiness, which is absolutely not true. In the nearly two years i worked for this organization, there was no mention to me either verbally or in writing that I was excessively absent or tardy. I am still waiting for a decision about my benefits from the unemployment commission. What gives her the right to change her story to prevent me from getting unemployment? I am so upset over this.

  12. Hello Curt, I am Asian and Hmong is my ethnicity. I worked for this company over 12 yrs. Please help me please. My boss was so emotionally abusive and nit-pick on me for over year and half. She was a boss and a HR dept. I was so stress and so damage to myself. On March 29, 2011, I can’t take her busive anymore, so I quit my job. I filed umemployment insurance and they deny my claim. I appeal my case and they schedule my appeal on next Wednesday 6/29/2011.
    I would really appreciate your advice please, please, please.

    Thank You

  13. whatsthelawintexas says:

    Great article!

    I’m appealing a recent UI denial of benefits. My phone hearing is scheduled for next week. I’ve been demoralized and now have to defend my right to collect UI.

    Is any of this Wrongful Termination; Constructive Discharge, EEOC violation?

    1. The “miscommunication” that prompted my firing was staged (it was a set-up).

    2. Supervisor tried to coerce me to resign, but ultimately fired me for insubordination.

    3. Several days after my firing, a full-time replacement was hired to take my place. My replacement was someone my newly hired supervisor used to work with. Coincidence? The opening was not advertised, nor were other applicants screened.

    4. The employer’s statements are slanderous and damaging to my career. They are on file as public record.

    5. The employer had motive for my firing and is evading payment of UI by claiming insubordination. At will employment doesn’t require a reason.

    It’s their word (3 written statements with false accusations) again my word. What can I do?

  14. whatsthelawintexas says:

    also to add… I worked for organization 2-1/2 years with high marks in recent performance review. I was singled out for miscommunication on a project, which was not my fault, but instead caused by a new younger employee. My former supervisor is my same age but rest of employees (15 total) are younger.

  15. WhatsTheLawInTexas,

    Sorry to hear about what you are going through!

    Your second post is closer to the position you need to take than the first post. But I’ll start with the first: 1) being “set up” is not illegal, unless they did it BECAUSE OF a protected class you belong to, like “age” (people over 40). 2) Resign/fired doesn’t matter that much, but rather “did you lose the job due to know fault of your own?” So the you need to say this is insubordination stuff is trumped up b.s.; going over this in detail would be more appropriate in the Academy forum (private) than out here; 3) the fact that the replacement was younger, and they didn’t bother to interview older applicants is the most important part of this; 4) If the slander only appears in the record of the unemployment benefits appeal, then regrettably there’s not much you can do. Judicial pleadings are privileged from slander claims. If the same person repeats this outside of the context of the judicial proceeding, then it’s actionable slander you can go after them for. 5) At-will employment doesn’t require a reason, but if a company wants to avoid paying UI benefits the company is required to give a reason — and the reason must show that it’s the employee’s fault.

    Your recent positive performance and positive history with the company show that you did not have an ongoing attitude problem. Tell them that you are ready, willing, and able to go back to work. If they had some recent issue with your communication style you only wanted them to train you, not fire you. Be sure to say that you loved your job and want to still be there working, and that you totally believe you could be doing a great job for them right now if they would only explain what you did wrong — so that you can fix it.

    That “I want to be there working” attitude will go a long way in showing to the ALJ that your termination was “no fault of your own”.

    Also, explaining that you see now that the reason they didn’t explain to you how to fix the problem and keep your job is because they wanted someone younger. They fired you on trumped up, fake charges, and then immediately installed someone younger without so much as taking applications from older applicants.

    Good luck!


    P.S. If you’re interested in the Academy, where we can freely and privately discuss this kind of stuff, you can sign up to try it here for as little as $15/month:


  1. Ty Sv's Blog says:

    -Learn How To File an Unemployment Claim_40…

    </div> Article From 5 Star Articles There is plenty of information here if you need to file your unemployment claim right away. Coming soon, however, will be my full report on filing successful unemployment claims. Even if you can't…

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