How to Handle Harassment and Still Get UI Benefits
Video Transcribed: Can someone qualify for unemployment benefits if they quit their previous job voluntarily due to harassment in the workplace? Hi, my name is Jason Sorensen. I’m an Oklahoma lawyer. Today, we’re going to be talking about harassment and unemployment benefits.
Harassment is one of two types of conditions that would qualify for a good cause. It’d be harassment and unsafe work conditions. But harassment is a way that applicants can show that they had good cause for voluntarily quitting their job. Applicants should still qualify for those unemployment benefits.
So to be considered good cause, the harassment conduct must objectively be so severe that a reasonable person would find the work environment to be hostile or abusive. So even though you may find it to be hostile or abusive, most other people would also have to agree with you that the work environment that you’re experiencing is hostile or abusive.
Now, the conduct can come from a boss, a coworker, or anyone else in the workplace. But the determination of whether it is hostile enough to reach that level is made by looking at several different factors. And these factors include the frequency of the conduct, the severity of the conduct, the level of threatening or humiliating conduct that you’re experiencing, the amount of interference with your work performance, the psychological effect, and then also the difference between the level of power that the victim has and the perpetrator has.
So some examples of what these kinds of situations can look like are discussion of sexual activities, off-color jokes regarding race, sex, or disability, unnecessary touching or commenting on physical appearance, displaying sexually suggestive or racially insensitive images, using demeaning terms to somebody else in the workplace, indecent gestures or crude language, sabotaging the victim’s work, and then just really any type of hostile physical conduct.
These are all different ways that the Department of Labor has said can contribute to an unlawful hostile environment.
If you feel like you’re experiencing a hostile environment or if you feel like you’re feeling harassed in your workplace, or if you’re trying to apply for unemployment benefits and you feel like you’ve experienced some of these things, give us a call at Wirth Law Office to speak with a Tulsa unemployment attorney or visit makelaweasy.com for more information.