Tulsa Attorney BlogCan You Collect Oklahoma Unemployment if You Quit Due to Unsafe Work Conditions?

Exceptions Allow Quitting for Good Cause


unemployment attorney in OklahomaVideo Transcribed: Can you qualify for unemployment benefits if you quit your job due to unsafe work conditions? My name is Jason Sorenson. I’m an Oklahoma lawyer here at Wirth Law Office. And today we’re going to be discussing qualifying for unemployment benefits and unsafe work conditions.

So normally voluntarily quitting your job will disqualify you from receiving any unemployment benefits. However, there is an exception if you can show there was good cause for quitting. Unsafe working conditions are one of those conditions that can give rise to a good cause, the other being harassment in the workplace. But a good cause is defined as a condition that may include a working condition that has changed to such an extent that it’s harmful or adverse to a person’s health or safety.

Some of the conditions that can give rise to a finding of good cause for this are unsafe working conditions such as long hours with heavy machinery or driving or the machinery is just unsafe or the job position lacking safety equipment. Another could be that the job conditions are just prone to cause injury to one’s personal health. Another is that the job either causes illness or could make a current illness even worse. It can also be a harmful change in a working condition and an employer can breach an original hiring term that was in place at the beginning of the employment.

Even with these types of conditions, the employee still has to give the employer a chance to correct that condition and it’s a lot better if it’s in writing, so that if you need it to you can prove it in a hearing or in court that the employer was notified of the harmful condition and the need for it to be corrected. But anyway, the employer needs to have a chance to correct that harmful condition. So it’s important to do that before you do quit.

Then another thing to keep in mind is some jobs are just more hazardous than others. Being a construction worker that has to work on top of tall buildings is going to be a more hazardous job than working as a librarian in a library. Some of those jobs are just going to have inherent risks with them, such as re-roofing a house. I mean that’s going to come with the possibility of falling off a roof and breaking your leg. That’s just something that you’re taking on when you accept that job.

If you took the job maybe with the idea that you were just going to be laying concrete or something and then they put you up on the roof when that wasn’t part of the contract that you made with your employer, that could potentially be something that the employer breached in the original hire in terms and could then thus justify you voluntarily quitting the job and could make you eligible for those unemployment benefits.

If you have more questions about this and if you need help with a particular case in unemployment law, give us a call at Wirth Law Office to speak with an unemployment attorney in Tulsa or visit makelaweasy.com.

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