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jperry4

Unemployment for Bed Bugs???

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I have a question that I hope someone can shed some light on for me.  I manage a large apartment complex, within the last year we have been getting bed bugs in various apartments at an increasing pace.  We do have a licensed professional extermination service come and take care of each outbreak.  It does not seem to be helping.  Residents visit and stay with each other all the time and it just gets spread back and forth and outwards.  I have a paralizing fear of any type of insect, I am finding it increasingly difficult to even bring myself to work each day.  I feel that the quality of my work is slipping because I do everything I can to avoid coming into contact with tenants and apartments that are affected.  If I quit, would I be able to collect unemployment until I can find another suitable employer?

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The best answer anyone here can give you is maybe.


As with most states, IL has a very limited provision for UI benefits if you quit. Before there is any chance you need to have made a reasonable and sincere attempt to work it out with the employer and the reason you quit must be the employer's fault. Whether or not the UI commission will consider this a eligible reason to quit and get benefits is anyone's guess.

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3 hours ago, jperry4 said:

 I have a paralizing fear of any type of insect, I am finding it increasingly difficult to even bring myself to work each day.  I feel that the quality of my work is slipping because I do everything I can to avoid coming into contact with tenants and apartments that are affected.  If I quit, would I be able to collect unemployment until I can find another suitable employer?

 

I'm going to go a bit further and say probably not.

 

According to the Illinois Appellate Court (with regard to an employee's fear of harm to the employee's health):

 

Quote

 

This court has recognized "that good cause may consist of a reasonable subjective fear of harm to an employee's health, even absent the advice of a physician" (see Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 48, par. 431(B)(1)). (Davis v. Board of Review (1984), 125 Ill. App.3d 67, 72, citing Rabago v. Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board (1978), 84 Cal. App.3d 200, 210-11, 148 Cal. Rptr. 499, 506-07.) It is clear, also, that an employee has good cause for terminating his employment if his assigned work jeopardizes his health or safety. (Stormer v. Commonwealth Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (1977), 32 Pa. Commw. 220, 224, 378 A.2d 1037, 1039.) In order to demonstrate that health is a compelling reason for terminating employment, the claimant must:

"(1) offer competent testimony that adequate health reasons existed to justify termination at the time of termination; (2) have informed the employer of the health problem, and (3) be available, where a reasonable accommodation is made by the 1102*1102 employer, for work which is not inimical to his health." (Dornblum v. Commonwealth Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (1983), 77 Pa. Commw. 547, 549, 466 A.2d 747, 749; see Genetin v. Commonwealth Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (1982), 499 Pa. 125, 130-31, 451 A.2d 1353, 1356. See generally Deiss v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (1977), 475 Pa. 547, 553, 381 A.2d 132, 135; Ruckstuhl v. Commonwealth Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (1981), 57 Pa. Commw. 302, 305, 426 A.2d 719, 721.)

The claimant must adduce some medical evidence to support the allegations concerning the alleged health problems, and the failure to satisfy any one of the three conditions explicated above will bar a claim for unemployment compensation (Dornblum v. Commonwealth Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (1983), 77 Pa. Commw. 547, 549, 466 A.2d 747, 749). Ruckstuhl v. Commonwealth Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (1981), 57 Pa. Commw. 302, 305, 426 A.2d 719, 721.

 

 

http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=12244213037641102813&q=unemployment+quit+due+to+health+hazards&hl=en&as_sdt=4,14

 

And in a later case:

Quote


To qualify as involuntarily unemployed, plaintiff must (1) offer competent testimony that adequate health reasons existed to justify termination at the time of termination; (2) have informed the employer of the health problem; and (3) be available where reasonable accommodation is made by the employer for work which is not adverse to the employee's health. (Burke v. Board of Review, Illinois Department of Labor (1985), 132 Ill. App.3d 1094, 477 N.E.2d 1351.) These three factors must be supported by medical evidence concerning the alleged health problems, and the failure to satisfy any one of the factors will bar a claim for unemployment compensation. 132 Ill. App.3d at 1102.

 

 

http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=14712880811556794588&q=unemployment+quit+due+to+health+hazards&hl=en&as_sdt=4,14

 

I'm guessing that your "insectophobia" has never been diagnosed or treated by a mental health professional so you are already missing the medical evidence requirement needed to back up quitting for good cause.

 

I also suspect that, like the two people in those cases, you are unwilling to bring your fear to the attention of your employer.

 

Therefore I suggest you find yourself another job before quitting this one because quitting is likely to get you denied for unemployment benefits.

 

Meantime, buy your own bug spray and do your own unit and furnishings frequently.

 

 

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You could also try to obtain treatment for your fear of bedbugs.  It might actually be successful.  My neighbor is a landscape architect who developed a fear of bees which impacted his ability to do his job.  He saw a hypnotist several times who cured him of his fear of bees.

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