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How should I terminate my employment with an employer who is causing me due stress?

Redding, CA |

My employer has mislead my on numerous promises. My employer is calling my former employers with no merit. In addition, I recently learned my employer held back their signature and delayed me obtaining my CNA license?

Attorney Answers 3


Simply quit. Call in, walk in, email, send a telegram, or just fail to show up. Unless your employment agreement placed you under a contractual burden to remain for a designated period of time, or required you to provide a defined period of notice, you can simply walk out and not come back.

Now, that said, remember that you will likely need this employer to provide, at the very least, a neutral reference, and you certainly do not want to create such animosity that it would lead to negative references if a future potential employer calls. Therefore, you best approach is to politely give notice that you will be moving on, giving sufficient notice to allow the employer to find a replacement and perhaps get that replacement trained. Do not let your utter disappointment with the way you have been treated to cause you to create confrontations or other problems during the final days on the job. Be prepared to be escorted out the door on the day you give notice, but make no big deal about it. Remember that burning bridges with a former employer will never be a good thing.

If you believe you have been unlawfully mistreated, do not sign a severance agreement or any document with a release in it unless and until you have consulted with an employment law attorney who can give you an idea of you have any rights you would be waiving. Based on your limited facts provided, there is nothing on the face of those facts that would suggest unlawful conduct. However, unlawful motives are often hidden under the surface, and a more detailed recitation of facts to a qualified employment law attorney would be prudent.

When you do quit, know that it will be an uphill battle to get unemployment insurance benefits, but it will not be impossible. When you voluntarily quit, you usually disqualify yourself from benefits, but not all resignations are considered a voluntary quit under the EDD rules. Check out the following web pages to understand what is and is not a voluntary quit for purposes of unemployment insurance.

Good luck to you.

This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.

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Marilynn Mika Spencer

Marilynn Mika Spencer


Very thoughtful response, Neil.


If you put your complaints in writing, one of three things can happen: your boss can solve the problem, fire you, or make your work life even more miserable.

Yet, if you complain about bad acts that you believe are violating important California law, you may be protected from firing and have a retaliation lawsuit if you are fired.

What outcome do you wish to achieve. That will determine whether to be diplomatic, confrontational, or out the door tomorrow looking for a new job.

Do you need a good reference? Any other considerations?

Think it through.

David A. Mallen offers answers on Avvo for general information only. This offer of free, general answers is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. If you need specific advice regarding your legal question, you should consult an attorney confidentially. Many experienced California labor and employment attorneys, including David A. Mallen offer no-risk legal consultations to employers and employees at no charge. David A. Mallen is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, as well as the California Labor Commissioner and the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. Failure to take legal action within the time periods prescribed by law could result in the loss of important legal rights and remedies.

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Mr. Pedersen has given you an outstanding response. I write to add that if your stress from work is so strong that you feel you must resign, you MIGHT have a workers' compensation claim. You should not resign until you consult with one or more experienced workers' compensation attorneys about this. I do not practice workers' compensation law but understand that the injured worker must raise the issue of his or her injury before the employment relationship is over. Also, workers' compensation stress cases are very difficult to win, but not impossible. You need to speak with someone who can guide you.

You can find a workers' compensation attorney on the California Applicant Attorneys Association (CAAA) web site: CAAA is the strongest California bar association for attorneys who represent injured workers. On the home page, click on the picture of the wheelchair above the words "Injured Workers." On the next page, click on the link to “Attorney Search” on the left side. Enter your city or any other information and click “Search.” *** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis. ***

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