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I feel I was placed under duress and forced to resign. Is there anything I can do legally?

Springfield, MA |

I interviewed and was hired by a company. Between my leaving my old job and entering my new one the job responsibilities changed. I was given more responsibilities to the point where I couldn't deal with the stress. I was asked by my manager if I planned on seeking employment outside of the company, I said I had to. She told me that wouldn't do and asked for my letter of resignation. I complied with her request because I was worried about my psychological health (I have had serious problems in the past) my psychotherapist advised me to watch my stress. The job was misrepresented and I left a good job making more money.
The responsibilities were dispersed after my resignation because it was too much work for anyone to handle.

I explained the job separaption details with Massachusetts Unemployment and they allowed me unemployment benefits. I am currently receiving the extended benefits but can not afford the COBRA health insurance. The current stimulus package has a subsidy to help pay for COBRA that would make it affordable, but the HR rep from the job I left says I can not qualify because I resigned. I was willing to just move on with my life and let things go. I am having difficulty with this because it just feels like I have to fight to get any help at all and it's all because of the way I was treated by my former employer. How would a situation like this play in the legal system? I can't afford health insurance, how could I afford an attorney? Thank You for listening, and thank you Attorney Sarno

Attorney Answers 2

  1. The letter of resignation was meant to prevent you from claiming unemployment. File for unemployment and tell the state office you were forced to sign the letter. You can also sue them for wrongful discharge. Discuss your options with an employment lawyer. The company may also have violated the American with Disabilities
    Mr. Sarno is licensed to practice law in NJ and NY. His response here is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter in question. Many times the questioner may leave out details which would make the reply unsuitable. Mr. Sarno strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their own state to acquire more information.
    ct which requires employers to make reasonable accomodations for employees like you.

  2. You should locate and speak to an attorney about your situation. Contact local legal aid offices, as you may quailify for one of the programs. You may also locate an attorney here, on AVVO, or through the Mass Bar Lawyer Referral Program (

    If there is a good claim and a chance to recover damages you may find an attorney willing to accept on a contingency fee basis.

    This answer is provided in response to a "hypothetical" question and provided for general, informational purposes and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The information presented is not legal advice and may change based additional information and research. It is recommended that you speak to an attorney to discuss your specific legal issues.