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Can I get unemployment if I resign because my boss wants me to break the law?

West Hempstead, NY |

I work for a company that wants me to canvass door to door in areas where we do not have a legal permit to do so. I informed my boss of this and not only does the president want me to canvass in these areas, he wants me to bring a team of 20 door knockers with me. We face appearance tickets from the local police. It was just brought to my attention that we have been canvassing without licensess.

Secondly, my boss wants me to avoid certain neighborhoods because they are "Too Black" and "Too Spanish." I'm not one to discriminate. Do I have any grounds? Thanks.

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Attorney answers 4


If you resign for these purposes, and can prove it, you should be able to collect unemployment. Make sure you document the hell out of your reasons for leaving. Multiple emails and certified letters to multiple people. You might obtain status as a "whistleblower", if you contact the local police and the NAACP to let them know what's going on. I wouldn't do that though unless you really are ready to leave, and can afford to be without income for a while, because even though you're not supposed to be fired, you likely will be. Pretty sure I know the company that you're working for. Please see my disclaimer.

If you'd like to discuss, please feel free to call. Jeff Gold Gold, Benes, LLP 1854 Bellmore Ave Bellmore, NY 11710 Telephone -516.512.6333 Email -



Thank you so much!


This first item should be enough to get you unemployment under the law of most states. The second item actually the Employer may have reasons that are legitimate, although it does sound "hinky." Hinky is not necessary illegal and your protection in most states from being deprived of UC is when your employer asks you to do something illegal. Some states may have extended the principle to where the action may be racist, but this is a more open question and needs research.



Thank you for your help.


I agree that you could probably resign for this reason and, if you prove it, still receive benefits. However, I would instead recommend refusing to break the law or discriminate in writing. and let the employer terminate you for doing so.

Save all paperwork as evidence.

This answer does not constitute legal advice and you should contact an attorney to confirm or research further any statements made in this answer. Any statements of fact or law I have made in this answer pertain solely to New York State and should not be relied upon in any way in any other jurisdiction. Additionally, we also encourage you to reach out to us via Twitter (!/WhiteRoseMarks) or Facebook ( if you have follow up questions as we do not monitor questions after providing an initial answer.


In Georgia, a claimant (the person who files the claim for unemployment benefits) is eligible for unemployment insurance benefits if the claimant quit for good cause connected with the work itself (see O.C.G.A. 34-8-194(1) ). Usually, the claimant must also show he/she exhausted all available recourses prior to quitting. In a quit/resignation, the claimant bears the burden of proof to prove he/she quit for good work connected cause. In other words, you will have to be able to prove your employer requested for you engage in illegal conduct.

This answer is NOT intended to be used as legal advice. If you have a question or need assistance in a legal matter, please contact our office at: (678) 666-0655.

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