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Quit over offensive graffiti? He can get unemployment

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in Compensation and Benefits,Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Here’s another reason to act fast when an employee complains about offensive graffiti in the workplace: He can quit and collect unemployment compensation benefits.

Recent case: Irvin Cook, who is black, quit his job a month or so after a co-worker painted a Confederate flag on Cook’s locker and penciled in the word “Cotton” as Cook’s middle name on the locker name tag. Cook said he complained daily, but nothing was done.

When he applied for unemployment compensation benefits, his former employer said he had quit voluntarily.

The court disagreed. It said Cook was justified in quitting under the circumstances and awarded him the benefits. (Belle Tire Distributors v. Ohio De­­part­­ment of Job and Family Services, No. 97102, Court of Appeals of Ohio, 2012)

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