Eight months after an employee leaves her job, she filed for unemployment compensation because she believed she had left work with good cause. She claimed she could no longer work for the company owner because he complained about her job performance on a daily basis. The asserted that these daily criticisms of her work were harassment, creating intolerable working conditions and justifying her leave of the job. Whether something is a supervisory criticism or harassment is fact sensitive. The employee claimed her supervisor complained daily, but the supervisor said he only complained after he checked her work, which was 2 to 3 times a week.  The employee claimed that the supervisor told her he did not respect her and yelled at her.  The supervisor denied this and added that he had been getting complaints from the customer; he was afraid he was going to lose his business.  The supervisor documented his formal warning and the verbal criticisms.  This documentation made the supervisor’s history more credible.  At no time, did the employee tell the supervisor she was so upset that she was thinking of leaving. Thus, the supervisor did not have a chance to address the employee’s viewpoint. Here, the examiner at the Unemployment Board found the comments to be criticism rather than harassment and determined that the former employee was not entitled to unemployment compensation and had to repay the unemployment benefits she had already received.

See Toth v. Board of Review, Department of Labor, App. Div 25-2-0680 (2013)

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