Unemployment Benifits Question

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Robert_eb, Jan 24, 2004.

  1. Robert_eb

    Robert_eb Supporting Actor

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    I had a friend who was recently dismissed from her job. She thinks, that because she was fired, that she's not entitled to unemployment benefits. I think she is entitled. Does anyone have a answer?
     
  2. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    It depends on the state. I know in Texas if you are fired for a reason then you do not get it. Your state's website will likely have the info.
     
  3. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Yep, depends on the state. If you are terminated with cause (that is, a violation of policy, etc.) then in many states, no.

    But, if you're fired and can show a lack of cause, then yes, you collect, and may be entitled to more....

    Her best bet is simple... she files; the state she is in will requester a reasoning from the company she was with, they have a set time period by which to protest her benefits. Their response must be received by the state and must state why, within guidelines, the employee was terminated with cause.
     
  4. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    In my state, being fired or laid off, is the ONLY way to get unemployment. I'm getting it now, from being laid off.
    She can probably file for it online, and not have to sit in the local office all day, waiting to be seen by someone. That's what I did......
     
  5. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Cinematographer

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    I always thought it was the other way around for everywhere. If you quit you don't get it, but if they fire you then yes.
     
  6. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Being laid off is not the same as being fired for cause. In most states you can't collect if you flat-out quit, and you can't collect if you get fired because you stole money from the till or gave your boss a black eye. The term of art in these cases is that you have to have lost your job "through no fault of your own".

    And exactly what that means can vary. I once worked for a struggling mom and pop company that missed payroll one Friday. On Monday we got paid and we got paid again on Friday. A month later they missed payroll again on Friday. This time we didn't get paid until the next Friday. So they owed us a week's pay, but the whole staff stuck with them because we were expecting a really big contract to come through with a huge company that had offices in the area. By the end of six months they owed most of the employees a total of four weeks' pay and most of the managers six to eight weeks. The contract was still pending and we couldn't afford to stick around anymore. We wanted to quit. One guy had a cousin who was a lawyer (no, his name wasn't Vinny.) Cuz told us that we were effectively fired the first time we didn't get a check and that we should immediately go to the unemployment office and file our claims.

    We did so, and we were all able to collect even though we theoretically "quit".

    Another time I was bed-ridden for five days with bronchitis - my only sick time in 8 months on a new job. I was under a doctor's care and his office had faxed a note to the owner of the store where I was working. (I'd been hospitalized with a very bad case of pneumonia a few years ago, and have to be real careful with respiratory infections.) The store manager had no trouble covering my shifts. Because I was working a combination of short evening shits and long weekend ones, I actually only ended up missing three shifts before my doctor gave me the green light to go back to work. I called the manager to tell her I would be in the next night (a Thursday) and my regular day shift Saturday and the sole (11 hour) shift on Sunday.

    A few minutes later the owner called back to say my services were no longer needed and that she'd have my final check ready for me when I came by to return the store keys. I filed for unemployment the next day. (On-line, this time, this having become an option in the intervening years.) I got a phone call from unemployment requesting more information, and they told me that they would be sending a letter to my former employer, allowing her to challenge my award.

    The owner was notorious for not keeping up with her mail. Anything that wasn't a check or an invoice would sit in her in box for months - sometimes invoices, too. Sure enough, when the letter came into the store it went into her in box and stayed there, ignored. (The manager noticed the letter when it came in and called to tell me - until she got fired, too.) Months later I got a phone call telling me that the owner was availing herself of her very last opportunity to appeal the decision, and that the unemployment department would be calling me at 9 AM that Friday for a conference call with my former boss at which time a mediator would hear both sides and render a decision. By this time I had exhausted my benefits and I was concerned that I might have to pay them back, even though I thought I had a very good case. But once again I was saved by my former boss's carelessness. She had apparently forgotten all about the conference call and was not at her home number where she had told unemployment that she would be. So after the mediator and I listened to her phone ring six or seven times and then her answering machine pick up, the mediator disconnected my boss's line and told me that the judgment went to me by default and that there could be no further appeals. [​IMG]

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  7. Travis Olson

    Travis Olson Supporting Actor

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    It's nice to hear a story like that Joe. Most companies fight UE benefits tooth and nail if they can.

    I know in my state you can get UE under pretty much any circumstance be it termination, voluntary quit(you have to have a good reason for that) or lay-off through lack of work.

    I'd tell your friend to file anyway, the worse that can happen is they'll deny it. In my state, if your claim is denied you then have to earn 8 times what your weekly benefit amount would be in order to draw it in the future. So if you would have gotten $300 a week in UE benefits you would have to earn $2400 before you would be able to draw again. Your state may be different.
     

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