How To Win Your Massachusetts Unemployment Case

Because most employment terminations fall within the “at-will” employment rule, most people who are fired – even though “it’s not fair” – will not have grounds to bring a wrongful termination lawsuit against their former employer.  However, you can and should file for unemployment benefits with the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance.

(Most people refer to this state agency as “unemployment.”  In this post, I am going to call it “DUA.”)  You have a statutory right, under most circumstances, to collect unemployment benefits.  You may begin receiving benefits without appearing at a DUA office for a hearing, either because your former employer did not contest your application or because DUA decided you are entitled to benefits and your former employer did not challenge that decision.

What do you do, however, if you receive a notice that says your application for benefits was denied?  If your application is denied, do not assume that is the end of the line.  You have a right to challenge that decision.  Here is what you should do.

1.                  Immediately file an appeal.  There will be specific instructions in the denial letter as to how to file your appeal, but you must do this immediately.  The time within which you must file your appeal is very short.  Do not wait on this.  You will then receive in the mail a notice telling you where to appear for your hearing and when.  (You will receive this same notice if DUA initially decided in your favor and your former employer has appealed the decision.  Yes, they can do that.)

While you are waiting for your hearing notice, you need to start preparing for the hearing, so keep reading. . .

2.  Get a copy of your personnel file.  You are entitled – pursuant to M.G.L. c. 149, § 52C — to a copy.  Simply send a letter to your former employer requesting it.  Ask the employer to send a copy to your home address.

3.  Accept that this is not about what you think is “fair.”  “Fair” is about context, timing and perspective.  What you think is “fair” to you right now may feel “unfair” to your former employer.  The hearings examiner – the person at DUA who is deciding whether or not you get benefits — may have yet another idea of what is “fair.”  What I told my mother was “fair” twenty-five years ago is the opposite what I now tell my 9 year-old son about “fair.”  (Mom, stop laughing.)  You have to push beyond your gut reaction of “fairness” and focus on the specific issues that will be discussed at the hearing, so keep reading. . . .

4.  Pin down why your former employer is saying you are not entitled to benefits.  The denial letter and the notice of hearing will tell you the reasons why your application was denied (or why your former employer is appealing.)  The letter usually lists more than one reason, and the list usually contains one or more of the following three (yes, there are other reasons, but these are the ones that come up most of the time.)

i)  Your former employer says you quit without “good cause” that is either “attributable to” the employer or “urgent, compelling, and necessitous.”  This basically means you up and left your job without a reason (that is, “good cause”); and, not just any reason, but one for which your employer has some connection and/or responsibility (that is, “attributable to” your former employer) or, if not connected to the employer, then otherwise compelling enough that quitting wasn’t really voluntary after all.

If you were fired, then you must focus on proving that.  If you actually quit on your own, then you must present why you did and how that reason is connected to your employer or otherwise compelling enough that the hearings examiner will understand why you reasonably felt like quitting was the only option.  You have the burden of proof on this issue, meaning that if the hearings examiner could conclude either way based on the evidence presented at the hearing, the tie goes to the employer.

Examples of reasons for quitting that will likely qualify you for benefits include (1) sexual harassment in the workplace that the employer does not immediately or properly address, (2) losing overtime when overtime was previously guaranteed, (3) your reasonable belief that you are about to be fired, (4) a poor work environment (meaning, substandard sanitation, temperature, ventilation, or other like factors) especially if it creates a health issue, and (5) needing to relocate with a spouse or partner.

Examples of reasons for quitting that will likely not qualify include your belief that your raise was not high enough (although a substantial decrease in wages might qualify,) the fact that your commute is too long or that your employer did not approve your requested vacation time, and general stress and dissatisfaction with the job (so, don’t go to the hearing and say “my boss was a jerk” and expect to collect.)

ii)  Your former employer admits you were fired, but claims you engaged in “deliberate misconduct in willful disregard of the [employer’s] interests.”  This means that you intentionally did something knowing that it would hurt your employer’s business (which is usually different from an honest – or even stupid – mistake.)  Employers raise this issue all of the time when they don’t want a former employee to collect, but those employers – in my experience – rarely present the evidence necessary to disqualify employees from collecting.  On this issue — unlike (i) — the employer has the burden of proof, which means that if the hearings examiner could conclude either way based on the evidence presented, tie goes to the employee.

Examples of conduct that will disqualify an employee include (1) stealing from the employer (duh) – but not necessarily committing a crime unrelated to the employer (because, in the latter situation, there is likely no evidence of an intent to harm the employer) – (2) driving on the job while intoxicated, (3) leaving work early without permission when the employee knew permission was required, (4) defying an employer’s reasonable and work-related requests (e.g., an employee refusing to take out his headphones so he can hear co-workers), (4) deliberate and repeated tardiness under circumstances where the employee obviously makes no effort to get to work on time.

iii)  Your former employer admits you were fired, but claims it fired you because you because you committed “a knowing violation of a reasonable and uniformly enforced rule or policy of the employer.”  The employer has the burden of proof on this issue also, and the terms “knowing” and “uniformly enforced” are the most important ones to focus on.  “Knowing” means the employee knew about the policy, knew that his conduct would violate that policy and acted in a calculated fashion.  (This is different from, say, inadvertently swearing in violation of a policy against profanity because the employee reacted to a co-employee’s insult.)  The employee’s state of mind is the critical issue here.

“Uniformly enforced” means that all employees who violated the policy were similarly disciplined, and also necessarily requires that the policy contain clear definitions.  For instance, a policy prohibiting excessive absences without defining what is “excessive” — or one that excuses certain employees or circumstances on an ad hoc basis – is likely not a “uniformly enforced” policy.

5.  Then, gather your evidence as to why the above reasons for disqualifying you are not correct.  This is easier than you think.  The evidence will generally come in three forms: documents, witnesses and electronic information.  Most of the documents you need will be included in that personnel file that you obtained.

For instance, if the dispute is about (i), above, is there a form in your personnel file that says when you were fired (or just the fact that you were fired) and why?  If your employer claims that you engaged in “deliberate misconduct” – (ii) above — is there something in the personnel file that contradicts the allegation that you engaged in “misconduct?”  Is there any evidence in your personnel file that the employer was impacted by your actions, or that you disrupted the employer’s normal business operations?

If the employer claims that you were fired for violating a “policy” – (iii) above — does the personnel file include a contradictory statement?  Does your former employer even have such a written policy?  How was it enforced?  Are you the only person who was terminated for violating this policy?

Don’t stop with paper.  Social media – and other electronically stored information (emails, text messages, et cetera) — may help you.  (And, while we are on the subject, it can also hurt you — be veeerrrry careful about what you post.)  Did your boss post something on his/her Facebook page about firing you?  Did you receive a text or email from a colleague or from your supervisor that might help?  Transfer it to a printable form and bring it with you to the hearing.  Actually, bring three copies of every document that you want to show to the hearings examiner (one each for you, your employer and the hearings examiner.)

Think about possible witnesses.  (I constantly hear people saying that if it is not written down or recorded, then they “can’t prove it” – NOT true.)  Evidence does not exist on paper or video alone.  For instance, if a person witnessed you getting fired (not quitting) or has a helpful perspective on your alleged “deliberate misconduct” or the reasons why you felt you had to quit, you can ask that person to voluntarily come to the hearing with you.  If necessary, you can also subpoena that person to the hearing.  The Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries are an excellent source on how to do this.   Also remember that you are one of your own witnesses.  Your testimony will be heard at your hearing.  Prepare what you want to say based on the above issues (again, not based on what you think is “fair.”)

6.  On the day of the hearing, show up at least 15 minutes early to review your file.  Your file will be pulled in preparation for the hearing.  You are entitled to review it before your hearing begins and you should, particularly to see if the employer has provided any documents or information that you need to be aware of.

7.  During the hearing, be respectful and succinct.  This issue is important to you and your family – probably the most important thing you are doing right now – so it is legitimate to expect others to act like they are invested and not rush through your hearing.  The reality is DUA is a pretty overburdened agency and it is not the hearings examiner’s job to be nice to you.  At the same time, you are entitled to a reasonable opportunity the present the evidence in support of your request for benefits.  So, be polite — show that you want to be respectful of the hearings examiner’s time – but firm – “Mr. Hearings Examiner, I appreciate that your time is limited, but I would ask you to allow me to present this additional witness, document, etc. – I believe it is important to my case and will only take another few minutes.”  If you are prepared to focus on the issues, have your documents copied and ready to go, and stick to presenting the objective and relevant facts, then your preparation will be appreciated and, hopefully, rewarded.

I represent individuals and businesses in a variety of employment matters, including claims for unemployment benefits, cases involving violations of wage and hour laws, gender, disability and other forms of discrimination, failure to accommodate and retaliation claims.  If you have a question about this blog post or any other employment-related issue, feel free to email me directly to discuss your matter further.

Thanks for reading.

108 thoughts on “How To Win Your Massachusetts Unemployment Case

  1. I was fired for being pregnant . Now I’m starting the appeal process . My former empolyer is giving conflicting statments .

    1. Thanks for your comment, Wendy. You should feel free to contact me at the office if you have questions about your situation. I do hope the article was helpful and that things work out for you. Regards, Janie

  2. I really needed this info., im stuck in the appeal process. My former co-worker reported false information which csused me to be terminatesd. She is friends with the supervisors niece who both work at the site and who I have had issues with in the past. However no one from the site is willing to assist me due to personal relationships with my former boss outside the job. and the fact they fear retailation themsevles. I have nothing to prove my innocents cause they also threw my personal info in the trash prior to me being terminated. I need help please

  3. Got discharged for excessive disruption to the workforce
    The witness have no statements and refused to make incident repory so its my honest satement and here say she say incident report. Can I still qualify for unemployment I’m in CA.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I cannot advise you regarding unemployment laws in California, as my practice is in Massachusetts. I would suggest that you contact an attorney in California. I hope the article at least provided some general guidance that will be helpful to you. Best of luck. Regards, Janie

  4. hi janie i was fired from my job because i was cleaning in an area where i have been doing so for all six years of my employment and the gm tried to say i was in an un authorized area.before that i told him i was uncomfortable about the drug use going on at the job he didn’t investigate it and the next thing i know i’m fired a week later do you have any suggestions for me?

    1. James:

      You should follow the steps in this article for your unemployment hearing. Feel free to contact me at the office if you have specific questions about your termination from employment. Thanks for your comment.

      Regards,

      Janie

  5. one more question.if i apply for my benefits and the two week waiting period comes for me to call and answer the questions from unemployment to get the ball rolling on my benefits and i still havent received a letter telling me that i’m denied can my ex employer still challenge it after that two week period or even after i start receiving benefits?

    1. That is really a more specific question than I can answer here. I suggest you call the office where you submitted your application. Best of luck. Regards, Janie

    1. David:

      To a degree, the answer depends on who appealed the initial ruling from the Department (that is, the employee or employer.) In any event, I would expect the hearings examiner to gather information from you and/or any other witnesses that do appear and evaluate the case based on the disputed issues.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Regards,

      Janie

  6. Thank you for the information. I worked for a barge company and was injured off-duty. I had to have surgery this summer and was never medically cleared by my physician. My former company instructed me not to take FMLA but put me down on leave of absence. While recovering, I went to all of my follow-up appointments and informed my former of employer on my medical status. Their policy is that an employee must be cleared by the employee’s physician followed by the complany physician. I never made it to the company’s physician as I was never medically cleared by my physicial but was referred to another physician for a second opinion. I recently received a letter of termination with no documentation as to why I was being terminated. I stayed in contact with my former emplyer/HR, followed the company policy, and expressed the ability and willingness to continue my employment. My former employer instructed me to continue to seek medical attention. I am applying for unemployment benefits….do you have any advice for my situation? It would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

    1. Jake:

      I may be able to provide additional advice, but should do so in a more confidential setting. My practice is in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. If you worked in either one of those states, feel free to contact me at the office. 978/534-9771. Otherwise, you should contact an attorney in your state.

      Thanks for reading the blog.

      Regards,

      Janie

  7. My employer contested my unemployment claim so I filed an appeal.(Florida) A telephone hearing was scheduled and my employer failed to report. I was informed by the referee my employer was not required to attend. The advantage being they could not dispute my testimony. On my notification letter it stated “failure to appear may result in an unfavorable decision”. Now what that tells me (correct me if I am wrong)is I too, am also not required to attend the appeal but there are consequences by not attending such as an unfavorable decision. Is my former employer held to the same standard? I would imagine if this is “how it works” then more than likely (I realize there are no guarantees until I obtain an actual decision)I stand a very good chance I will obtain a favorable decision

    1. Dave:

      I cannot comment on the specifics of your claim in Florida, particularly in this setting. I would suggest that you contact an attorney in Florida that handles these types of matters. Best of luck.

      Regards,

      Janie

    2. My employer has suspended my on an indefinite basis pending further investigation.They originally were going to terminate my employment,but when I told them I was seeking counsel they suspended me I have since filed for unemployment and am waiting to see if I will need to appeal the case.I work in the Hospitality industry and their contention is that Front Office Manager issued me a key to an out of order room and with that key I went into the room and watched TV because it looked as if someone sat on the bed and the chair was pulled out.There were no record of the Front Office manager issuing me a key nor any witnesses that saw me go into the room the room.I had my own Master that was issued to me and would not go to these links of triviality just to watch TV.I do have a write up for a similar incident in which I used my master key not even imagining that this was such a catastrophic offense.

  8. Helpful blog, ty, I was fired after 21 years of employment. I was told a surveillance video showed me purposely throwing away an active work order and I did not throw out an active work order. I was never giving a chance to see the video but I know the video actually show me throwing away some old research and development paperwork which was no longer needed. If my former employer contests my dua benefits will they have to show the video at the hearing? And if they do show the video, can that prove that was the active work order, when in fact it was not? This was a great private company to work at for 17 years, then they sold to a global corporation and has been spiraling down hill ever since. I survived 6 layoffs in 4 year. Now these false accusations and I get fired for nothing and got nothing, fired over the phone. I’m still in shock.

    1. Keith:

      I am glad the article was helpful. The blog is intended to provide general information and is not the appropriate setting to discuss your specific questions. You should feel free to contact me directly if you wish to discuss your specific situation further.

      Regards,

      Janie

  9. Hi Janie,

    Thank you for all of this information. I am in MA & have been denied benefits after being terminated for “Misconduct”. In my case, my boss went the HR to find out how to discipline me for “knowingly” violating a business policy. My boss asked me to explain myself to which I did. I told him I was sorry for putting him & myself in a position that I was unaware of. HR advised him to terminate me based on my admission of wrongdoing. I worked with him 13 years. I was apologizing for the situation…not the act. It was not intentional.

    I appealed and my hearing is coming up soon. All I have is the letter from my ex-employer stating exactly what I just wrote here & the details of the violation. I have no witnesses willing to jeopardize their own jobs as they believe my termination was a bit suspicious. So I’m on my own. Disapproving their reasons for termination doesn’t seem that easy. Or would they need to show proof of me admitting to guilt? That is what I gathered from your information.

    1. Jae:

      It does sound as though you have correctly interpreted the information in the article, but the blog is intended to provide general information and is not the appropriate setting to give you specific advice about your situation (particularly because it is not confidentiality.) You should feel free to contact me directly at the office if you have specific questions.

      Regards,

      Janie

  10. My wife was fired last week during her six month review. She took a position as a licensed insurance agent about six months ago at a small rural agency. Because they were overburderdened with work they threw her into the position without training even after she had honestly told them that she had no experience with processing payments, only with the underwriting aspects of her job. She is an immigrant from the Ukraine, and speaks with a pleasant accent, sometimes confusing a word with another word which sounds close, but she communicates effectively and has help positions with three other agencies over the past six years. The owner has made comments about her accent in the past and has been treating her very disrespectfully over the past month to six weeks, we believe it was in an effort to get her to quit. When she was fired the owner made it clear that she did not fit in at the agency, and stated that customers didn’t like dealing with her because she is a foreigner, they don’t like hispanics and she sounds hispanic, and she makes them feel as if they are dealing with someone who doesn’t understand them in another country (the word “outsourced” was used). Just before they announced they were firing her they presented her with a list of about six mistakes she had made during her time working there, and asked her to sign it acknowledging her errors. It is clear now that they intend to use that list to rebuff her unemployment claim. What they didn’t know is that she has been treated so poorly she had a tape recorder with her during the review, and has all of the comments about her ethnicity and language on tape. Is this sufficient to collect unemployment? Given the employers admission that this was done primarily because of her accent and ethnicity, is it your opinion that there is enough to pursue a discrimination claim, or would it be a waste of our resources?

    1. Jeff:

      You should immediately contact an attorney about your wife’s situation and discuss these issues in a confidential setting. My practice is in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and I welcome your phone call at the office to discuss this further (978/534-9771). If your wife was employed in another state, you should contact an attorney in that state that handles plaintiff/employee-side wrongful termination matters.

      Thanks for reading the blog.

      Regards,

      Janie

  11. Thanks for the info. I was denied ui temp service quite with good cause which is a lie, I actually was let go due to making a honest mistake and messed up the exp date on a product. Working there I fount out that the company let go of 45 people in one year having the same job as me. The temp agency is one site at the company and i caught the mistake before the end of the batch. This was the first and only mistake I made in three months, I was just about to get hired on in my mind. I knew with there track record that I was going to be let go. I didn’t receive anything in written about what happened. They said I didn’t keep in touch with them but they only have one other job and there not hiring and it’s a 1 hr 1/2 away. Sorry so long, what are my chances of winning? Please help I have a couple of day to appeal or not.

  12. I was terminated because they needed someone with more experience for the position. My separation notice indicated unsatisfactory job performance. I filed for and received unemployment after an examiner stated they received the same information from the employer that they needed someone with more experience. Now they are appealing the decision and are now stating I was terminated for misconduct after being given a 30 day notice. Neither is true. They have hired a company who handles unemployment claims whose website states they will do everything they can to prevent paying claims. Is it possible for them to be able to change their information at this point to prevent me from receiving unemployment compensation?

  13. Hello…I was fired for not wearing work boots..I had them in my car but they were wet due to heavy snow the day before..can I win appeal?

  14. Very helpful bog and thank you so much! I was fired due to being on medical leave and my nursing license lapsing. Though I applied for them to be reinstated a month before my return to work they fired me because the board of nursing didn’t have them active in time. They said I didn’t follow company policy, even though I was on a bed rest medical leave and did everything I could to reinstate my license in time. My UI claim was denied here in GA and I am going to appeal, any advice? Thank you in advance.

    1. Thanks to all for the great comments and questions. You are entitled to confidentiality, so your questions should be directed to an attorney in a confidential setting.

      Thanks for reading.

      Regards,

      Janie

  15. MY employer fired me after my maternity leave because I was unable to return to work at the date I was supposed to due to car issues. I had already informed my employer ahead of time of my situation. They sent me a termination letter before the date I was supposed to return back to work and when I applied for unemployment I was denied. So I appealed. I then lost that even though my employer didn’t show up to the hearing. When I got the letter saying why I was denied benefits after the hearing it stated because I didn’t ask family for a ride, rent a car or get on public transportation. I have no family in the city I live now, had no money to rent a car, and public transportation was discontinued to my place of work. I tried everything. So I appealed that decision. What can I do to win this case, or is this a lost cause?

    Fyi. There is NOWAY I would quit my job after having a baby. I needed the money!!! Who does that!?

  16. I live in California, will it be the same? I requested and informed employer I was available on weekends and now all of a sudden they say they have no hours, I have a paper that states they don’t have hours but told unemployment that I quit, will the paper help me out?!

  17. I have received a lot of great comments recently in response to this post. Many of those comments specify the state in which the writer was/is employed. The blog is intended to provide general information, and is not a confidential setting in which I can provide legal advice specific to individual circumstances. Many of you should speak to an employment attorney immediately, however.

    My practice is in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and I would be happy to speak with you if you were employed in either one of those states. Otherwise, contact an employment attorney in your state right away. Here is my contact information. http://jlvlaw.com/contact.html

    Thank you again for reading the blog.

    Regards,

    Janie

  18. Dear Janie,

    My husband was transferred from MA to CA. I was denied unemployment because I “chose” to follow my spouse (and children). (I guess laws recently changed regarding this?) I was a 4th grade teacher in MA. I initially gave one year notice, than after a few weeks and following the suggestions of my principal, requested a leave of absence as a “just in case” situation. I was granted the leave and left in good standing. I was flabbergasted when I was denied benefits, thinking moving with spouse qualified me to benefits by being “urgent, compelling, and necessitous” reasons?
    I filed my appeal on advice from the unemployment office that I was on a leave but worry I am muddying the waters.

    Question 1) Is this reasoning enough: “I left my job, after requesting a leave, in order to establish my family in CA. Subsequently it has become evident that I am urgently needed by my children to help with basic care, supervision, and daily parenting. Therefore I am compelled to leave my job as parenting 3,000 miles away is impossible. I didn’t want to, but it was necessary to leave my job. I just sold my house, this is a permanent move.”

    Question 2: Will my leave of absence disqualify me?

    Question 3: Do I need more evidence that my leaving was “urgent, compelling, and necessitous.”

    My phone appeal is on Oct 3. I must be re licensed and have many hoops to jump through to teach in CA. I NEED my unemployment.

    Thank you in advance for your help.

    Best regards,

    Suzanne

  19. I quit my job on Aug 13, 2014 and filed for unemployment that same day. Reasons I quit was that I enough from the workplace but that day in the morning a myself and coworker were getting blamed also for a vaccine that she gave wrong to a little kid. She did not want to tell the doctor but after was forced. The manger and that employee are very good friends in which the manager stated it was everyone’s fault because she was pressured. Myself and coworker couldn’t believe what was going on. Other things played a factor of in which we were forced to do doctors work, write medication under doctors name, forced to do papers for state when a patient is unable to work. We had to do it put diagnosis and doctor would only sign it. I told the manager it is against the law we are only medical assistants. She said we had to do it period owners decision. Sexual harassment from an employee told manger laughed it off. It stopped after awhile but the employee stopped talking to me which created a really bad environment. That employee confronted me regarding my sexual orientation months ago. The manager while back had mention people that are gay have problems and don’t be know what they want. I do believe that employee told the manager because after shortly the manager did treat me different. Before that incident I was written up by manager but was told it was the the main manager that told her because I didn’t finish a job I volunteered to do on my free time and then the clinic got busy so I couldn’t finish it. The main manager refused to talk to me and told the manager if I went to talk to her I would get fired. So many things played a factor and I was at this job for over 6 years. I have a hearing to appeal in October 8. I have people that can verify my story like 4 people. Do to work schedule all of them can’t attent. Can I get them on phone or judge can call them if I give them their number. I’m in California.

    1. Vanessa:

      The blog is intended to provide general information only. Unfortunately, I cannot advise you on a specific matter in California, as my practice is in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. I suggest that you contact an attorney in California.

      Thanks for reading.

      Regards,

      Janie

      1. My wife was fired from her job because of a past dui, it had happened almost 4 years ago and in that time she has had her license back a year and a half. She drove for her old employer and it was no issue. She had put her 2 week notice in and finished that out and than started working for the new company, her boss informed her 3 weeks after the fact that he had to fire her because of the past dui. He had asked if her license was clean which it bow is but never asked about the driving history. Also he had over a month to figure that out and also he never had her fill out an application it was just a verbal interview and she was hired. She had her interview 2 days ago and her ex boss all but put his foot in his mouth plenty of times and yet my wife was still denied unemployment. She plans on appealing but what are the chances of winning her case?

      2. My husband was fired via a text message his former employee told him your fired for no call no show, at the time of this message his supervisor was at our home and had already told my husband to work the grave shift can he get unemployment? And also his former employer contacted him after he filed his unemployment saying threatening things via an E-Mail can they do this?

  20. On July 27, 2014 I asked my supervisor for a vacation so I could get my need check out because of continuous swelling. I took a vacation on August 6 and returned on August 13. I worked the entire day and at the end of the day my supervisor asked me for a doctor’s excuse. The next morning I went to my doctor for an excuse so he examined my knee and gave my another week off because of swelling again. Before I returned to worked they sent a letter saying I quit my job. I have an excuse to return to work on the 18. I was denied unemployment and I have an appeal hearing on Wednesday. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

  21. I got fired because they said I didn’t fellow recipie for cooking I work with them for12years they request hearing for my unemployment

  22. I loved this blog post. It gave me comfort while reading it. Just wanted to take the time to thank you. I live in Ohio and even forwarded it to the Attorney handling my unemployment issue.

  23. I have received some more inquiries this week about this post. The blog is not the appropriate place for me to provide legal advice about your specific cases, particularly because it is not confidential. For those of you employed in Massachusetts, feel free to contact me directly with your specific questions. http://jlvlaw.com/contact.html Otherwise, you should contact an attorney in your state that handles unemployment hearings. I hope the post was helpful, and thanks for reading.

    Regards,

    Janie

  24. I would to start off by saying thank ypu for this blog. I found some usefull information and also found a little comfort in giving me a little more insight into the process.

    I was just fired from my job as a resturant manager after 6 years of loyal service. I was in the parking lot on my way in when my boss confronted me in the parking lot and let me go there without a witness. His reasons were for poor performance (havent had a review, warning or prior counsling in 11 months. He also said because of a relationship with an employee when there is no proof of this and those acusations were from almost 2 years ago. Finally for missing a meeting that was not mandatory. I spoke with my boss about missing the meeting and he said “it was no big deal”
    Can something from so long ago be held against me, even if it never happended?
    Also when I was let go I was only given my last check (minus a week vacation), no termination papers or unemployment paperwork. What type of information should have been given?
    I am in the state MA.

    1. Matt:

      Thank you for your comment. While I cannot give you confidential legal advice about your specific case on the blog, I can tell you that employers are generally required to provide separating employees with information about applying for unemployment benefits. You should go to http://www.mass.gov. There, you will find a link on the left side of the home page that will allow you to apply for benefits online. You should then go to the Attorney General’s Wages and Hour Division webpage (also within mass.gov) for information about the wages you were entitled to upon separation.

      I hope this is helpful and wish you the best of luck.

      Regards,

      Janie

  25. I was terminated after2days coming back from 10 day vacation when I came back on Sun Mar arrived in store that was not working that evening thirty minutes before end of shift and asks where we’re you at on thur I said still on vacation. I called talked to be manager two days before when to go back to make sure what day was to be back by manager looked on cpu and said your due back on Sun. She admittingly said she looked at future schedule not current week schedule, was fired for no call no show for thursday and they say should’ve looked online at schedule but was I was not able to just called as soon as I thought company’s cup system not consistently run well that’s why I called to speak to a human,u can’t talk to a cup. Any suggests….hearing in a week on phonee

    1. Timothy:

      The blog is intended to provide general information, so I cannot provide specific legal advice here. I do hope the article was helpful, however.

      Regards,

      Janie

  26. I was fired..he did it thru a text msg..I filed and did not he unemployment.. I appealed ..my question is that it says I was fired for willful misconduct ..and that I was telling other employees what to do…and he hired this lady off street to be new supervisor .Now I was not happy that I was over looked for position and told boss so..he asked if it was going to affect me reporting to work..I said absolutely not..he texted and fired me the following day….How can I be denied UC benefits for this?

  27. I was fired for attendance. My car was totaled and I had no way to work for three days. I asked everyone. Posted many Facebook post seeing if I could get a ride. No luck. One of my write ups was leaving an hour early without permission. I had numerous co workers that did this nightly with no write ups. I have them even saying so in Facebook post discussing it. Is there anything I can do to use any of this in my appeal case or is it a mute point? I live in Texas by the way.

  28. I continue to receive a lot of great comments to this post, and I have spoken directly with some of you about your questions. Remember that the blog is intended to provide general information. You should obtain specific legal advice about your case in a confidential setting. For those of you in Massachusetts or New Hampshire, feel free to contact me directly by calling the office at 978/534-9771, or emailing me directly at jvowles@jlvlaw.com.

    Thanks again for reading the blog.

    Regards,

    Janie

  29. I have a similar issue as the lady who relocated with her spouse from mass to CA. I’m curious as to the outcome. I too have filed an appeal. Any help would be appreciated.
    My husband lost his job due to his plant closing. His company offered him a job 14 hrs a way and we took it as he makes more money than me. I had to quit my job as we have a newborn and staying behind wasn’t an option. My job wouldn’t allow me to work remotely. Is there any thing that will help my case. They’re saying relocating in and of itself is a voluntary quit. Thanks!

  30. Hello, I left my job because my hours were cut from over 40 to 4 hrs and I contacted DOL. This was after I asked for a lunch break one week since business was slow and my boss decided that he didn’t need me as much since he could be in the office more (he was also a police officer but had decided to work his schedule in to my job) and figured I could work with this new schedule which would cut my hours from 40 to 15..however it went from 40 to 4 for 2 weeks so I called unemployment and it set the ball rolling where he got angry and then started fighting the unemployment. I received it for 2 weeks then it was denied, a court notice was sent to me and then I received a denial again and now I am told I have to pay the money back that was given to me and I received all sorts of notices stating different reasons why I AM AT FAULT as if I was the one who lied and gave faulty info to DOL…I would agree that maybe half of the money would go back since he (employer) did contact DOL and find out that if he offered me my job back that he did not have to pay – which is what he did, and at the time I had another offer (part time) so I continued to collect (as per what I was told to do) however, I should not have to pay all the money back PLUS A PENALTY for filing a false claim..PLEASE HELP.should I request a hearing or should I make a payment arrangement..I do not feel that I am wrong in this case but I am so stressed out with all of this and it is causing me a lot of problems.

  31. I was fired 2014Sept. They said I ‘intended to engage in behavior that would result in a disagree with the “Last Chance Agreement” I was forced to sign in order to go back to work after a suspension.
    The company has two termination dates and I was denied Unemployment for ‘Gross Misconduct’
    I have an appeal hearing… any advise?

  32. Wow, Janie.
    This is very helpful information. I just received my denial letter today. My employer reported I quit, when in fact I was forced on unpaid leave then terminated shortly thereafter. I’m a Registered Nurse and accepted a job offer to move from Louisiana to Texas back in July. My temporary nursing license expired November 2014 and I was forced by my employer citing I could not work without a valid state license to take unpaid leave while I wait for my permanent license to be issued by the state of Texas. Well fast forward to January 2015, my employer issues me a termination stating they can no longer hold my position while I am waiting on my license. I filed for unemployment and the employer claims I quit. I’m appealing this ASAP. I just received notice from Texas Board of Nursing that I should have my permanent license in as little as two weeks which means I should be back working soon. I’m still filing anyway because this is bull crap. I quit? Really? The Director told me I can still re-apply for the position. But not after this ill treatment. I’ll look for a job somewhere else. You only have to burn me once.

  33. I continue to receive a lot of comments and questions to this post. I have personally spoken to some of you, particularly those in Massachusetts or New Hampshire. You are all entitled to have your legitimate questions answered in a confidential setting, so you should contact me directly by calling the office (978-534-9771) or offline via email (jvowles@jlvlaw.com) IF you are/were employed in MASSACHUSETTS or NEW HAMPSHIRE. Otherwise, you should immediately contact an attorney in that state that handles employment matters.

    Thanks again for reading the blog.

    Regards,

    Janie

  34. I was fired on January 30, 2015 for two company policy violations. Just a little background on myself with this company. I worked with this company for 4 1/2 years as Shop Manager and had no write ups or verbal disciplinary actions before these incidents. The only person over me was branch manager who just became new BM December 9, 2014. We had disagreements from the get go and I told him my complaints on how he was wanting me to run the place(BAD IDEA). I was terminated for stealing and harassment. I’ll start with the harassment first…I’ve worked with this lady over 10 years at another company and with this one. We both engaged in vulgar language at different times throughout our time around each other. For some reason this time she commented to new BM weeks before I was let go that she felt uncomfortable with my talk…I have BM on tape telling me he knew for weeks that she was uncomfortable but never spoke with me about it…I would have corrected by language. The theft was old pipe that was cut from storage racks that were to tall. I didn’t ask if I could have the pipe and took it on Christmas break. I’m salary and have key to place. The pipe had been there for 7 years and hadn’t been touched and wasn’t part of inventory. When I first started with this company I brought my welding machine and metals from my house to use to help with making stands and racks at no cost to company and also repaired equipment that would brake down. My welding machine was stolen from there and I wasn’t reimbursed “which is fine” but my point being is that I treated the place like it was my own business and would do nothing to hurt it. I didn’t think taking the pipe was an issue or I would have asked. I even told my loader I took the pipe at Christmas and that is when I got a text that night asking me about it…I told my BM I got it at Christmas and he said he would talk with me the next day. The next day he let me go for theft(even though on recording he told me he wouldn’t put it in termination paperwork) and creating a hostile work environment or harassment. The Texas Workforce said I wouldn’t be able to receive benefits because of the theft. A guy called me 3/2/15 from Texas Workforce and asked me about the pipe but not about the harassment. He was very rude and didn’t seem like he was staying neutral but I thought he was from my previous company the way he talked to me. I stated I didn’t have permission but told him I did tell my BM about pipe when he asked me and that my previous BM didn’t have issues with me and the guys taking things that weren’t part of inventory and wasn’t something that would cost the company money to replace. I had one of my employees ask if he could buy some barrels from company that I purchased from vendor and I told him we needed to talk with BM and the BM just gave them to him. My point is I never accepted money from the guys and always made them get with BM. I never would hurt company on purpose by stealing. I definitely made a bad decision by not asking BM. Is there anyway I would be able to appeal the Texas Workforce decision not to pay me benefits even though the circumstances look so bleak?

    1. Brandon:

      The blog is intended to provide general information only. You should contact an attorney in Texas regarding your situation. Best of luck, and thanks for reading.

      Regards,

      Janie

  35. Hi,

    My husband quit his job in MA to follow me and our child to Puerto Rico. My mother offered me to live rent free in her house if I would take care of my older grandmother (86) and I gave my husband this ultimatum because I was unhappy with his profession and scared of the toxins he was exposed to that could jeopardized his health and that of our household.

    He did not want to quit, but I forced him. We sold our house in MA and moved to Puerto Rico. There was no way he could request a leave of absence because I know my move would be at least a five year stay in Puerto Rico.

    He applied for unemployment benefits and was denied that his reason was not a good cause and that he did not try to preserve employee relations by requesting the leave of absence.

    The leave of absence will have not solve the issue, since he would not return within the six month period granted. Furthermore, he could not get job transfer as his job is only with the state of MA.

    I was hoping you can provide some guidance on what we can do to win the appeal.

    My husband is currently looking for work and has applied for training out of pocket to get more working skills so he can find employment.

    Please help!

    Maria

  36. I was fired for not logging into work phone and i did log in but when gps went out it would knock me off and it wouldn’t let me lig back in.I did notify a boss andvhe would have to reset it so after a while of this i just didn’t bother to keep calling him and one of my other boss told me don’t worry about it and he would take care if it.I then get a message from my boss i dealt with that thwy had to let me go and i was never written up for this and was only told on a text message to start logging into phone again.Can i win this appeal

  37. I was fired for helping a customer with no knowledge of what I was doing was wrong, I was only doing it for the companies best interest and even got a supervisors approval with a key flick on the register. She got a container from the salad bar and thought it was going to be cheap but came out to 28 dollars.. She only had 20 and from what I seen is some people throw away the food to get more and I figured I would do the company a solid and lower the price for her to take the whole 2o, register locked on me so I need a supervisor to process the transaction. She asked me the problem and I told her straight up if it was ok and if not its her choice to void transaction or ok it.. She chose ok and two days later I get suspended and then fired over the phone when I called because I was on a final written due to something totally different and felt if the supervisor knew it was wrong why didn’t she cancel it??? It wasn’t in my hands anymor

  38. I was terminated from my job in February,I transported adults with celbral pulsy.I picked up and secured 4 wheel chairs and dropped them off at there program safe and on time.The dispatcher called me telling that a driver would meet me at house and take to get a random urine.When I arrived at the clinic I was givin a breathalyzer test and a urine,I failed the breath test.I didn’t drink alcohol that day but I had a couple the night before.I didn’t have no trouble with law and everyone got to there program safe and on time,so can I win my appeal?

  39. I was terminated for misconduct and falsification of time a manager on a diffrent floor ask me picking up time on my days off but I did not have access to the kronos time clock and manually put my time in on the computer. when her manager found out she denied her actions which lead to me being fired i dispute these actions to her manager.He had her wrote a written statement saying she had not seen me in months and that was not the case. she claims she knew nothing of me picking up these days but i have 2 other witnesses who were doing the same thing at her request. The job we were doing required no documention in our over all system so the company cant verify i was even there, I have a text message and email also stating my co workers seen me there and there was lunch sheet documention and staffing sheet doc. That verifies my time there in the system there is no documentation of me being there for those days but I sign lunch sheets I also signed sheet saying that I was there for the day my employer all of a sudden has no reclection about these papers all of a sudden. They are going off of the two statements given by the manager and co worker. Also kronos documention. Which i had no acess to in that dept. Along with computer documention which you dont use unless requested by the nurse.

  40. Hi,
    I was fired from a job i wked 9yrs via voice mail, reason for termination was b/c a co-worker, shared MY PERSONAL AND PRIVATE TEXTS, FROM PERSONAL PHONES- venting about how unhappy i was with the way my employer was treating me-
    I filed for UI and was denyed benefits, because my employer didnt like what i had texted in private – he then made up a bunch of other reasons (post termination) as to why i was fired-
    I have the voice mail from him,, which clearly states he fired me over texts he read from another employee-
    I was never written up, never had job preformance issues or reviews for that matter,
    His Voice mail clearly stated i was fired because of how i felt over the way i was being treated, and because i was less then kind when venting via personal, private text messaging-
    9yrs of loyal employment, down the drain because my boss didnt like what i had to say -in my private texts-
    Is this legal grounds for termination ?
    I did my job and did it well,,never had a issue other then being passed over for more hours-
    I was never repremanded, never warned, never signed anything-
    Yet i was fired and denied UI benefits based on this issue alone-

    Does anyone have any suggestions on what my next step should be?
    Im a single mom and totally freaking out about how im gonna be able t o provied for my child-

    Thanks,
    Kyra

  41. I quit my job after just over 3 yrs bc I missed some time due to my kids getting sick over a couple month period and I called my GM to say that I was aware of the time I missed and to apologize. She replied by saying if I missed one more day I would be fired. This upset me bc before that I rarely missed time. On my last day she came to me just to say how horrible of a job I was doing and was pretty rude about it so the next day I quit. My question is am I eligible to file for unemployment or not due to quiting?

  42. My employer said my termination was due to not gross misconduct but was because they could not accommodate my disability. I live in NC but the company is located in Mass (only building in USA). The company would fly me up to Mass on Monday and I would Fly home on Friday. They paid my UI in North Carolina and report my wages to North Carolina. I filed a clam with Mass because I physically worked in Mass and have proof from flight records. I was denied because my employer said I had a home based office in NC. Which is not true. I filed and appeal and am waiting a hearing date. I found out today that they did not pay worker compansation insurance on me in NC. If I was a “home based” employee which I was not they would of had to have that. With the proof that I performed my work at the office in Mass and the proof they did not pay Workers compensation in NC on me, is this enough proof they are wrong

  43. i was fired and the employer appealed it. I did not receive a hearing notice. I had no clue he even appealed it until I got a phone call from the judge on three way with my employer. I had no time to send the judge my evidence or and paperwork or witnesses on my behalf. They took away my unemployment now and making me pay back what they already gave me which is $ 1,410.00. Is this fair that I didn’t get a notice of the hearing?

  44. i am in the middle of an appeal process as far as i have had to appeal the first phone hearing because my shift had changed and I was unable to call in. Now I am a week from my newly scheduled hearing and i am worried that i wont win. When i was initially pulled in, from my vacation mind you, i was told that I would be discussing my severance package options or a new position within the company. When i got there i was bombarded by allegations of misconduct, including taking my personal belongings home with me when i went on my planned vacation. I usually did this because my belongings would sometimes come up missing and/or broken. Also i was asked about being rude to a physician when she dropped off a “room draw” lab order on my desk, i was with a patient at the time and nodded my head in recognition of her request. I was drawing blood from his hand and didnt want to take my eyes off this, apparently she wanted more attention than i could give her at the time, so this was brought up as well. also the week before I was to leave for vacation my supervisor, the same one i met with in the HR meeting came to the office i worked at and proceeded to tell me that that physicians office was terminating the contract with our company and going to a local hospital. I was concerned about my job, but also happy, because i knew that this office was barely making it as a stand alone office, i relayed these feelings to her. Of course it made sense that they would go to the big hospital where one of their own physicians had just made chief of staff, it was only politically correct. So that week before i left i packed up extra supplies that werent needed immediately and packed up my personal belongings that I had purchased for use in the office. Long story short, i was called the last day of my vacation and told by the HR rep that I was no longer needed. I was not given an explanation for my dismissal, i never participated in an exit interview and i didnt receive paperwork in the mail of any kind regarding the dismissal. so now that the hearing is finally coming around, i really have no clue what exactly i am defending myself against, i plan to request my personnel file thanks to your information, but aside from that i dont have a clue other than what i presented to you today as far as allegations and such.

    1. The hearing is regarding being accused of giving false information to get my benefits, that i was let go not fired and only after i collected them for five months. My reason for applying for unemployment was not initially questioned or denied by the state or the former employer. I found work with another employer and after i didnt need my benefits anymore, made the apprpriate phone call to the states call in system, it seemed thats when the allegations started from the state, i have provided them with all the information they have asked for.

  45. I have an upcoming hearing with Appeals Tribunal 7/10/15 for Voluntarily quitting my job as a nurse midwife, and was disqualified for benefits. I left because of safety issues, which led to myself having medical issues (severe headaches), most likely all stress related. I went to ER and saw MD multiple times. I also had a very long commute to work, which was getting harder secondary to constant headaches and lack of sleep. I sincerely believe that the safety issues were at the root of all of my problems. In the center where I worked in January a lady came into, armed, looking for the CEO. Our guard told us that he wasn’t going to confront her, because she was armed and he wasn’t, this all happened most likely very close to my exam room with patients. I was totally besides myself, and after I got home I told my colleague who probably didn’t hear what happened that day. The lady with the knife and ice pick said she would be back tomorrow. I told my colleague that I would first check with Security in am before coming to work. (Actually that evening she surrendered to police). And I came to work the next day. Another incident, supposedly happened, where one of our patients got mugged at bottom of staircase leading to our office upstairs, this site had no guards at all. But now they have a guard at the top of the staircase, where is the staff, patients and myself supposed to go if someone should open the door and shoot the guard? Am I to jump out of the window, I don’t understand. Every night I get walked out by a guard, if one is available, that is.
    Since my severe headaches,I decided to work per diem (3-4 days instead of 5). This way I’m exposing myself half as much (I do need a full time job). They declined my going per idem. I gave them one month’s notice, and they still put me on schedule, and I was advised, if I was having medical issues to take a leave of absence, which I did for a month. I thought that would give them another month’s notice and also we would have another CMO
    By then, who would hopefully keep me on per diem. (Where I worked is very busy and they really needed me). My plan was to work 3-4days there and part time elsewhere. Well the other part time job didn’t work out (criminal activity, nothing to do with me). This way, I would still be keeping my commitment to health center, minimizing my stress/headaches while working full time. A few days after submitting my resignation, I rescinded it, but they wouldn’t take me back. (FYI my work agreement wasn’t signed by me until beginning of March, until after I requested to go per diem, does that matter, I don’t even have signed copy from them)
    I have this upcoming hearing and will be defending myself. Should I give them a copy of my agreement, or signature sheet at all? I really need to win this for my family, I should also give them copies of medical notes, resignation letter, request for per diem? My supervisors were all aware of my concerns, it appears everyone else just doesn’t care anymore and just thinks it’s a happy day. I feel it’s just a matter of time until the next incident, but I’m just one person, and actually the new person. It’s so easy just to keep things the way they are. Do you have any suggestions, or any idea regarding questioning I should expect.? I need to get these docs off tomorrow am,please let me know what to send. I will use my MD and supervisors as witnesses, they both wanted me to stay on per diem. In my heart of hearts I just couldn’t get past the huge risk I was taking there, and nobody seeing it. They asked me what they should do, really, I’m a midwife not in the security business. I strongly feel,as my employer, they have a right to preserve the safety of staff, patients and me. Please help me anyway you can. I’ve never had to do this before. Thank you, in advance for your prompt attention. I know I wrote a lot,but want to be sure you understand my situation. Frosty (please respond my email only)

  46. Question: i was in fmla due to illness i was told to send a drs note in 3 days i called my pcp and had them FAX the required documentation a couple of weeks later the dr sent another one to the same fax number, i received a letter stating abonnded my position because they didnt receive the 1st leter however dr has all letters that were faxed from their office to my employer. I was also recently terminated from my perdiem job which i have held for 5 yrs due to something really not my fault. I have already sent the appeal letter i have a hearing scheduled for the end of this month. Do i stand a chance of winning the apeal and or do i need to continue if i can now receive unemployment from the second employer?

  47. Thanks for this article very informational, even though I’m already passed the appeals process, I’m currently appealing the decision based on bias of the appeals examiner towards the employer, and I’m also claiming fraudulent statement made on my behalf according to a document the examiner read to me that I didn’t agree with the statement. I questioned it and he said something about “fact findings” but the statement seemed as if it was given by me directly as if I was saying these things admitting guilt which I never did at anytime.
    So at this point I’m waiting for a decision from the board.

  48. Very helpful blog. I was fired because I left without clocking out because my daughter was in a bad car accident. I did return back the same day and continued my shift. I had applied for unemployment and was approved. 5 weeks later my job wants to hearing. What’s the best way to handle this situation.

  49. I was recently fired from my job without warning. Her reasoning being I was “unreliable” which is completely false. I filed for unemployment and was denied. It said that there wasn’t enough taken out to qualify. So I accepted it. A week later she went out of business and closed without ANY warning. I decided to look over the rejection letter again and it has false information provided by her. She claimed that I was only employed for 4 months. I have proof that I was there longer. Thus is the tricky part. She writes her employees personal checks for pay And then on copy paper she adds up hours and writes down what she takes out in taxes etc… it’s all improperly recorded. Bottom line I was fired bc she was shutting down and didn’t want to pay me for unemployment. She lied About my length of employment bcuz I have no copies of anything proving I was there. She doesn’t claim her employees until the end of the year. But I have a picture of every schedule and photos and status updates showing where I was at work. Is there anything I can do?

  50. Thank you so very much for this information. I was fired due to attendance. My employer has a 8 point attendance policy. I had a serious medical issue. I was unable to work even though I tried to stay….but I had to seek medical attention. Now my employer is contesting my unemployment because of misconduct. Any time I received a point for attendance it was due to a medical/family emergency. I am also a single father.

  51. Hi, very nice blog. I have a question-I just received notice of appeal from my Temp recruiting agency by whom I was hired. I have already collected unemployment for few months but now i have received this notice. Looks like employer is stating to temp agency and further to DUA that i left the job (quit). Also, they are mentioning that they asked me for contract renewal but i denied. The truth is – Yes, they asked me in past for few times for contract renewal and i continued to renew it but this time they didn’t ask for renewal and gave me my last day of work. I am not sure how this can be defended as all this was verbal. I also remember that my supervisor (who is no longer with company now)sent me email before a week of my last day asking me to send a confirmation on my last date. I got confused at that point thinking why he is asking for confirmation if they are ending my contract and if they know the last date so i never responded to that email. Can this email be strong point for them to present? Could you please advise here? FYI.. i have started working on gathering all available information – started with asking employer on section 52c.

  52. Question: My employees’s wages were held at the different times and paid back later of the month. The reason was the manger of mine demanded us to keep the payroll under the budget no matter what. I am the department head who knows about this but the payroll was done by my assistant on Monday when I am off.

    I didn’t know that this would cause me lose my job when the investigation were being done from the central office. I told everyone that I take the full responsibility.

    I was terminated and UC benefit was denied. What do you advise?

    Thank you.

  53. After an armed robbery to the business I did not return. The manager refused to provide us with the necessary WORKING automatic locks, cameras and monitors to help prevent such things. I have been denied and must now deal with the appeals process. Wouldnt the unexpected separation from the company due to such a dangerous event allow me to receive unemp benefits??

  54. I got fired unfairly and the manager that fired me got fired as well couple weeks after me .because he got fired as well will that help me on my unemployment appeal? Please help me

  55. I was terminated from my job for losing my work id I filed for unemployment benefits in which I received about 3 to 4 checks then all of a sudden they stopped my employer did not fight me for my unemployment they said I was entitled to my unemployment but the judge denied I went two years with no pay my job finally called me and gave me my job back and said I couldn’t get back pay from them but that I can get it from unemployment I put in a appeal for my unemployment in the state of Illinois but I kept getting denied I did everything on my part as far as filing all my appeals and motions in a timely matter but I kept getting denied so I’m want to know if I can still fight for my back pay unemployment even though it’s been five years is there a certain amount of time I have to put in a law suit against the Illinois unemployment because I feel im entitled to my benefits because I was fired for unjust reasons and brought back to work with no time lost my job said they couldn’t give me my two years back pay from them but I can try to get it from unemployment so I’m wondering if my job didn’t fight me for my unemployment do the unemployment office or judge have the right to deny me benefits I was on my job for 10 years until they fired me for losing my work id I do take some responsibility because I didn’t notify my job of the lost in a timely manner but I don’t feel it’s fair that I didn’t get my unemployment even though it’s been five years it’s still bothering me because that was the hardest two years of my life with NO INCOME so do anyone feel I still have a case and can I still file for my back pay unemployment again after five years is there a certain time frame for doin so I never gave up interest because I kno my job to have terminated employees and brought b them back with back pay but not me what can I do can anyone give me any suggestions as to what to do

  56. Can I put in another appeal for my unemployment benefits after five years I was terminated from my job for unjust reasons my job brought me back with no time lost but didn’t give me back pay they just stated that they would not fight me for my unemployment but the unemployment judge denied me my benefits after all the appeals and motions I put in so I was wondering even tho my job brought me back can I still file a law suit against Illinois unemployment I worked 10 years on my job and I feel im entitled to my back pay unemployment do anyone feel or know if I still have a case to get my benefits that I feel im entitled to if so can you please give me a suggestion as to what to do because that’s two years of my life that was taken from me for unjust reasons and I’m still dealing with the two year setback right now today it really effected me and my family for me not to have NO income for two years

  57. I had to quit my job to support my father-in-law who was diagnosed with terminal stage cancer. I could not give a return date to my employer as my father-in-law was in another country and I was unable to predict. My benefits request was rejected per 151 section 25 e and I am appealing it. I would appreciate your guidance

  58. I was on a two-week doctor required medical leave. At the end of the two weeks, I was waiting for insurance approval to have a CT scan scheduled. It couldn’t even be on the books without insurance approval first. My manager decided to remove me from the schedule until after my CT scan. I called my manager after my CT scan was completed, a total of five weeks off of work, and informed her that I was able to return to work. She informed me that during my absence, they had implemented a new policy requiring all staff to be available for overnight shifts. This was in discussion prior to my medical leave but was not stated as having an effective date. Due to the medications that I’m required to take, I am unavailable for overnight shifts. My manager is refusing to schedule me at all until I become available for those shifts.

    Also, while I was gone, the manager hired her best friend who now works the Monday-Friday morning shifts that previously were my set schedule. This schedule agreement was made verbally with the assistant general manager two years ago when I first went on the medication that affects my equilibrium. I am physically unable to be at work due to the nature of the job because of the effect the medication has on me.

    In my initial unemployment hearing, the judge decided that I am not available for work so I am not eligible for unemployment. I contest that there are 21 shifts per week and each staff member can take no more than five. I have provided five shifts which I am available for, but they will not give them to me per our verbal agreement of two years ago due to the new policy change.

    Is there anything I can say in my appeal hearing to get the judge to understand what’s happening? In my initial hearing, the judge barely let me speak and himself spoke to me as if I were a two-year-old.

  59. I was fired for 2/29/16 “lack of communication”. I asked for specifics and were given none. I asked, if no specifics are available, why during my review, on 1/13/16 I rec’d score of 3.66 out of possible 4.0, and I was not advised that the “lack of communication” was an issue requiring termination. I actually have testimonials, emails praising my work, management style, etc. Now the company is contesting unemployment benefits.

    I am baffled, and believe some suspicions I had about the company supposed unscrupulous business practices may be true. But I have no proof. Which is why i starting looking for a new job in Jan 2016, to disassociate myself from the company, however I was fired first. I no longer believe it is coincidental that I questioned a report on Thursday 2/25/16 and was fired on 2/26/2016.

    My last pay check is due 3/15/16 (I worked 30 days before receiving 1st pay check). If I do not receive my last pay check or unemployment benefits what are my other options? File a claim with EEOC? Get an attorney and sue of unlawful termination (even in an at will state)?

  60. My husband worked full time for a company for 3 years. In the past two months he worked part time. Two weeks ago he got a call from a coworker telling him the supervisor said he was going to fire my husband. Two days later his supervisor calls and says they are letting him go because of lack of work. His boss sent him a text telling him he was sorry they had to let him go but maybe they could get him side work if it comes around. We filed for unemployment but found out they are fighting it claiming they didn’t fire him… What are we supposed to do?

  61. I was wondering if anyone or the publisher of this post can advice me if I can appeal my case with EDD to receive benefits. I was terminated on 02/16/16 and I think it was wrongfully how it was done. I had Attendance problems and only got a warning, next thing I know I was fired. I never received a copy of warning I signed. Can anyone know how can I go from winning the appeal?

  62. I wanted to ask question I was fired by employer BC he said I was a no call no show due to the fact that I emailed him instead of call, the reason I emailed him is BC a it was in middle of night and b I’ve tried calling him late before and he didn’t answer phone so he says its automatic termination but that’s how we communicated either by email or text….I was denied and I don’t think that is right BC I notified him 13 hours before my shift

  63. My employer said that I did not come back to get a new assignment but I was told they would call me but they never did I called an got the run a round I went up there an got the samething and l given a termination letter saying I no longer work for them they say its not a termination that they issue that for pople on welfare what do I do now

  64. I sent information to the Unemployment Office to support my claim for “partial unemployment” from my employer (hours were reduced). My employer turned around and fired me because they said I broke their Non-Disclosure Policy by sending information to the Unemployment Office…and the Unemployment Office ruled in their favor! The Unemployment Agency stated that I was fired for misconduct (by breaking the Non-Disclosure Policy). How is this possible when I sent the information SOLEY to their office?

  65. I was recently terminated from a job I woked at for eight years.
    I helped a coworker who was having a severe panic attack due to emotional stress she was having with the loss of child..I comforted her and told her I was going to grab her a xanax and some water, I gave her the xanax she took it and put it in her pocket. She told me she had her own and she took it, shd finally calmed down..The company called the paramedics just to check her.out she was fine, she had a friend camd and picked her up..I was called at home two days after and said I was suspened until further investigation.. Five days later I was called and said I was terminated I was very shocked I was just trying to help a co-worker…Now I am getting ready to fill out my form and don’t know what to say with the question explain why you feel you were discharged? What reason did the employer give you for your discharge, the company just said they were terminating for the incident that happened on April 5

  66. Hello,

    I just want to tell you a simple ‘thank you’ for crafting such a clear and concise blog. You are a great writer, the tone reminds me of literature Ive read in higher education studies back in College.
    I’ve recently been Discharged from a long term employer /employee relationship and now I see how difficult life can really get.
    However, I feel more empowered now after having reviewed these educated guidelines. Thanks again for taking the time to post that up for us all. Cheers

  67. Hi my question is I just finished working a 6 month seasonal job. .prior to that I worked as a Personal Care Aide..Now that I applied for unemployment I been getting job offers from the job I was working for in 2015.I happen to call my ex employees to ask without me knowing that now all of a sudden they started sending me schedules via mail..My question is will that affect my current claim..I have not signed or agreed on anything..and I don’t want to go back to my ex job because They didn’t appreciate the 3 years I invested in this company.I haven’t received any benefits I just started my claim.Can you give me any advice thank you so much. .

  68. I was at work roughly 5 hours into my shift when i was approached by my supervisor who said someone said i smelled of alcohol and asked if i had been drinking today. i told him no but i did have some drinks the day before . eventually i was sent to the clinic and failed a breathalyzer test. i was sent home and told to contact my union stewart. i had a grievance set up in which i explained that i did drink the day before, i also had taken over the counter medications with alcohol, another point i made is that before my termination another employee was at work said to smell of alcohol was actually drunk in the womans washroon and management dis nothing which i felt was in breach of our union contract on “just cause” because the punishment was not even handed. my termination was still upheld and now my former employer is fighting my unemployment benefits is this legal in illinois? everything i googled says no no no. not with a union contract. any advice will be greatly appreciated.

  69. I was fired from my job for a series of messages thru Facebook messenger about using drugs although one message said I have not done any drugs in over 5 years 1 message said the last time I used Marijuana was at work but I worked for the same company 6 years ago got laid off and rehired 4 years later. They told me they fired me for that message. They told unemployment they fired me for the use of cocaine and didn’t do a drug test because it was 2 weeks after they had started the investigation which also was a lie because they started the investigation on the 17th didn’t get any messages for proff until the 18th and fired me on the 18th I went and took a drug test for my own record on the 19th and it was all negative of course. My supervisor was sexually harrassing me a month before they pulled me up for this random investigation and i sent my hr lady a message via facebook and they told me they could not use the message from facebook because it wasnt a work certified communication, so how can they take my personal facebook messages and hold them against me? explained all this to unemployment idk what to do

  70. Thanks to all who continue to read the blog, and for the comments and questions. Most of these questions are legitimately very fact-specific and/or deal with employers in states outside of the ones in which I practice (that is, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.) The best response I can provide on the blog — because the blog posts and my responses are NOT confidential — is to urge readers to contact an attorney in their home state that represents plaintiffs/employees in termination or discrimination cases. For those of you in Massachusetts or New Hampshire, feel free to contact me directly at the office — via phone at 978-534-9771 or email at jvowles@jlvlaw.com — so that I can give you confidential advice in response to your specific situation.

    Thanks again for reading and best of luck.

    Regards, Janie

  71. Hi, I was fired for attendance(being late) which I don’t dispute. My argument is that I was late everyday for 5 months. I was on time 3 times, then after 5 months was fired for it. So they denied UI but I have filed the appeal. Had they followed the company’s own policy I should have been fired after 4 days. They waited 5 months, do I have a leg to stand on, maybe?

    1. Steve:

      It is impossible for me to predict what the results of your case will be, but I do think you should pursue an appeal, and I hope the blog article will be helpful to you in doing so. Thanks for reading.

      Janie

  72. Thanks for this article. I requested time off to attend a conference I’ve attended the last two years while working at my job. This year they decided that since I asked for that time off, they were going to withdraw my contract because it was not in their best interested to have me on staff anymore. I wrote a letter asking for additional information as to why my job was taken away, and stated in the letter, “I’m not asking for my job back” as that was not the purpose of the letter, it did NOT mean however that if my job was offered to me I wouldn’t take the position back.

    As a result I was told that my claim was denied because I “voluntarily left work without good cause.” I was told that due to the fact that my husband went to get my things the day after having my contract pulled, and the director said “well maybe if she didn’t want to attend that conference she could have her job back?” to him, that that was an official offer from the employer for my job and that I declined it by writing an letter asking for an explanation. I never once received in writing, verbally, or via text, an offer to stay in my position if I chose not to attend the conference. Any insight or tips for me? I feel like every portion of my situation has been twisted. It’s been emotionally trying as is, the appeals process seems quite daunting. Thanks again.

  73. I was notified I am being replaced at my current full time position in administration. My employer voiced to me you understand we are not firing you we offer other position if you do not take you are quitting, we don’t pay unemployment. The position is 2 days per month. My remote access was blocked 2 days after notified I was being replaced, keys requested to be returned 2 days later, 10/27. I had already worked 40 hrs, sunday to thurs as of 10/27 so I would not work 10/28. Notice on my desk as of 10/31 I would be working other position. This notice was placed on my desk by administrator with incorrect dates
    and was signed with his name but is not his written signature. I filed for unemployment with last day of employment 10/28.I am so confused, I received an issue concern from unemployment stating still employed hour reduction. I am lost, I have 5 days to reply. The employer has many responsibilities and weekend days that salaried employees are expected to be part of. It is difficult to explain. Words of wisdom?

    1. Donna:

      It is really not possible for me to responsibly advise you based on the information that I have. If this is a Massachusetts employer, you should contact me directly — http://jlvlaw.com/contact.html. Otherwise, you should contact an attorney in your state that handles plaintiff/employee termination and unemployment claims.

      Best of luck and thanks for reading.

      Janie

  74. Hello my job took me off work for 7mo,because my doctor put me on restrictions that they couldn’t accommodate, with no pay, so I fed for my unemployment benefits and they had it stopped, told them that I was on a leave of absence through FMLA, but my doctor sent me back to work. What should I do??

    1. Davis:

      I am not sure if you mean that your employer COULD not, or WOULD not, accommodate your medical restrictions. What you should do depends on the answer to that question. See http://jlvlaw.com/lawblog/reasonable-accomodations/. If you were employed in Massachusetts or New Hampshire, contact me directly — http://jlvlaw.com/contact.html — to discuss your situation further. Otherwise, you should immediately contact an attorney in your state that handles plaintiff-employee side disability discrimination claims.

      Thanks for reading and good luck.

      Janie

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