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  1. #1
    weareosu is offline Junior Member
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    employer trying to deny unemployment benefits

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? PA

    I was recently let go from my job because my employer found out that I was a candidate for another position with a different company. I received numerous praises for my job and a few promotions and raises to go along with it. I never had any negative marks with my actual job performance. The reason I was a candidate for another job is because when I moved here, my position became a remote position and was explicitly told that there would be no opportunity to get any type of promotion due to being remote. I also had to step down to the lowest position at my company and I am being currently paid about 1/2 of what a person of my equal education/experience would be making. A senior manager of a client for my company submitted my name for a position that is located in my city and referred me because he thinks I do an excellent job. (they offer no remote jobs, otherwise they would hire me)

    Not sure if any of that is relevant, but once my boss found out, let me go and threw a fit about how I was abandoning the company and client. (I personally think he was upset that he got a person of my quality at 1/2 the price he'd have to pay someone else) and then stated he would fight me on unemployment benefits because I left for another job. The thing is, I don't even have the job and I am against some tough candidates and it is not even guaranteed that I will be offered the position.

    My contention is that I was not fired for any work related performance, I never did any type of interviewing during work hours and my performance never suffered. In the chance that I do not get the job, will I be able to apply for unemployment benefits.

    I had been at my job for 6 years now
  2. #2
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    apply. always apply. The boss surely had the right to terminate your employment but the state will decide if you are eligible for benefits or not. From what you have said, you should be eligible for benefits.
  3. #3
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    You can always, always, ALWAYS apply for unemployment.

    Your employer doesn't make the decision on whether you get benefits or not, the state does.

    In your situation, I see no reason that the state would deny your claim.
  4. #4
    Banned_Princess is offline Senior Member
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    Don't wait till you don't get the second job... Apply now, or you will have to wait longer to start receiving benefits.
  5. #5
    weareosu is offline Junior Member
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    thanks for the advice, i am going to apply tomorrow first thing in the morning.

    I understand he has the right to fire me because it was illegal or discriminatory but I just wanted to double check on the unemployment.

    Thanks for the assistance

    Also-

    Another question. My position is remote, so I do not go into the office. He fired me over the phone. Should I ask him to email it to me and should I log in for my normal shift tomorrow so he can't say that I just quit?

    Also, I am returning the equipment back asap. What is an acceptable time frame as I was planning on going to my hometown in around 2 weeks and was just going to drop it off at the office or should I just mail it with a signature confirmation?
    Last edited by weareosu; 09-05-2012 at 10:10 PM.
  6. #6
    swalsh411 is offline Senior Member
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    Being fired because you were looking for a better job is absolutely not misconduct and I can say with almost complete certainty you will not be denied for that reason.

    Being fired verbally is sufficient. Something in writing is better because then it's harder for the employer to claim you really quit but not necessary. I would send him an email saying "per our conversation on XXX you have terminated my employment. Would you like me to return the equipment in two weeks in person or would you like to send me a prepaid package to return it?"
  7. #7
    commentator is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by weareosu View Post
    thanks for the advice, i am going to apply tomorrow first thing in the morning.

    I understand he has the right to fire me because it was illegal or discriminatory but I just wanted to double check on the unemployment.

    Thanks for the assistance

    Also-

    Another question. My position is remote, so I do not go into the office. He fired me over the phone. Should I ask him to email it to me and should I log in for my normal shift tomorrow so he can't say that I just quit?

    Also, I am returning the equipment back asap. What is an acceptable time frame as I was planning on going to my hometown in around 2 weeks and was just going to drop it off at the office or should I just mail it with a signature confirmation?
    I suggest you mail the equipment in promptly, based on your verbal termination.

    I have seen many employers withhold that last paycheck in an effort to punish people saying they didn't return their equipment. Yes it's not legal for them to do this, but it sometimes happens, and it is a real hassle to deal with anyhow. I have even seen irate employers press charges when equipment was not returned very quickly. Don't be overly saving, don't wait to get this stuff turned in, spend the money, mail it back.

    BE SURE you do not indicate in any way that you quit the job. DO NOT try to log back in. This would not prove you didn't quit, but it might prove he didn't fire you. You do not want that. The understanding that you were fired was in place after your last conversation. I would not have any more conversation with him in which he might try to rescind the firing or trick you into quitting. You do not need email proof of it or any sort of written acknowledgement to file for unemployment benefits.

    Since that conversation, he might have spoken to someone and decided not to terminate you, to simply let you keep working and make your life a living hell until you're compelled to quit. If you log back in and your workline is still up, your access is not terminated, and you don't go on and work, then it will look more like you quit. Quitting would greatly decrease your chances of receiving approval for unemployment benefits, as you are then out of work by your choice, not your employer's.

    The first thing that will happen when you file is that they will make a monetary determination of whether you have a claim for unemployment. In order to have this, you must have had covered wages during the last 18 months from an unemployment tax paying employer. You cannot have been a 1099 paid contractor. You must have been a regular employee. If there are not enough wages to set up a claim, the whole deal is moot, you can't get one, no matter why you are no longer working.

    But if you are eligible monetarily, then the next issue they'll address is why you are no longer working. You must be out of work through no fault of your own. Your employer, in order to "fight your unemployment" as he put it, would need to show proof that he had a valid work related misconduct reason to terminate you. Hint here, looking for other work while employed is not considered misconduct, unless you used the company's facilities or copy paper or something shady like that to look for other work. How did they find out you were? It's okay if you tell them, but it can very well result in what happened to you.

    Performance issues are a very poor reason to use in terminating an employee for unemployment purposes. We hope he'll try to use this, and if he does, and he has no prior trail of progressive discipline and progress reports that he's given you, you've had no idea that your work performance was not acceptable, and had no opportunity to change your performance and save the job, he's not going to do too well with this.

    If I were you, I wouldn't go into why you were looking for another job. You always have the right to do this. Simply say that you felt the promotional opportunities at this job were limited, or you wanted a larger salary.

    When you file for benefits, they will want to hear exactly what was said in the conversation you had with your boss that last time you talked with him. Your verbal memory of what was said will be considered just as believable as his feedback, which they will then ask for. Regardless of what he tells them, the two versions will be weighed, and the system will issue a decision about which of you is the most believable. If he submits made up evidence that he'd given you warnings about performance (this happens sometimes) you need to clearly state that you've never seen these warnings, that you did not sign them and that you had no knowledge that these warnings had been done.

    In any case, you'll file for benefits, start certifying for each week that passes while you're not working. If you were to get the other job, do not stop filing for benefits until you have actually worked the first week. You're eligible for unemployment for each week from the time you file until the first week that you actually have wages. If they just call and tell you you're hired, that you start in two weeks or something like this, you do NOT stop filing for benefits as soon as you hear, rather when you actually begin work.

    But it will take several weeks for a decision to be issued about whether your unemployment is approved or not. If you are approved in the initial decision, you will be back paid for the weeks you have certified for since you filed the claim. If you are approved OR denied, either party, either you or the employer can ask for a second decision. There will be a hearing at this point and both of you will be present or on the telephone, and another decision will be issued.

    Warning: Even if you are approved in the first decision, and then quickly go back to work at a new job, if your employer files an appeal, DO NOT ignore it, thinking you don't need to deal with it since you're back to work anyhow. They could, if you do not take part in the appeal hearing, reverse the decision and require that you pay back any money that you have received. You do not need to have to do this. It would not be a legitimate good faith thing to do, as some have interpreted it.

    Your employer fired you arbitrarily without notice. Unemployment benefits to you are the natural result of his getting to fire "at whim." This will result in his tax rate being raised slightly. He has the right to fire you for just about any reason in an at will state, but he doesn't need to be able to dodge your unemployment benefits when he chooses to do it.

    Anyone who fires you for daring to look for a better job isn't looking for good employees, he's looking for subservient wage slaves.

    I agree with everyone else here, there's never a reason not to file the unemployment claim when you're fired. Don't hesitate, don't wait, don't be apologetic about it. Unemployment benefits are not welfare, they are an insurance policy in place and paid for by your employer to make sure you have some sort of security if he can no longer employ you. You don't get them based on neediness, and you don't get them if you aren't out of work through no fault of your own and avidly seeking other work.
    Last edited by commentator; 09-06-2012 at 08:25 AM.
  8. #8
    weareosu is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by commentator View Post
    I suggest you mail the equipment in promptly, based on your verbal termination.

    I have seen many employers withhold that last paycheck in an effort to punish people saying they didn't return their equipment. Yes it's not legal for them to do this, but it sometimes happens, and it is a real hassle to deal with anyhow. I have even seen irate employers press charges when equipment was not returned very quickly. Don't be overly saving, don't wait to get this stuff turned in, spend the money, mail it back.

    BE SURE you do not indicate in any way that you quit the job. DO NOT try to log back in. This would not prove you didn't quit, but it might prove he didn't fire you. You do not want that. The understanding that you were fired was in place after your last conversation. I would not have any more conversation with him in which he might try to rescind the firing or trick you into quitting. You do not need email proof of it or any sort of written acknowledgement to file for unemployment benefits.

    Since that conversation, he might have spoken to someone and decided not to terminate you, to simply let you keep working and make your life a living hell until you're compelled to quit. If you log back in and your workline is still up, your access is not terminated, and you don't go on and work, then it will look more like you quit. Quitting would greatly decrease your chances of receiving approval for unemployment benefits, as you are then out of work by your choice, not your employer's.

    The first thing that will happen when you file is that they will make a monetary determination of whether you have a claim for unemployment. In order to have this, you must have had covered wages during the last 18 months from an unemployment tax paying employer. You cannot have been a 1099 paid contractor. You must have been a regular employee. If there are not enough wages to set up a claim, the whole deal is moot, you can't get one, no matter why you are no longer working.

    But if you are eligible monetarily, then the next issue they'll address is why you are no longer working. You must be out of work through no fault of your own. Your employer, in order to "fight your unemployment" as he put it, would need to show proof that he had a valid work related misconduct reason to terminate you. Hint here, looking for other work while employed is not considered misconduct, unless you used the company's facilities or copy paper or something shady like that to look for other work. How did they find out you were? It's okay if you tell them, but it can very well result in what happened to you.

    Performance issues are a very poor reason to use in terminating an employee for unemployment purposes. We hope he'll try to use this, and if he does, and he has no prior trail of progressive discipline and progress reports that he's given you, you've had no idea that your work performance was not acceptable, and had no opportunity to change your performance and save the job, he's not going to do too well with this.

    If I were you, I wouldn't go into why you were looking for another job. You always have the right to do this. Simply say that you felt the promotional opportunities at this job were limited, or you wanted a larger salary.

    When you file for benefits, they will want to hear exactly what was said in the conversation you had with your boss that last time you talked with him. Your verbal memory of what was said will be considered just as believable as his feedback, which they will then ask for. Regardless of what he tells them, the two versions will be weighed, and the system will issue a decision about which of you is the most believable. If he submits made up evidence that he'd given you warnings about performance (this happens sometimes) you need to clearly state that you've never seen these warnings, that you did not sign them and that you had no knowledge that these warnings had been done.

    In any case, you'll file for benefits, start certifying for each week that passes while you're not working. If you were to get the other job, do not stop filing for benefits until you have actually worked the first week. You're eligible for unemployment for each week from the time you file until the first week that you actually have wages. If they just call and tell you you're hired, that you start in two weeks or something like this, you do NOT stop filing for benefits as soon as you hear, rather when you actually begin work.

    But it will take several weeks for a decision to be issued about whether your unemployment is approved or not. If you are approved in the initial decision, you will be back paid for the weeks you have certified for since you filed the claim. If you are approved OR denied, either party, either you or the employer can ask for a second decision. There will be a hearing at this point and both of you will be present or on the telephone, and another decision will be issued.

    Warning: Even if you are approved in the first decision, and then quickly go back to work at a new job, if your employer files an appeal, DO NOT ignore it, thinking you don't need to deal with it since you're back to work anyhow. They could, if you do not take part in the appeal hearing, reverse the decision and require that you pay back any money that you have received. You do not need to have to do this. It would not be a legitimate good faith thing to do, as some have interpreted it.

    Your employer fired you arbitrarily without notice. Unemployment benefits to you are the natural result of his getting to fire "at whim." This will result in his tax rate being raised slightly. He has the right to fire you for just about any reason in an at will state, but he doesn't need to be able to dodge your unemployment benefits when he chooses to do it.

    Anyone who fires you for daring to look for a better job isn't looking for good employees, he's looking for subservient wage slaves.

    I agree with everyone else here, there's never a reason not to file the unemployment claim when you're fired. Don't hesitate, don't wait, don't be apologetic about it. Unemployment benefits are not welfare, they are an insurance policy in place and paid for by your employer to make sure you have some sort of security if he can no longer employ you. You don't get them based on neediness, and you don't get them if you aren't out of work through no fault of your own and avidly seeking other work.

    thank you for all the information, I have applied today for the benefits online and I will fedex the equipment back to my home office.

    I believe I had enough wages covered as i've been a FTE for 6 years, consistently without any down time (but I am not sure).

    If I get this job and do not survive my probationary period, will this effect my unemployment. I know I won't receive unemployment while working, but I am just nervous I will have no job and no unemployment
  9. #9
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    If your claim is approved now, and then stops because you go back to work, and then you are terminated by the new employer for a reason that would not disqualify you for benefits, you would be able to just re-open your previous claim instead of starting a brand new one. It might make the approval process faster because they won't re-do the financial eligibility part, they'd just be assessing the reasons for the termination.
  10. #10
    commentator is offline Senior Member
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    Yes, exactly right. Take the new job, do your best, stop filing for benefits after the first week you have worked all week (Sunday through Saturday) and will be paid more for that period than you would make in Unemployment benefits. If you began work on Friday, for example, you'd report the gross wages you will make for that one day, and you'll probably receive part of an unemployment check also, if and when you are approved.

    But be sure you certify each week and be sure you assure them that you are able and available and actively seeking work (having accepted and waiting for another job counts as being actively seeking work, you don't have to explain to them that you're not looking anymore because you're about to go to work elsewhere.)

    Remember that even though you are working, you need to follow through with the appeals process, make sure your claim is approved (that you file an appeal and go through the approval process if it's denied, even though you have begun a new job) and that it stays approved. That way if something doesn't work out with the new job, you have the approved claim already in place.

    But if the new job isn't working out, DO NOT QUIT it. If they tell you they're going to have to let you go because you're not working out, not fast enough, not able to catch on quickly enough, no matter what, let them be the drivers. Show up every day, do your best, and if they don't like your performance, then let them terminate you. This will most likely not be disqualifying and as it has been pointed out, you'll just go back on the same claim, once it is filed, it is in place for one year from the time it was filed.

    But if you take the job and they like you fine, but you hate it, find it less than fulfilling, can't get along with the people, then there's slightly more of a problem. Because if you are the driver, if you voluntarily quit the job, you must be able to show you had a REALLY good work related reason to quit. Just not liking it, not being able to catch on, not being happy, or wanting more pay is not a good reason in most cases. Being assaulted, asked to perform illegal or unsafe acts, not getting paid in a timely manner...all these may be good reasons, but it has to be something really big. I suggest that if you don't like the new job, you begin a work search again while you are still working there.

    I have seen many people who accepted a new job, and then tried to refile when it didn't work out and they quit, and ended up disqualifed for unemployment. If they fire you for a performance issue, for becoming too ill to work, or something that is not deliberate misconduct on your part, like that you didn't really have the skills they were expecting you to have, or that you just aren't fast enough, all you have to say is that you did your best, and they still didn't like your performance, you're fine. But if you give up and quit, then you don't get any unemployment back, because they reason that you knew the perameters of the job when you accepted it, and you should have thought harder about it before accepting it.
    Last edited by commentator; 09-07-2012 at 06:47 PM.

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