Have you ever been fired, but your boss forces you to sign a document that states that you resigned instead? Or have you ever been terminated by your manager after your manager misinterprets your dissatisfaction with the job as a resignation? One of the more distressing types of unemployment cases are the ones where an employee got terminated, but an employer alleges that the employee quit . It can happen lots of different circumstances.
In unemployment benefit cases like these, it will be imperative to have your facts straight will be crucial for your chances of success before the claims examiner or the appeals tribunal hearings officer. The reason why is because under the unemployment precedents, when an employer makes ambiguous remarks regarding whether an employee is fired, it’s up to the employee to seek clarification. For example, in one precedent (Appeal No. 87-16658-10-092378), an employee worked for an employer that had a three-strikes-you’re-out policy concerning writeups. The employee already had two write-ups. One day, her supervisor came to her and gave her a third write-up. The employee walked off the job immediately, refusing to read the last write-up.
The Commission decided against giving the employee unemployment benefits. The Commission concluded that the employee had quit, and was not fired, because the employee made no attempt to clarify her job status. Precedents like this show how important it is the final facts are in this case. A claims examiner and hearings officer will want to know the exact language or actions the employer took that led the employee to believe he or she was being fired. The claims examiner or hearings officer will first look at these words or actions and determine whether a person could reasonably believe that he or she was fired. Then, they will look to what actions the employee took in response. They will likely want to know whether the employee tried to clarify whether they were in fact fired. In this inquiry, you’ll want to specify who you spoke with, and the exact questions that you asked. If you signed a document, they’ll look to whether the document says you quit, or whether you wrote out words indicating that you were fired. Having these facts in mind while preparing for your hearing can make a difference in showing that you were actually discharged and didn’t just up and quit.