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being late?

by mlw
(Illinois)

My boss has a schedule written with times for us all the be there. There are only about 18 employees at my job. However all of us are at least 5 minutes last or more and he has never said anything to anyone. Most of us working there have been for 3-4 years or more. He just says well at least you made it. Now all of a sudden i'm late everyday and fired. He has never said anything to me or any of my co-workers ever about this but suddenly with me it's a problem. When the day i was late, 2 my co-workers arrived after me to work also.Can i get unemployment for this. There has never been any formal write ups at my work for anyone either. Can he do this?




Hi mlw,

YES!!! He can do this .. AN EMPLOYER DOES NOT NEED GOOD CAUSE TO FIRE YOU .. AN EMPLOYER NEEDS GOOD CAUSE TO STOP YOU FROM COLLECTING UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS.

Illinois Unemployment Insurance Law Handbook


And keep in mind while you are looking for a precedent that the unemployment department likes to know that you were fired for a violation of a "uniformly enforced rule" ..

A history of condoning a particular behavior from all employees and then pulling the rug out from under just one .. doesn't bode well for victory for the employer when it comes to unemployment "hearings" .. they might make it past the initial determination, but if the claimant gets their ducks all lined up .. it can be a winnable case and this would be the focus because being late 5 minutes everyday .. quite frankly, is a bad habit and will usually be considered misconduct.

It's a reasonable expectation from an employer .. I think getting to work on time and regularly is something we owe to to someone who pays us .. add 5 minutes up over the course of a year and were talking about paying someone for HOURS for which nothing was received in return.

Getting your ducks all lined up is synonymous with "intelligent self-preparation .. and it takes time and effort .. more effort that it takes to get to work 5 minutes earlier.

Good luck in your next job.

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