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Can I get unemployment if I have been fired for a Screwed up attendance policy.(This question also addresses unemployment benefits for students that work for the school they attend)

by kris w
(Chicago, il usa)

I work for a university and was fired for having my third strike.

The policy system that they made up just for my small section of work (as a student) is a three strike system first is a warning, second is 2 weeks no working, and third is your out.
My first strike was sent to me at the same time I got my second strike on account that my supervisor forgot to send the warning out. I began contesting this by going in and then getting into a heated discussion on the fact that my tardiness was unacceptable. Problem was as soon as I entered the CONTEST THE SUPERVISOR zone I was black listed and watched like a hawk. Looking for reasons to get me out on account of me contesting that I was not given enough notice of my first strike to really start WORRYING that my job was in despair. My first strike I was in the hospital with my mother for an emergency but even that I was told was not a good enough exscuse. I guess if my mom died it wasn't his problem as he said. I was late to work on account of this but what bothered me was no compassion.
My second strike was valid and I attested that I deserved some type of strike because I was validly late for oversleeping. I was denied any contest even though in the "handbook" online bullcrap I was supposed to get a fair contest with the head moderator and supervisor but more or less was told NO. Within 3-4 weeks I was on my way to work but was stuck in traffic. The march of dimes came through and literally held up traffic for 30 minutes.. and even with me being early I was 13 minutes late. I called ahead let the next person know I was going to be late and she said NO problem! im sticking around for a couple hours anyway. She ended up staying til close. About three days later I got an email saying I was late and according to the rules "IF IM GOING TO BE LATE I NEED TO LET THE HEAD MOD KNOW 24 HOURS IN ADVANCE" .... So I need to be a psychic according to my "you're terminated" email. All in all according to the rules which now are unaccessible to everyone, I needed to be psychic to know i was going to be late.. However I did what I had done in the past let the next person know. The other two strikes were because I was opening the lab. Only one person works at a time and the morning when I was in the hospital I called the head mod but never heard back from him until after I was already late in the lab.
Either way Im not sure if my case is strong to say i deserve anything. Although my mom says give it a go nothing can really happen if i do right? Nothing bad at least can come to bite me in the butt or anything? right?.
Thanks :)
p.s. After I was fired it was impossible to find the rules online to check to see if that rule was even a real rule or was made up in order to just kick me out the door.
Still no Lab Moderator rules are available.


Hi Kris W.

Oh, I see the potential for you to be bit in the butt. Let me explain:)

Your Mom's right, there is no harm in filing, although I don't think you would initially be approved for unemployment benefits you might be if you mention the inaccessibility of the "rulebook", but trust me, the "reimbursing employer" (you said university) will appeal and I see lots of ways for the employer to win .. more so than for you to win. Result: Overpayment issue.

There's another problem though. You said you are a "student worker". Here is the source I use to look at how states treat student workers and their spouses when working for the school they attend. Click the current year, then "Coverage" and go to Table 1-6

You were not in "covered employment". The states make erroneous decisions often enough in this area that I feel the need to warn you of a possible butt biting.

If for some reason you are allowed benefits and even those who's circumstances would otherwise be a valid reason for benefits to be allowed, will not get benefits.

The employer's appeal is simple. "So and so was a student worker not working in covered employment and is not entitled to benefits from this employment. The end result is a "non-fault overpayment", but how this issue is handled is again determined on a state by state basis. You can find how a state handles overpayment by clicking that instead of coverage from the link above.

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