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can i get unemployment if i was fired for being late a lot!

by nick

i was fired after my boss told me not to be late again. yes i was late often and some times called off but when i was fired it was because i was late half hour on sunday. BUT the thing of it is i have schedule dilema which is the train i take to work either goes to work 2 hours early or i get to work 40 minutes late and this is transportation problem that my employer was aware of and acted like he cared! i was told by security that if i went too early i would trigger alarm and was better to come little late. But still i was fired for being half hour late and this is problem cause of weekend schedule please help me with this.

Hi Nick,

I need to ask you how long this has been going on? I mean, if you are claiming it is public transportation that makes you habitually late .. did the employer ever say this is okay?

And while we're at it .. when you weren't late .. how did you get there on time.


Comments for can i get unemployment if i was fired for being late a lot!

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Re: Appeal Hearing
by: Anonymous

Still no Decision they said it can take 2-4 weeks

I'll buy 2 weeks .. but by 4 weeks with no decision yet .. I've got the State attorney general's office number standing by .. to raise a ruckus about meeting federal timeliness guidelines.

re: appeal hearing
by: Anonymous

I did bring up the fact that i was not warned about anything and that i couldn't fix what I didn't know was wrong. They did present the hand book with the disciplinary step in it. and you don't get paid for anytime your not with a client it is commission based only

Did they present your signed acknowledgement of receipt of that handbook? Employers can have all the rules they want .. but they really should have that acknowledgement to .. to prove you had been made aware of the rules.

What .. no decision yet?

Appeal Hearing
by: Anonymous

I just had an appeal hearing with my former employer everything went well, but I forgot to clear up what i thought the attendance policy meant... They said i was late 11 times during my first 90days. Their attendance policy say I am to be there 15min before my first appointment (so if i have an appointment that would be 8:45) on the days they are say i was late i didn't have a 9am appointment so i came in between 8:50-9:00 once at 9:01. I am already receiving benefits in Maryland. I never received any warnings about these lateness and the only thing they gave the hearing agent was the policy (i stated above)and the days I was late and what time I clocked in. Do you think I will lost my unemployment or worst have to pay back what i got because I didn't tell him I did not have 9am appointments on those days?

Personally, I don't know that you focused on what I would have focused on .. the lack of warning that your job was in jeopardy .. and something I don't know the answer to .. whether the employer also submitted into evidence a signed acknowledgement from you that you were made aware of the attendance policy with a copy of an employee handbook with all their rules and policies including any progressive discipline policy the employer may or may not have followed precisely and been relevant for you to focus on.

Additionally, I wonder if the employer paid for the 15 minutes you were required to in the office prior to an appt and whether you were an exempt or non-exempt employee.

I guess I'm telling you the same thing I tell most people when they call for my opinion on a decision I don't make ..

Unless I was a fly on the wall at your hearing that heard it all and knew all the facts .. how can I know what my opinion would be? I don't like to walk out on limbs .. I prefer sturdy branches of my own choosing.

late and confused
by: Vee

please let me know if the comment, went thru, becuase it sent me emails, with a copy of my old previous comment. so i can know if i have to resend it again. thanks.

p.s. if not, then once again thanks for the quick reply.

I moderate all comments because many add nothing to a civil conversation.

However, as I tried to explain the first time. Getting to work on time is the employee's responsibility, no matter the personal problems that may arise .. and when something personal comes up .. it really does have to be a legitimate reason that is out of your control so a discharge isn't found to be for misconduct.

I still don't see anything out of your control for being habitually late to work five or six minutes.

late and confused
by: vee

it was not a "ive had this issue a long time, apparently stress related issues "trigger" something a cardiac issue, and i took the vacation time to handle it,. Just one of the days to go back to work was taken for the last day.

yes ive had the job for 1.5 yrs. what happen to make a long story short, was i was dating a person who lived near that job , so anytime i was given one of those types of shifts, i was able to not even take my car, i could take public transportation or routes away from the highways where in that urban area carries most police officers and checkpoint. when the relationship ended obviously, i was not at that apt anymore. they were well aware of that situation. habitually late was around 5/ 6min give or take. and i called in for every time, including making sure i would make it to work no matter how late to avoid having "absences". when we received a new area mgr apparently or supposedly, certain documentation, even those by verbal agreements to pass were included in my writeups.

the reason i brought up the final day. is because that was supposedly the last straw for my termination. the notes or doctor charts werent looked at.. i waited 2 wks prior to applying for unemployment, awaiting to see if maybe they would overturn that decision after looking at the papers, but they didnt. and thats when i applied. 2.5wks after i applied, i called to ask why the process has taken so long, they stated the employer filed protest. (ironicially, a few hours before i called.)

i have the doctors papers, i also have ticket stubs for most. and the distance from my home hwy wise is about 1hr but more when there is traffic congestion (i live in ny.) public transportation was 2.5 hrs. i asked for a transfer especially when it became clear that the dstance plus traffic was cuaing me to be late. thats when he switched back all my afternoon shifts back to the shifts that cause me to be late, and renounce any of my switching options stating switching is mgr discretion, and also stated that he would not look for transfers for me, except for locations that were even farther, because i was f/t.

i hope that makes it more clear. i am in no way trying to defned my actions, what i am defending is the result, which is, their accusation is that i apparently was doing things on pruporse and aiming for gross misconduct supposedly. which i wasnt, and i never expected to have a heart issue, and becuase i was on final warning and could be fired for any little thing, i felt they took adv of that and besides the medical issue, they fired me anyway.

thank you for the fast response btw. and i hope i was little clear. theres a little bit more, but it becomes a bit personal so i left it out.


You have to have a good reason to be late to work.
by: Chris

Hi late and confused,

It did not escape my attention under which question you posted a new question.

However, I don't get why people are habitually late to work. It's just something I can't personally identify with unless there are reasons beyond your control.

Apparently, you did have a problem with being habitually late for work and rarely for what I would call a good reason .. not even on the day of the last and final incident of being late to work for which I don't recall a specific excuse.

I don't even know why the different shift made it impossible for you to get to work on time .. except you tell me the cops were always pulling you over and the only days you can prove this are the days you got a ticket.

Seriously? That's your only excuse for being late?

The fact that you had just learned about a health problem, just goes to show that people that can't seem to get to work on time for poor reasons .. get sick too.

However, you weren't fired for being sick. You were fired for showing up late to work again on the day you were going to tell your employer that you were sick and provide the medical documentation from your doctor .. right?.

Whether you will receive unemployment benefits depends on the employer proving their burden of proof.

I don't know how well they documented your habitual, and in my opinion, unexcused lateness, which is work related misconduct. (If necessary, forgive me, sometimes, my opinions based on a natural inclination to be personally accountable for my actions .. are lost on some people.)

However, I do know exactly what I'd need from your employer for the unemployment hearing .. so I could make certain they'd win.

The employment relationship works best when both sides are responsible for their own actions and are consistent about knowing what the expectations are and meeting them.

You needed to find a way to get to work on time everyday once you found out your job was in jeopardy including the day you might have had an opportunity to create a little wiggle room for yourself with the medical documentation.

3 or 4 minutes a day adds up to a lot of lost productivity over 1.5 years. That is what employers pay employees for .. their time spent working.

One of the basic elements of being a valuable employee is to get to work on time AND to make any reasonable adjustments needed, to do so.

It might be leaving home early enough to compensate for the pull-overs or getting another ticket. It might of been documenting a legitimate reason why you couldn't handle the shift change.

And by the way, 1.5 years ago .. when you accepted the job .. work was still one hour from home and if they switched your shift and that was going to be a problem .. then would have been the time to address it as a problem.

late and confused
by: Vee

i want to know if i qualify for insurance. NYS. i was terminated from my job for "excessive tardiness" , i worked in an urban area filled with "random spot checks and pull over by police" . anytime i came in "late" i would show these tix. and there are times where i was just let go without any indication of being pulled over. prior to being fired i was sick, so i took a weeks vacation and went to see a cardiologist. i saw 4 different doctors and have notes. on the day i was to come back to work, i was given an appt to get screened for a serious heart issue, so i called my mgr and let him know. i was also given meds for the condition and recommended to ask my job for some rest days, which i stated would be hard because i technically took a vacation. the next day i came in, (3 min/4min late no exaggeration), with the cardiologist note and ekgs and doctors card and location, and they stated "i'm no longer needed by the company, and i'm terminated. i was a fulltime worker given reduced hours (from 38 to 30 mim. allowed) and changed my late shift to a early morn shift that he knew i couldnt make, but claims because it was not on the "INITIAL application" he could switch me for business needs and also renounced all my "switching with others" requests.

now unemployment states that my employer is protesting unemployment, i want to know what happens and will i receive unemployment? please respond thank you.

P.S. i was a F/t worker and worked 1.5 yrs there. about 1hr driving time from my home.

Do I qualify for umemployment benefits?
by: Anonymous

I recently got fired for being late. I had a six day work week. I worked nights M-F and all day on Saturday. On May 13th I called my boss and told her that I could not work a six day schedule, she asked if there was anything she could do to change my mind and I told her that I had no intentions of leaving the company and just wanted to move to a position that allowed me to work normal business hours within the company and she replied that she did not want me to leave and that she would help me because I was a good employee. On May 19th I asked about the status of my request, just to know how we were going to worj things out and she flipped out on me and began yelling at me sating that I was giving her an ultimatum, which I wasnt I was just asking so we could start planning. She apologized and said she would work with me and help me on this. I didnt hear anything from her again regarding this issue and I was scared to ask. On July 11th I purposed to her a schedule that would give me some relief from a six day work week and she said it was a good idea but again she blew me off. I was fired because she said im not working out for the company. Do I qualify for unemployement if I made repeated attempts to help me correct the issues.

No, you do not. You would qualify for benefits if the employer cannot prove misconduct.

You were fired .. you didn't quit .. and you certainly did not relate any compelling reason for a schedule change .. wanting something different is your business, but if you want to make it the employer's .. then state the reason.

Doesnt seem right
by: Jess

I was recently fired from my job after a year and a half because I had a flat tire and had to fill it. I have been out ill and missed days and also been late because the company decided they now want to open an hour earlier. The manager walked up to me and very disrespectfully accused me of lieing and asked for my things, even after I had called in ahead of time and explained the situation. Do I have any rights as far as the way I was treated? Is it possible for me to collect unemployment until I find another job? I have Dr. Notes and proof of a bad tire. What can I do?
Very sad and unemployed:(

Use the evidence you've got to prove that all attendance issues were reasonably speaking, beyond your control .. but most importantly, prove the final incident that caused the termination was beyond your control .. reasonably speaking that is.

by: Anonymous

damn retards have no life on this thing... you all need to stop trying to be DOCTOR PHIL.. Nick is an idiot for wanting unemployment because he cant find a job because hes to busy having fun with guys doing god knows what haha ur a choker i lve you nick marry me

That's right .. we should all quit trying to be Dr. Phil and be more like you .. because of course, you aren't an idiot.


broke and confused
by: Anonymous

iayn 2007 my ex girlfriend was 8months pregnat wit my son when she got shot 2x in her legs. Thank god my son was ok. My supervisor new about what had happen and we had manage to come up with a plan that would prevent me from being late and still get my ex back and forth to therapy.. about a month later he was fired and a new boss was in.. not having any knowledge of my situation, I was fired.. the next day I filed for unemployment, I was denied.. 3years of work down the drain:(

Fired for tardiness
by: Anonymous

I live in Michigan and my job came up with a new attendance policy in january, 3 absences or lates within 30 days is a write up and second time is termination. I share a car with my girlfriend and we work opposite shifts, the thing is my employer new about this for almost 3 years and it was never an issue until now, my supervisor would just tell me to get their when i can and my plant manager even hired me in knowing my situation. I filed a claim for unemployment benefits and received a "notice of determination". I was wondering if i had a chance at fighting this one?

A chance? Any interested party can fight any determination.

I would fight it .. just on principle.

I just can't promise you'd win, but if you focus on the fact that you were hired three years ago and the employer accepted the facts of employing you that you say they did .. Try, because after all .. what do you have to lose?

mostly fired?
by: Crystal


I have been a waitress at an Irish pub in Chicago for the last year. I have never been written up for anything while I've been there. I have had a couple small misunderstandings with my boss in the past that I immediately corrected when they were brought to my attention. Then today my boss accused me of giving away drinks this past Saturday, which was unofficial St. Patrick's day. First off I would like to say that I have never stolen a thing in my life, and that includes giving out free products from work. For every "questionable" circumstance he brought up I gave a truthful and logical explanation, needless to say he refused to listen to my side of the story. My main problem now is that they gave away all of my current shift and told me that they didn't know if they were going to schedule me again in the future, but every time that I asked if I was fired he just kept saying no but we don't think we're going to schedule you anymore. This whole thing is also happening at the same time that the employee who I was hired to replace just moved back to the area, and when I looked to see who they gave my shifts to it was her. I don't know if they actually think that I would ever steal from them or if they were just looking for any excuse to give the former waitress her old shifts back. But, either way I have not been officially fired and I have no idea where to go from here.


Hi Crystal,

If I were you .. I'd file a claim for unemployment now. You can file a claim if your hours are reduced .. and there is always a chance you could collect "partial benefits" so get the ball rolling.

I can't address the reasons that the employer has decided to make an issue, but from what you said .. it's defendable that it is not "misconduct". Which it must be in order to deny someone unemployment benefits when fired.

Fired from bank
by: Anonymous

Hi Nick,

I recently got fired from my job at the bank due to a couple of reasons. The first was for a policey I was not aware if as an employee and the second was I left my cash drawer out accidentally. They counted my cash drawer and it was fine but due to my secound error they had to terminate me. I worked there for over a year and was a great employee. Even though I was fired my manger would still say I was a great employee. But the last couple of weeks before I was fired was when I made my mistakes. The reasoning behind that was because we had a new assistant manger that came in and he was very partial towards me and mean to me. He stressed me out so much that it lead me to not work to my potential. I am wondering if I would still be elgible for collecting unemployment in Virginia under these circumstances.
If you could let me know I would really appreciate it!


Hi Sarah,

If you live in Virginia, you ought to try using the VA precedent manual to see if it can give you any ideas about how you might approach your problem.

If both of the mistakes were made in the last couple of weeks and you had no prior warnings, you might take a look at the employee handbook and see if the employer followed the progressive discipline policy.

Tardiness In West virginia
by: Mike


I have worked at a job for the past three years in West Virginia. My current position is listed as a "will and pleasure" employee. I had received great performance reviews my first two years in the office but this year my review turned out to be horrible. My former manager is currently out of the country due to being in the military and my new manager has it out for me, I believe.

I have an issue with being tardy often but I work in an office setting in a research capacity and do not deal with the public. We work an 8 hour day and the general office rule is if you come in at 9:05, then you can stay to 5:05. However, I have recently been written up for doing so. Additionally, they will not let me work after 5pm, even if it is just 1 or 2 minutes and instead charge me leave for it.

My boss, as well as at least 2 other employees are always coming in 10 or 15 minutes late but nothing is said do them and they are not being charged leave for it and being allowed to work late. I have voiced my concerns about the fairness of the issue and they have fallen on deaf ears. So I have two questions, the first being if I am fired for my tardiness issue will I be able to draw unemployment if I can demonstrate that I am being held to a higher standard than other employees? And the second question I have is if I am fired for voicing my opinion about my treatment, will I be able to draw unemployment?

I am also the only member of one political party in my office, but political idealogy is not protected under discrimination law is it? Thank you for your help, any help you can provide would be great!

Hi Mike,

This is not a general question about unemployment. This is a request for strategies.

It's not that I don't have some ideas of how to approach, but I no longer do this in the Q&A's.

by: Michael

Very well put, Chris.

By the way, thank for you a very helpful website. I've been using your website to look up info for a friend that found herself fired for being consistently, chronically late.

Just like Nick here, it would seem I could put together a significantly stronger case for the employer than for my friend.

You are very welcome Michael. The reason it would be easier to build a case for the employer in Nick's or anyone else who is chronically late and or absent, is because the reasons for being late or absent are within their control.

For some, the concept of personal responsibility and accountability IS rocket science.

Pay attention - I'm trying to help you
by: Chris - (webmaster:)

Hi Nick,

I'm not quite sure what you want to know from me. Do you want me to agree with you that you have a slam dunk case for unemployment? Because I can't do that.

I think you will have to convince the state that even though you had been written up for absences and were probably on a final written warning .. that the reason the employer fired you .. for being late .. shouldn't have counted because the employer had been aware of "why you were late all along" and had been telling you that he would accommodate your need for a different schedule he fired you instead.

I think it will be an uphill battle .. not because it's an impossibility, but because instead of presenting coherent chronological information about why you accepted the job and the employer's failure to adhere to a verbal agreement to change your schedule, the silent alarm problem which is the reason you were consistently late etc.

Instead you keep YELLING it's not my fault. Sit down and write yourself an outline of reasons which prove it wasn't your fault. That's why I gave you the link to the IDES.PDF, so you could read decisions to see how and when someone might get unemployment when fired for violations of "attendance policies".

You need to focus and develop the information that will help you. I'm a stranger .. just like the adjudicator will be a stranger and the hearing officer will be a stranger. We don't know what happened. It's your job to present your information in a way that a stranger can clearly understand what happened.

And Nick, you're not doing that. I have read and reread your submissions because I'm trying to pull out "FACTS", but that is tough to do when it requires getting through all the emotional ranting and raving and proclamations of "It's not my fault". Your "presentation" of the facts leave a lot to be desired and quite frankly I could probably build a better case for your employer and I'm basing that on just what you've said.

It's not necessary to say "it's not my fault" because if you file for unemployment it can't be your fault to get it, but it is necessary to prove why it isn't your fault.

Anyone remember the old TV show Dragnet?

Sgt. Friday would deadpan "just the facts ma'am".

I say this with the kindest of intentions Nick, "knock it off and get a grip or you will do the job of getting yourself denied unemployment for the employer". Your situation is tough to begin with .. your current tact will not make it any easier.

by: nick

i was fired exactly 2 sundays ago because i was late a half hour not cause of calling off i was late one sunday than he said taht was it!! 1 week before that he said he was moving me to days and to be honest like the whole month he was telling me that he was moving me cause he thuoght i was suitable for days cause of schedule. ALso side note me being fired for being late cause of train also was not deliberate or my fault cause the LP security told me many months ago better to come in late half hour tahn early 1 to 2 hours cause of silent alarm triggerwhich my Boss already knew and he stated to me we were gonna have to figure out a schedule change and that was in febuary so he was well aware that i tried everything to come in so it was not even possible to come in extra early cause of silent alarm

Then you have your argument
by: Chris - (webmaster:)

Okay Nick,

You have your argument. You took the job with the understanding that you would be moved to days. The employer was aware of your transportation problems all along and instead of moving you to days .. moved you to nights.

But if you think you were fired for call-offs that is what you need to concentrate on. Why did you call off the last time .. what was the incident that prompted the employer to fire you. Had the employer followed their progressive policy for absences?

by: nick

But i was told i was going to have a change in schdeule to day shift also. and when i took the job it was second job and i started during after noons and i was than placed on midnights. and it was ignored for a long time my late times because they were on weekends which he saw train schedule. and the write ups were cause of calloffs mostly and all of this was ignored until my final week which about before hand he was telling me i was being moved to day shift. So in fact he knew all the time if it was a problem i should have ben fired long ago. But since IT WAS NOT DELIBERATE AND NOT M OWN FAULT he would never have said he would be moving me to days!!

response to my last post!
by: nick

it went on about 5 months i had 2 write ups but that could have been cause of call offs but the last write up was termination for being late. and i was only late 90% of time for weekend schedule because the train has limited schdeule on weekend which my boss knew of! and even than at times i tried to come early On one occasion i did which was 2 HOUR EARLY and was told by security its better to come late than early cause that triggers silent alarms and since that time i came late on weekends cause that was policy other wise I would have to wait outside for like 2 hours which my boss was aware of.i think i had 2 write ups and i think but not sure that 3rd time was when i was terminated no scratch that i think i was just fired no last write up so i guess 2. but i have valid excuse i think cause i was not willful it was not in my control

Hi again,

"Aware of" is a two way street. when you took the job .. there were conditions .. like what time you were expected to start work. It's our responsibility to find a way to get to work on time .. I'm not saying you shouldn't try .. I'm just saying that blaming public transportation is a really weak excuse for trying to build a case for benefits on it.

I would think the state .. or an employer at a hearing would ask some pointed questions of you about why you took the job in the first place if the public transportation schedule presented a problem .. Whether you had to wait two hours or not, I would want to know why you CHOSE to be late rather than early or why you didn't seek an alternative way to get to work on time.

Unless you had some kind of agreement with this employer about "late starts" .. I think you are out of luck.

But here is the IDES Unemployment Insurance Law Handbook. You can search it to see if there may be something in your situation which the state needs to know to allow benefits.

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