Fired for being late ...can I collect unemployment?

by M.Barrios
(Tampa,Florida,USA)

I had been employed for this company for 3.5 years. Recently the companies structure changed. We were an individual office, a group of people handling the Tampa region.

Well, our company decided to regionalize with other offices in the southern region of the country, which meant a lot of changes, more work more restrictions.

What was considered an office where we serviced clients, became an inbound call center. If anyone has ever worked in a call center, they know that you don't even have time to go to the bathroom. Anyway, in the 3.5 years that I had been working there, there would be days that I would come in 5 to 15 min late.. I know this is not an excuse, but I live over an hour from where I work, and sometimes the traffic would be hectic.

Around Sept I was placed on a final written for tardies I was advised one more tardy and they would fire me. After that happened I obviously didn't want to get fired, so I continued to be on time until, first we were told to work mandatory overtime, when we never had it in the 3 years I was there, instead they would send us home if we worked over the 40 hours, for some people they would use the OT towards days off. So I had to be there at 7:30am every day.. rather than 8:30am. I am going to school mon through thurs nites so getting up even earlier was making it tough.

So this week, I was exhausted and I woke up late, I got to work at 8:48. It was Tues or Wed.. And they waited for friday at 4:30pm to tell me I was terminated for coming in late.

Mind you, people with no time available call out of work, a lot of other employees stroll in late all the time. The ethics in the work place are not the same with everyone.

About 3 weeks someone else got fired, for something that she really shouldn't have been fired for. Bottom line can unemployment be denied if I got fired for tardies?


Hi M.

A person can absolutely be fired for being tardy and the fact that you were on a final written warning and knew that one more would cause your termination does not bode well for you getting unemployment.

The only thing I saw in your account that might (and it's a big might) be something to focus on is whether the employer uniformly enforces their policy for tardiness. But I wouldn't get too optimistic about that argument...

Chris

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