Fired for "Good Cause"

by D. Garcia
(California)

I got fired for cause. I have worked there for almost 5 years and was only written up once for a mistake NOT for a behavioral issue. The owner and president of the company has written numerous times that I am an exemplary employee and my personel file is two inches thick with commendations.

I was fired about one hour after sending an email concerning harassment. Now the company say's they have statements from employee's that I was causing a disruption by a negative reaction to a new policy. I have never been counseled or written up for any bad behavior. Does this mean I will not get unemployment?


Hi D,

Do you happen to have a copy of that email you sent?

What was the new policy? Were you causing a disruption?

I think it's great you have two inches of wonderful things about you in your personnel file, but "the incident" you need to concern yourself with now is the one that got you fired. I don't feel like you've given enough information for me to do anything but speculate. Specifics please.

Read the stuff under MC45 and MC255 if you have more questions come on back and post a comment to this page.

The employer only decides whether there was good cause to fire you, they do not decide (although they need to prove) if it was good enough for the STATE to deny unemployment benefits. The state decides.

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Apr 23, 2009
RE: Fired for cause
by: Anonymous

I was fired for cause, not good cause. Does that make a difference? The incident started when I was speaking to my immediate supervisor and asking her if we got paid for our lunch. She responded with no. There was only one other employee in the same room so I'm sure she heard our conversation. There was no raising of voices. The issue is, my manager is the ex wife of the owner of the company, two of the owners wife's really good friends AND the owners stepdaughter works in the same office. Nepotism runs rampant. Even though there was no large "scene", but since my coworkers are so close with the owner and I questioned the new procedure. I got fired. The bottom line is they can and I'm sure did, lie about what happened. I have not seen the letters but I can say there were only 3 people in the room. If this company produced other letters they are complete lies. The email I sent to my home office (it's on the east coast) was sent to hopefully stop the harassment I had been experiencing. There is no proof other than my word and my file since everyone that works there is either related or close friends of the owner. I read up on cause and it stated that I would have to cause physical harm in order to not qualify for UI, is that true?


Apr 23, 2009
RE: Fired for cause
by: Anonymous

The new policy was to restrict contact between contracted employee's and the Government worker at the worksite. Therefore eliminating "favoritism".




Apr 23, 2009
Fired for cause Fired for good cause
by: Chris - webmaster:)

Hi again D.

Most employer's think they have fired for "cause". When it comes to UI and whether you get it or not is determined by whether the state thinks the cause was good or not.

You may request that a subpoena be issued for relevant documents the employer has. Who did you send that email to on the east coast?

You will just have to move forward and hope your testimony as to the "real" facts will carry the day.

And your question about having to caused physical harm .. You've got that all wrong. Misconduct can be anything that causes harm to an employer's interests.

Apr 23, 2009
RE: Fired for cause
by: Anonymous

I should also tell you that my company is a sub contractor for the company that received the actual Government contract. I sent the email to my home office on the east coast, to the president and owner of the company. I cc's the VP and contract manager as well. I have copies of all the emails that were sent on that day.

According to the EDD website there are several different statutes for "mis conduct", including one for "Isolated Incident of Ordinary Negligence". Regardless of my testimony, this dishonest person has had friends lie and write testimony stating my "disruption". With that fact do you think my case could fall under that statute? I have it below;

Example - Isolated Incident of Ordinary Negligence:

In Silva v. CUIAB (First Appellate Court, 1973), the claimant was being trained for new and unfamiliar work; he became nervous and frustrated and either "blew up" or felt he was going to blow up. He left work without permission in midafternoon. The employer was aware of some emotional problems the claimant was having. The employer spoke to the claimant the next morning about his unauthorized departure. The claimant's reply was sarcastic and, when told if such action was repeated he would be discharged, he responded with a vulgar remark. He was told if that was the way he felt, he could leave, whereupon he left. He would have been discharged for his attitude and language that morning had he not left. The court held:

Given the tests of fault and wilful or wanton behavior as essential elements of 'misconduct', the single instance of an offensive remark . . . uttered in the circumstances disclosed falls within the category of a mere mistake or error in judgment, a 'minor pecadillo' and is not misconduct disqualifying appellant from unemployment insurance benefits.

It should be noted, however, that despite acts of ordinary negligence, this element of willfulness may be found if the claimant has been previously warned or reprimanded for prior similar acts and has the ability and capacity to perform satisfactorily.

Apr 24, 2009
Proving you were not fired for good cause.
by: Chris - webmaster:)

Hi D,

I do believe you are understanding what it is you need to do at the hearing, but please do understand an employee with an outstanding personnel file can be found guilty of a one-time event that rises to a level that can be decided was misconduct.

I think if I were you I would request that a subpoena be issued telling the employer to produce that email. Even if they say they don't have it .. doing so may bring it's existence into question.

Misconduct is basically determined by a "REASONABLE PERSON STANDARD" It's tough to nail it down because everyone has biases, including ALJ's. This is why it's important for everyone who represents themselves at a hearing to understand they are actually acting as their own legal representative .. or that they are appearing Pro Se. Therefore, you are responsible for presenting the best case possible for yourself.

Especially in a case like yours where as you say, the employer seems ready, willing and able to perjure their self.

I personally am not the judge of what the truth is .. the person that presides over an unemployment hearing is and they are given wide berth when judging "credibility".

If it's any solace .. California will not give as much weight to those statements without testimony from the people who actually wrote the statement.

I think I've said this before, but it's well worth stating again .. The people who hear unemployment stories day in and day out .. have keen bullshit detectors. They do a lot of questioning to get at the truth. They've heard it all before. And generally do a very good job .. considering how busy they are. But natuarally, the more truthful information you can provide that would allow for them to decide in their favor .. the better.

My advice is always .. always to PREPARE and when we prepare it seems natural to me to anticipate and prepare for what we believe or know the other sides focus will be.

Chris


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