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How to Collect Unemployment  After Getting Fired From a Job

When an employer decides it is in their best interest to discharge an employee for work related misconduct,  I cannot agree more that this is what needs to be done.   But to say that employers never fire anyone who isn't guilty of work related and then tell the unemployment department it was, must now do the same thing a lot of voluntary quitter do.

Ignore that it is the moving party who has the burden to meet unemployment insurances law to attribute guilt, or fault and prove the employee was guilty of misconduct, most commonly related to the rules and standards of behavior and  work expectations detailed in an employee handbook.


An employee handbook is an important workplace tool that does more than just establish decorum and control in the workplace, it's also central to the realm of proving guilt to unemployment law.

If your employer was smart, they had all new employees, including you, sign something called an acknowledgement.  This form,  that may not prove you read the employer rules,, but that you were made aware the employer had rules and where you could read them.  

It's a responsibility reasonably owed to an employer to read their workplace rules, policies and procedures for resolving any grievances you might have with your job, or just one particular employee with the power to fire you .. at will.

But if one employee can definitely be guilty of breaking employer's rules to show culpability, or being neglectful to perform their job to meet the standards and expectations an employer has a right to expect of employees, it's the business who can also ignore when one employee is guilty of abuse of use of those rules to discharge subordinate employees.   Or to cite a common disclaimer found at  the front of an employee handbook .. that the employment is still at will and I can fire you for any reason, or no reason at all .. legally, despite the book full of rules all employees are expected to follow and to be fair, should be able to expect the employer to follow .. despite both parties right to enter and exit the at-will  employment relationship .. at will.

Defining Employee Actions That Rise to Willful Work Misconduct

Among all the guilty employees fired for legitimate misconduct and denied benefits who then asked one of these questions about being fired, we might  just as easily, find those I don't think were guilty, but still fired and denied benefits after they lost the first unemployment appeal hearing.

The reasons for unemployment denials of those not guilty of willful work misconduct can vary by the nature of the person, the question they asked, or the rules and laws of a state.  

But also sprinkled in the more revealing questions were signs of guilt that could annoy me, and yes, even potential innocence to make me empathetic .. may too much so, since arguing for benefits is an objective process.  

Of course there were  those questions that managed to stay objective and relevant to the definition of misconduct to explain even more clearly where to look for a valid argument  for rebuttal in support of why they weren't guilty.

Just focused on that definition for work misconduct  to find a valid argument that could interfere with an employer's argument focused on proving them guilty .. they already though about.

Look for weaknesses to find your strength and ague to how the  laws are supposed to work.


In 1941, six years after unemployment insurance was federally mandated, as part of the Social Security Act of 1935, the Wisconsin Supreme Court wrote an opinion of what they thought employee misconduct meant, in general terms.

Ever since that time,  it's been the most widely recognized definition, of what work related misconduct is and has helped to refine the arguments employer's use to fight unemployment benefits.

Related Articles to Getting Fired

Unemployment Tips Home

The Burden to Quit With Good Cause

Unemployment Appeals

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