What are my chances of unemployment for being fired for violation of an attendance point system in Indiana?
I was recently terminated from a major retail store where I had worked for almost 3 years. I believe I was fired unfairly for there strict, but not monitored very well attendance policy. They go through a series of coachings based on your points. You get 1 point for every time you call in. 1/3 point for tardies and a 1/2 point for only working half your shift. In total you can get to 7 points before getting terminated. Your points that you get from the above mentioned go away after 6 months of getting them. All this information coming from what the 20 some managers that work there told me. I was never given an employee handbook when I started. I had called in for many a reason in my 3 years I had been there. Mainly for being sick but others for personal reasons. family member loss etc. I don't have any documentation from my call ins. Young and dumb I guess you can call me. Now, I had been told by two mangers that I had check my points that I had 2 points falling off soon and they gave me the dates. That bringing my total down to 2 points. you have to get 4 points before you're coached. points work like this. You get to 4 verbal coaching, 5 written coaching, 6 decision day(you decide if you want to continue working there) and 7 termination. I was at a decision day and had not called in. All my points had fallen off down to 2 points. I called in after I had taken some personal days off and the day I came back was terminated for attendance. I was fired unfairly because there are people still working there today that have more points than I ever had and were not even on my level of coaching. The managers at this company switch every 6 months and so you always have a different boss every 6 months and there all supposed to keep track of everyone there over attendance and coach them when they reach 4 points. This doesn't happen to everyone but it happened to me. Some people have got by with it for years. I think that alone shows there showing favoritism to others and that I should not have been fired. I have a best friend there that had more points than me and still hasn't even reached a written
coaching. All in all what do you think are my chances if they fight? I have been out of work for 3 weeks now and cannot find another job.
First you need to get your hands on an employee handbook . since you say you were never given one ..
When preparing for the other side I would personally ask for the "signed acknowledgment" to provide as documentation to prove you were provided a handbook .. because it undermines your testimony that you didn't receive it .. since you signed a form which says you did. So read the rest of this with this fact in mind.
Secondly, once you get a copy of the handbook with the attendance policy you should verify that the employer followed their own policy to a tee if they didn't .. use it against them to prove you couldn't have known your job was in jeopardy since the attendance policy itself worked on a rolling 6 month calendar.
Thirdly, you stated the employer does not uniformly enforce their own attendance policy. Begin to think of witnesses who might be willing to testify to support what you contend to be the truth.
Of course you also need to understand what you would be asking of your witness.
Your witness would be testifying about the fact that if the employer wanted to .. they could actually be fired because they are in violation of the attendance policy .. so good luck with that.
Point systems that do not take into account paid time off for absences which were properly arranged for and absences for illness or whatever "uncontrollable reason" you might have had are hard to defend as "reasonable policies". But since you haven't "documented your employment" and kept a file with things that can rebut .. I know that most employers with attendance policies keep it themselves .. and many notate the reason for the call-offs .. and you wrote something that made me question whether you always followed the call off procedures .. which is another issue altogether aside from from just being absent.
It's possible for claimants to get benefits for discharges for attendance issues, but like all things it's determined on the specifics of each case ..
Should this go to a an appeal hearing .. be sure to "view the hearing file" prior to the hearing if possible. Prepare before hearings .. not at hearings.