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calling out sick once and fired when i called out for personal reasons.

by Erica
(Caledonia County, Vermont)

I've been working at a restaurant as a pastry chef and lunch cook for one year. My boss is very negative and nasty and he was bringing me down and my attitude reflected this. He gave me a written warning saying my attitude needed to change and also wrote that i was using my cell phone at work and showing up tardy. Note that he is the one who told me to keep my cell phone on me so i could call him if i needed him when he was absent which was a lot, and i am salary and he also said as long as i got my work done it didnt matter what time i showed up. I reminded him of these things and he said he wasn't concerned about them, just the attitude factor. He said if i didn't sign the paper i would be fired. I signed it and wrote a paper explaining all these factors but he refused to put it in my employee records. From that point on i showed up on time every day, left my cell phone in my car and changed my attitude. 3 weeks later he gave me a raise and commended me on an awesome job turning things around. 2 weeks after that he cut my work hours down to 18 a week and cut me from salary to 11.00/hr. when i asked him why he said it was because money was tight. (he just bought and remodeled a house)when i filed for lost wages from unemployment he contested it saying i asked to have my hours cut and am able to work. However i asked him many times if there was more work for me to do and he sent me home. I currently have a phone interview with an adjudicator this week for the lost wages. Since then he has been harassing me

and as i see it trying to get me to quit. I have reported these beliefs to the unemployment office. He told me to leave one day and then said if i left i was quitting so i refused to leave. Two nights ago my boyfriend was attacked and in an altercation, both men arrested. I had to wait at the police station all night and was not able to make it to my shift. I called at 130 a.m. to notify my boss i wouldnt be in to work. He told me earlier to call any time, however he doesnt have a cell phone or home phone so i left a message on the office machine. I went to work the next day and apologized and he said my services werent needed any more. He said i have too many personal problems. note i did leave work one day for half an hour for a personal issue but okayed it with him first. I returned immediately after half an hour. since i have never, not once taken a lunch break and only taken 1 ten minute break a day didnt see this as an issue. None of these absenses were ever documented, at least not to my knowledge. This man always contests against any one who trys to draw unenployment because he is that cheap. He has told me himself about trying to deny people unenployment. Do i have a case? How long could this be dragged out for?

Well, if I unscrambled the facts as you presented them, correctly, then yes, I think you have a case ..

How long this will drag out, depends on the outcome of the initial determination and any subsequent appeal by either you or the employer depending on who wins intially.

I don't know how long it is taking to get a hearing scheduled these days in Vermont.

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