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Can I collect unemployment if I have been fired for making a long distance call when my boss gave me his permission AND personal long distance phone code

by evie renoux
(kansas city, MO)


I moved from Colorado to Kansas City and resumed work with a company that I had previously worked for in Florida. I kept my old Colorado cell phone because I was still under a contract. I left my cell at home with my mother while she watched my twins while I was at work. During my first day I found I couldn't call her on my break from the company phone. I asked the supervisor if it would be ok to make the long distance call to my cell to check on my kids. He said "sure no problem and gave me his phone code". I didn't think anything of it because I have worked in other hospitals who don't mind long distance calls. They even let the patients make them. Anyway six months goes by with each time I am at work I make my standard long distance call to my house in Kansas but phoning my old Colorado number while I am on break. Then we get a new CEO. She gets mad at my boss for giving me the phone code and now he is changing his story saying that he only intended me to use it the one time. Plus they want me to pay $86 by this Friday or be fired. I had permission to make the calls. He gave me the code. Why should I have to pay for something I never knew was wrong or that I was being charged for? They aren't deducting it out of my pay so I think they know that they don't have the right. I have never been late since I started. I got a perfect review. Can I get unemployment since they clearly ignored
the problem for 6 months and I was under the impression I had permission? If I fail to pay the $86 does that mean I willfully allowed myself to lose my job? Please help.

Hi Evie,

Sounds like a quandary to me.

Being "under the impression" does not really equate to permission .. such as my supervisor told me that it would be fine to use his phone code to make the long distance call to my cell phone until my cell phone contract is up.

Why couldn't you call your mother from the company phone?

You have two choices as I see it. You either pay the 86 dollars and with it your written statement explaining that the payment should not be construed as an admission of fault, but as your attempt to preserve the employment due to the employer's ultimatum that you pay or be fired. You should also give the details of the initial agreement you believed you had with the supervisor to do so and why. Explain that had you known or ever been informed otherwise during the course of the six months that you had been doing this .. you would have discontinued and would have made other arrangements. Ask for this statement to be added to your personnel file.

Second choice, don't pay, but provide the written statement to the employer, ask that it be added to your personnel file and be fired and hope for the best that the state believes you when you say "I was under the impression" which just might be understandable since it took the employer 6 months to even bring this up.

I have no idea if the employer can force you to pay through other means.

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