Can I collect unemployment if I have been fired for not calling in sick in California?
(Santa Rosa, Ca)
I was very sick with mono for a week. my boss told me to get a doctor's note. I did from kaiser. They then told me that it wasn't good enough because it was computer generated. I emailed my doctor to ask for a hand written note. The next Monday I was so sick and out of it I didn't call in sick and as a result I was fired. Even with the doctors note.
You left out a few important detail, but instead of asking you questions, why don't you just read this excerpt from California's determination guide regarding what's considered a compelling reason
and apply it to your circumstances.
If the absence is unexcused and the reason for the absence is noncompelling, the discharge would be for misconduct.
On the other hand, if there is a compelling reason for the absence, there is no willful disregard of the employer's interests. It is understandable that an employer would want to have more dependable employees; however, if the absence is due to a compelling reason, the absence cannot constitute misconduct, provided that the employee properly notifies the employer of the intended absence, or has a compelling reason for failure to notify the employer.
"Compelling reasons" as used here means substantially the same as good cause in a voluntary leaving context, i.e., did the claimant have a real, substantial and compelling reason of such nature that a reasonably prudent person, genuinely desirous of retaining employment would have acted in a like manner? Common examples of compelling reasons for absences are:
* Injury or Illness.
* Taking care of family members who are sick.
* Loss of private transportation and there are no reasonable alternatives.
* Being subpoenaed to court.
Example - Absence, Son was Sick:
In P-B-213, the claimant last worked on April 11. She did not report for work on April 12 and 13 because her three-year old son was, at that time, confined to a hospital with a fatal disease.
The claimant did not communicate with her employer during her absence because she was during this period constantly at
her child's bedside and her thoughts were completely preoccupied with her child. She was terminated for the absence. In finding the claimant eligible, the Board stated:
. . . In the instant case the claimant had a satisfactory record of performance until the occasion in question. She had never previously been warned or reprimanded for any dereliction of duty. Furthermore, considering the circumstances which gave rise to her absence it cannot be said that her conduct evinced a wilful or wanton disregard of her employer's interests.
The Board mentioned three reasons for its decision, namely, satisfactory record of performance, never been warned or reprimanded and the compelling reason for the absence. Even if the claimant did not have a satisfactory record, or had been warned before about unexcused absence, the discharge would not be for misconduct because the claimant's absence was due to a compelling reason.
Example - Absence Due to Illness:
In P-B-216, the claimant was a guard working at the establishment of the employer's clients. On the last day of work, he became ill while at work and called the employer's office for a relief guard. The employer sent a guard to relieve the claimant. The claimant went to see a doctor the following day. He was then hospitalized for tests and was determined to have suffered a heart attack. He filed a claim for disability benefits. When he was able to work, he reported to the employer but was told that he had been replaced. The employer contended that the claimant had not called in after the last day of work to report his continued illness. The claimant testified that his supervisor had visited him and that he informed the supervisor that he had a heart attack; and that he could not estimate when he would be able to return to work. He also testified that he had called the employer's office one week after the last day of work. The Board found the claimant eligible, stating: ". . .We therefore conclude that the claimant was absent from his work because of illness; that he properly notified the employer of his absence.