Can I unemployment if I have been fired for excessive personal use of the email/computer without prior warning?
I was working for a company for 3 months. I had had a couple of informal meetings with my immediate supervisor over lunch (nothing was ever documented in writing that I saw) about how they needed me to improve a couple of performance based issues (which were corrected and no longer an issue before my termination).
However, I was still brought into the owner's office by the owner and my immediate supervisor a couple of weeks later, a couple of days before my 100% company-paid health benefits would have kicked in, and was told that they knew that I was unhappy at the company and that I had the choice to either resign or be let go. I told them that I was not unhappy and had never said that I was, had just been frustrated with how things had been handled regarding certain situations within the company, but had also not made that widely known. That is when the owner told me that if I did not resign, he would say that I was discharged for misconduct and using the internet excessively. I told him that the only times that I had used the internet that I could recall were during my hour lunch break (which was allowed and which my supervisor knew that I was doing), that there may have been a couple of times during the work day when I had sent a personal email, but nothing that had been excessive.
He refused to go into detail, refused to show
me what he was referring to as far as times I had accessed email or the internet, so all I have to go by is the time stamps on my sent and received personal email account (I did not use the company email system). I had never been warned about my internet usage, and my immediate manager had been aware that I accessed the internet during my lunch break and emailed through my personal email account. She had even instructed me to look up information for personal use during company time on a couple of occasions. Company policy in the handbook states that you can use the internet for personal use, just that if it gets to be excessive then you will be warned. If you do not correct it once you have been warned, then you may be let go. However, I was never warned.
I have already spoken to the unemployment claims representative about all of this but he did not give me any indication one way or the other what his determination would be. It is my opinion that I should be able to receive unemployment because I thought that use of the internet for personal use was okay as long as it was not excessive (per instruction and per company policy), and I was not aware that what I was doing was considered "excessive", so therefore it was not willful misconduct. Am I thinking right?
Come on back and let us know what the determination .. determines:)