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denied unemployment due to poor job performance even though I was given 2 promotions and 3 raises in year I worked

by A Guerrero
(Lake Jackson, TX, USA)

On December 6, 2010, I was terminated by an employer (an independent hotel) with whom I had worked for about one year. I was totally taken by surprise when I was brought into the office and told that they were dissatisfied with my job performance.

Here are the details as I see them:
I was hired November 2009 at a beginning pay of $8/hour. When a fellow employee was promoted to General Manager in March of 2010, I and others were tested for possible promotion to Asst Manager. I was offered the Asst Mgr job and was given a $1/hr raise and told I would be given more once training was completed. I never received any formal training - just shown how to look at the audit reports. At the beginning of April, when I was officially given the title of assistant mgr, they raised my pay to $10.50/hr. Still without formal training, I was told to handle all the AR billing and event coordinating (weddings, meetings, etc). My duties were to send out direct billing invoices weekly (if we had any, and I did keep a log of this every time I sent out billing to different companies). In early July 2010, I was told to take care of the corporate lodging accts (I was told that they were not satisfied with the employee who was currently handling this so I was asked to do it because they were impressed with my handling of AR). From that point on, outstanding AR decreased in numbers and we were finally getting paid for overdue accts. At the end of Oct (pay period 10/18-10/31) the "big boss" came to visit. He and the General Manager sat me down and told me that they were creating a position for a second assistant manager. The new position (given to a co-worker) would handle housekeeping and maintenance and my duties were to include all front desk issues, staff (hiring, firing, giving raises, making weekly schedules), all event matters, AR, and Corporate Lodging accounts (a system that I helped to restructure and in November alone helped to reclaim nearly $50,000 that was unpaid). At this time, I was also given a .25/hr raise directly from the "big boss" and he even made it retroactive so it would be included in my upcoming paycheck.
My issue can I be promoted and given a raise for excellent job performance just weeks before I am terminated for poor job performance?
After filing for unemployment, I had a
phone interview with Texas Workforce Commission and then received a letter stating I was disqualified: Fired-Failed to perform to employers satisfaction. During the interview, I was told that my employer claimed the termination issues to be: 1. poor job performance, 2. not looking at documents when told to do so just to hide that a family member was staying at hotel at a discounted rate, and 3. not making sure events were getting taken care of.
1. If I was not performing well, I was NEVER informed of this. In fact, I had noticed a difference in the General Manager's attitude toward me towards the end of October (just after the "restructuring")and sent her an email asking if there was a problem (email because she wouldn't hardly talk to me at work). She never replied but told me at work that she was just stressed with work. Things were better for a few weeks and then I noticed her growing distant again and at the end of November I found myself sending her messages again inquiring as to whether or not there was a problem with my work. I was NEVER told that I was doing anything wrong nor did I have an reason to believe that I was not performing satisfactorily.
2. ALL employees are given the privilege of allowing immediate family a discounted rate. Over course of the year, my mother-in-law came to visit and stayed at the hotel a total of maybe 4-5 times. I always asked for approval (this was a verbal thing we did) until I was promoted to Asst Mgr (because approving this is something the asst mgr does). I never hid it from anyone nor was I ever reprimanded for it. I was speechless when the workforce agent brought it up.
3. With event coordination, something at sometime is bound to go wrong. In fact, this was the mantra taught to me by the General Manager. She would tell me "just do your best and do what it takes to make things go as smoothly as possible because with some people nothing you can do is good enough." I never had a complaint or issue that I did not immediately and effectively take care of. I always read comments and surveys from our event customers and nothing bad was ever written about me - only praise.


So, you're telling me that there were never any written warnings for job performance .. nor performance reviews that outlined what you needed to improve upon?

Comments for denied unemployment due to poor job performance even though I was given 2 promotions and 3 raises in year I worked

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Jan 03, 2011
performance reviews
by: aguerrero

Correct. There were never any written or verbal performance reviews indicating there was a problem with my work. I was never reprimanded for anything or told that I need to make improvements in any way. The few times that I did have a review (or meeting of any sort), I was given a raise and praised for my work.

It is a common perception about unemployment that misconduct related to performance issues can't really be misconduct until an employee is warned about how their performance is lacking so they can work on improving ..

It's difficult for an employer to prove misconduct if they don't make the employee "aware" their job is in jeopardy without the improvements through documented warnings .. aka write-ups.

This concept does exclude one-time boneheaded behaviors that most people know could, would or should .. get you fired.

In your case, the first place I would look for weaknesses in the employer case for misconduct is the employee handbook and I would be looking specifically for what the progressive discipline policy is for performance type issues.

I would go so far as to provide the policy if it would be beneficial to you.

The raises and promotion are really irrelevant in the scheme of things .. except that they might confirm the fact that you had not received prior warnings for job performance recently.

I believe you should be able to get benefits .. at least within my understanding of how unemployment works.

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