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do i need to get it in writing that I was fired? California

by Anonymous

I have a horrible and long story, but the bottom line is my boss wanted me to resign and I said I wouldn't due to missing out on unemployment. Then she SAID she would fire me, gave me my last day and now I don't have that in writing. Do I just wait until my severance package runs out (which is really just my normal pay)(not until the first of July) and then apply?

Hi Anonymous,

You know what? I've been working in unemployment for years and everyday I learn something new or at the very least raise a question for myself.

Generally, severance pay is considered wages and therefore, would cancel out your weekly benefits amount, but as usual I first checked my favorite resource at the USDOL (click the current year, then Non Monetary Eligibility Table 5-13) what it said about CA made me check the California Eligibility Guide, (linked to on this page). I went to Total and Partial Unemployment and then read TPU 460.35.

You'll notice not all Severance pay is considered wages. It's going to depend on why the employer gave you the severance. It has to be considered wages to be deductible income.

In either case waiting until July shouldn't affect your weekly benefit amount because if you file in July your base period will be from 4/1/08 through 3/31/09.

When someone is given the choice of "quit or be
fired immediately" it's a personal choice. Some quit because they don't want to deal with a termination on their resume. Either way you go though it is a "quit in lieu of discharge" and for unemployment purposes is considered a discharge.

If a person quits, the resignation letter should be used as self supporting documentation for an unemployment hearing. I have seen so many appeal letters from claimants that are backtracking by trying to explain why their resignation letter sounds like it was their idea to quit. This is not the preferable positioning.

Employer's like this because you have just given them an additional weapon to use against you.

If they choose to let the employer fire them instead .. the documenting should be done on the termination paperwork, yet so many people "refuse to sign" and that is exactly what the employer writes on the notice in the place where your signature should be.

So, yes. I do think you should make an attempt to document the facts somehow. Possibly a written request sent to the employer requesting a formal termination letter detailing your circumstances and focusing heavily on what you believe to be the employer's lack of good cause for their decision or better still maybe requesting an exit interview.

At the very least you will have the documentation you have created, which of course you can use at the hearing .. if it comes to that.

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