Employer claims voluntary quit I claim wrongful termination- how do I handle the appeal as been denied benefits?
(Grand Island, NE USA)
I am currently living in the state of Nebraska and had been working for a particular employer for over 6 years. All of my reviews have always been excellent and I have always been said to go above and beyond what was expected.
At the start of the year, out of respect to my employer, I informed them that I had recently got engaged to a man that lived out of state and would be leaving my position in about six months. After that I had come to find out that the company had been having some financial trouble. During the first week of February I was forced to take some time off of work due to the slower schedule so I decided to make use of the time that I had to take and also add a couple more days so I could spend some time with my fiance as he was able to come. His flight was due to fly back on a Wednesday but was delayed until Saturday because of weather so I called my other coworkers to see if any of them would be willing to cover my shift! They both denied so I went into work on Thursday as usual. In the middle of the morning I asked my boss if I could work through lunch and leave early in the afternoon- I explained to him the situation. He did approve that I leave and just requested that I inform the others. I will add here that this is a very common thing and had just happened a week before with a different employee. Everything seemed to be going as usual- I informed the my fellow coworkers but the problem started when I went to tell my office manager. She became very upset and said that if I leave I will no longer have a job. I informed her that my request had already been approved by my boss and owner of the business and that I still had over 17 hours of personal time which according to the handbook taking personal time does not even require and form of coverage or prior approval. I did leave shortly after that but later that evening I called my boss and left a message requesting that he call me back so we could talk about things and work them out. He never returned my call so I emailed him again requesting that we get together and resolve the issues. I understand now that I probably should have just went in the next day but I felt like I was fired and was waiting to hear from my boss otherwise- but he didn't respond. Early Friday Morning my manager called demanding the key which I refused to give as I still had all of my personal items at my desk and I again requested that my boss call me and we would discuss things! I have never hear back from them except when I demanded payment on vacation leave which they originally refused but after I threatened to take
them to court they payed! Now I have been denied unemployment benefits because my letter says that I voluntarily quit because of some conflict with a supervisor and personal reason outside of work. Everything about this situation was way out of the norm for anything that I had every experienced in all of the time that I had worked there and it seems that they had planned to figure out a way to let me go as I had already told them I was leaving! I will add here that they had been pressuring me constantly for my letter of resignation when the handbook only requires a two week notice and the week before my termination the office manager got very angry with me when I refused to clock out for an eighty minute office meeting that I was required to attend. I have already appealed but really not sure how to prove my case except focus on the personal time as everything else is her word against mine! Thank you very much for your time and consideration on this matter!
First of all, wrongful termination requires the employer to do something legally questionable.
Given that the United States recognizes the "at will" employment doctrine .. the employer either has to break a law or an employment contract with regard to your termination to be considered "wrongful".
You are asking me to discuss your specific situation and offer advice on how you might win the appeal .. I do this, but not with a free answer.
What I can tell you is that if the policy for requesting time off benefits you .. you should use it to show that you were fired without cause.
You will simply need to present testimony that the employer was the moving party by firing you and that when you left that day you reasonably thought that you had been fired.
But then even if you do manage to do that .. the state will then have to decide if this "final incident" provided the employer with good cause to fire you for what basically may amount to "insubordination".
Which brings us back around to the policy and the fact that you had been given "permission" by your boss.
The question I have is why you had to tell the "office manager" after getting permission.
Who should you have really gotten permission from?
In other words Michelle. I don't think you given me the information I think would be relevant to know in order to help you .. because I would want to know more about how the employer operates and what they might have to say.
And since you mentioned it .. what does quitting in six months to get married or the financial woes of the employer have to do with what happened to you.
I do not believe you made a relevant connection between this and the separation .. although one could speculate .. I guess, but the state doesn't do that .. they only care about what went down that day.