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fighting on company property

by Silky
(Colorado Springs, CO)

My subordinate grew angry and became enraged after i reprimanded him. He cornered me alone and threatened to assault me,(i am female). In fear for my safety I reported this immediately to the owner of the company who said he'd take care of it.

The owner spent the next day working with my coworker, and coworker stated I cursed at him and in front of customers. He embellished the whole scene to make me look bad and totally downgraded his threat to me.
On monday morning Both sides of the incident were sent to HR (a staffing agency 1500 miles away who know of none of the things that go on day to day business), and we were both terminated for fighting on company property.
Prior to this incident there has been an ongoing history of complaints by myself to mgmt regarding his aggressive and angry attitude and confrontational behavior (also witnessed by various coworkers and known of by employer) that have not been satisfactorily resolved or properly addressed.
Also a history of complaints by him to mgmt accusing me of verbally abusive treatment.
In my behalf, coworker is unreliable, incompetant, and has not been able to learn to perform the basic job duties after 6 months.
Any conflicts between us have always occurred after having to re-instruct or reprimand him. (employer has told me i should only have to tell him once)(also I know my instructions are clear and reasonable because other employees have performed satisfactorily after being told once.
I am responsible for activities in my dept but have no real authority to hold him accountable.
This coworker has stated he is bipolar and exhibits unstable behavior to support it. He can change attitude at any time and without any reason.
In addition, my immediate supervisor, who treats women in a highly subservient manner, accuses me of degrading coworker when I report and inform him of coworkers failures to perform.
To resolve the conflicts between myself and coworker, immediate supervisor warned us to 'quit tattletiling" and "that if we cannot 'get along' neither would work here any more".
At this point I had ceased to report
problems with coworker for fear of losing my job.
I had on several occasions spoke with female office mgr and other office coworkers concerning this and suggestions on what I could do. I truly felt I would lose my job the next time I complained.
I was denied UI benefits because they say I was fired for being rude and insolent and a customer does not have to tolerate this.
I do not believe a customer was even able to hear the 'argument' between us (for lack of better term) and coworkers written statement is grossly overran with lies and stretched truths, i.e. she said f__k you this and f__k you that and so on.
No body even seems to consider the reason I even came forth was that I had never been so scared in my life when he started screaming and raving at me and poking his finger in my shoulder and saying he was kicking my ass.
In regards to the UI determination for full award, I believe the actual circumstances of the final incident do not matter, but that seperation for fighting as stated on my discharge papers, after verbal warning is actual reason.
I hope to show I was not "at fault" for this seperation because coworker would start exhibiting his behavior for any reason and without warning and I cannot and do not have power to control this. Placing this "get along" or else policy upon me as a job condition is unreasonable and unfair.
What suggestions do you have to help me show this?
P.S. ( I have been previously written up for alleged improper acts toward company property, with stipulations on termination for any future inappropriate acts)(this previous 'contract', a year and a half ago, was a false accusation i had no recourse to set right and employer conveniently brings this to the table after discharge, stating I knew I was in jeopardy)

Sorry Silky,

I do not do consultations here with a free answer.

I do suggest that you prepare for your appeal hearing by acquainting yourself with Colorado unemployment that might help you understand how to fight this.

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