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Fired for attendance in Michigan.

by Lana
(Detroit, MI)

I was recently fired for an attendance policy, that does not exist. There is no employee manual or attendance policy. The employer will allow Employee A to take off as much time as they want and will punish Employee B, for doing the exact same thing. There was no verbal warning, no written warning, and nothing signed when I was fired.

My personal belief is that I was fired because after a year of waiting, I had finally received my health benefits. The owner is a bully and consistently plays favorites with people in the place. One day you can be his punching bag and the next he will pick someone new. The owner also picks and choose which employees he will give health benefits to. Maybe 20 of the 125 employees have health benefits. The rest aren't even offered them.

My question is.. Will they be able to fight my unemployment?

Hi Lana,

They can fight. They often do. The question is can they fight it effectively. Just because an employer doesn't have rules doesn't mean a person can't be denied, but it does make it much more difficult.

If someone is always calling in with every excuse under the sun a case can be made to show that any reasonable person with half a brain .. knows that an employer expects consistent attendance and that their frivolous behavior caused harm to the employing unit in some way.

But, and this is a big but ... if a claimant can prove when documentation does not exist that the employer does not uniformly enforce even his own unwritten rules, then he will have a hard time proving good cause for the termination. Also where no documentation exist credibility is determined. Adjudicators and hearing officers both, hear about this stuff day in and day out and they develop excellent bullshit detectors.
Sounding credible should never be underestimated.

Structure is important in the workplace. Unemployment personnel that decides whether you get benefits or not like it and it is an important element in creating fairness in the workplace. If there's no written rules and an employer arbitrarily applies unwritten rules how can anyone who works for him know what to expect, which is the point. An employer's to see to it that the employees know what to expect if they mess up, if they need to address a problem, if .. if ... if.

So you tell me Lana. What kind of case does your employer have.

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Apr 24, 2009
by: Lana

I'll keep you updated if anything changes. Let's hope not!

As of now... I'm plugging away with the job hunt.

Good luck to everyone in need of a job, in this terrible time to be looking for one!


Apr 20, 2009
Received UE
by: Lana

Well... just an update to give hope to others.

I have been approved for unemployment. So far, so good. I'm hoping they don't end up coming back and taking it away from me. That seems to be happening a lot here in Michigan.

It was found that I was not fired for anything direct or malicious towards my now previous employer. I replied to all my paperwork immediately and made sure to continually follow up with the UIA.



It happens everywhere, not just Michigan that people initially allowed unemployment have to face an unemployment hearing because the employer appeals. Most states allow this. There is really no excuse .. as far as I'm concerned for an employer not to respond properly and completely at the initial level. They somehow manage to do it in the states that do require it. Allowing employers to present their documentation after a claimant has received money is irresponsible and creates a financial hardship for a lot of unemployed people.

In your case, I think the employer will have a hard time getting it reversed, but this isnt true for many people ... this is why I try to impress the importance of understanding how unemployment works before you file for it.

And Thank You for coming back and updating. It means a lot and says a lot about you.

Continued good luck:)


Apr 03, 2009
Fired in MI
by: Lana

It seems to me that my ex-employer would really have no case. The company (if you can believe this) didn't even use time cards or any other time system, until just a few months ago.

All other employees hours would reflect the same thing, that I was fired for. We weren't paid for any time off whatsoever, and it was with that understanding, that people came and went as long as their work was being done. IE, leaving early a few days a week or coming in late on another. Every employee did it. I had missed 3 days total for the year, and that was sporadically for migraines.

A few employees had been trying to get a real attendance policy in place, because of this exact situation happening. There was no equality at all there. Every employee had different rules applied to them.

****My comment****

I agree. Additionally, three days missed in one year for migraines would be tough to prove for an employer that did have an attendance policy. Gives as much information as possible on the unemployment application.

You wnat to make sure they feel the need to contact you for further information when and IF the employer responds.

Often times the problem for claimants is they don't fill out the application with the understanding that the state is looking to find where the fault lies, or they make an assumption because of something they've heard that only people that get laid off .. get unemployment.

Just present the information truthfully ... and point out the valid reason per statute that you should be allowed benefits.

Make sure you come back and update and if you have the time include the wording of the determination so everyone can begin to see how this stuff is decided .. in reality.

Thanks Lana,


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