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Fired for making mistakes.

by Joy Cocos
(Minerva Ohio US)

The employer installed a scanner that checks bar codes on product to eliminate wrong picks. I was called to the office and told I was making too many mistakes even though I've worked there for 8 years and everyone there is also making mistakes. I was told to make 5 or less mistakes or they would fire me.

I tried the best I could not to make mistakes. (this is a midnight shift job) I also asked fellow employees if they were told not to make 5 or less mistakes and they said no. Two weeks later they told me I was fired. They rehired an employee that quit to replace me. I believe they kept me for 2 weeks until they hired someone to replace me and I really didn't have a chance to do better.

It's now been 7wks. and I am still trying to get unemployment, I have a telephone hearing on Thursday and I really don't know what to do. I live and work in Ohio...

Hi Joy,

Your story raises a lot of questions.

I will assume this is your appeal, since you are still trying to get unemployment.

Was this the first time you were disciplined for making mistakes? Or were you called into the office to receive a "final warning" after the employer followed their own progressive discipline policy and made you aware your job was in jeopardy?

At the hearing focus on the one thing you said that jumps out at me. "I tried the best I could not to make mistakes". If that bar code scanner has some relevance as to why you were making mistakes...bring it up. I've also assumed you mentioned it for some reason.

Understand that the employer will need to sustain their burden of proof at the hearing. This is your opportunity to present information through testimony, that establishes that what you did was not "misconduct", but either an inability (caused by that NEW scanner) or common mistakes that were not intentional.

If the employer did not follow their own discipline policy, submit it for the hearing per the instructions with the hearing notice.

My guess is the other side will focus keenly on the fact that you are in fact, an eight year employee who was capable of doing the job, but chose not to.

Be sure to follow the instructions for the hearing precisely.

If you'd like to add some more detailed information, please use the comment link.

Let us know how it goes.


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Can I get unemployment if the employer has me on tape
by: Melissa

A well known national automotive parts dealer has me on tape that I improperly gave a refund for a battery causing the company to lose money. This job is supposed to be performed by the manager and requires a computer code that the managers use. My store is really short-handed and I was given the code and quickly shown how to do it. I made a mistake and gave the refund. Now my employer is saying I committed fraud. I have been suspended pending determination of termination. I have been with the employer for almost two years without any disciplinary issues. I am in Texas which is an 'at will' state. I am pretty sure I will be fired because the district manager does not like me. Would this qualify for unemployment benefits? I understand the employer has the burden of proof but they have me on tape performing the action.

You still haven't given me sufficient information to say yes, I think you can, or no, I don't think you would collect benefits.

Can you tell me what information I don't have now, that you would argue this wasn't misconduct .. which is basically the reverse position of being assigned the burden of proof.

I understand they have you on tape, but you left out why you were the one doing the job of a manager and who quickly instructed you as to how and most importantly, who, or how you got the secret code .. and most of all .. why fraud .. if your manager is the one who gave you the code and told you how to issue a refund on a battery .. and when not to.

Did you personally know the recipient of the refund? Because that would be a problem now .. wouldn't it.

You've just left to much for me to speculate about to say yea, or nay on the benefits.

And anyway, I'm not taking new questions at this time. Not unless, the questions are mine and I'm asking during a free case evaluation for those who want to be coached, or repped at an unemployment hearing. (And no, neither is a free service.)

Fired for false accusations
by: Anonymous

I am a nurse in TX and was accused by the patient's family I worked for of not giving a medicine, and being on my cell phone too much. Both these statements were false. It is basically my word against theirs, can they deny me unemployment benefits based only on that?


The employer isn't the one that denies you the unemployment benefits .. the state does. Once the information is provided by both you and the employer, the state makes the decision.

It's no doubt harder for the employer to prove good cause without documentation, but when there's no documentation of warnings ... the state may make a judgment on credibility alone.

They shouldn't, but they do. If you were fired, it is the employer's responsibility to prove they had good cause.

90%sure I achieved my goal
by: Anonymous

I had my hearing and I was truthful and to the point . I have really studied up on hearings and how to conduct myself so they realize I'm not some under educated person. My former boss told them that the company wanted me to receive my unemployment and that He had never filled out the forms before (even though he has worked as the head supervisor for 21 or more years) this almost made me fall out of my chair. I claimed human error and more or less told them what I had in my appeal. Thank you Thank you for letting me vent and for your support in this matter. I was almost ready to give up at one point but realized I had nothing to lose. I wasn't wrong and I lost my job because of some other underlying reason which I really don't care about . My next employer will know how good I am after they hire me.

Thank you, for being an inspiration to anyone who reads your experience you have been so generous to share!

All the Best to You,


Clearing up my post
by: Joy

The scanner is there to catch any mistakes the filler might make on an order. This is why I believe I was fired incorrectly, how can I make a mistake if its corrected before it reaches the customer? Also I am a union employee and the contract states that a 3 day suspension, then 5 day suspension was to be used before discharging an employee. My union rep. said she could get my job back for me but I know there will only be more abuse if I do that. Also my hands are tied to a degree because my husband works there (31yrs.) thank you for letting me vent my frustrations. Also union contract is up in 5 months, I believe company will ask everyone to take drastic pay cuts.


If this is your appeal, it sounds like a very good one.

Did you submit the progressive discipline policy to support your position that you were fired arbitrarily without the benefit of the employer following it in your situation?

Why did this employer treat you badly? Was it some form of retaliation?

Do you think that in addition to drastic pay cuts, there may also be an impending lay off?

Would there be a severance package for you if they did lay you off?

I've seen it before. A rash of terminations before a lay off... especially long term employees.

I wish you the best tomorrow Joy.

Let us know how it goes.


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