Fired for Misconduct in Missouri - Unemployment denied- Do I appeal?
(St. Louis, MO)
I was terminated because of inappropriate use of company email and failure to abide by an anti-harassment agreement necessitated by violations of company harassment policy. Since the reason was within claimant's control to avoid, the claimant was discharged for misconduct.
Story: A co-worker and I had a very close professional and personal relationship (nothing sexual) however things went bad, relations didn't improve, the co-worker went to HR and accused me of harassment, I then had to state my case and opened up a can of worms for how the co-worker inappropriately treated me at work, threats, etc... Things seemed to improve between the co-worker and I, my employer wrote both of us up, and said we were to have no more personal communications, I did everything in my power to refrain from communications with this person. A couple of weeks went by, my co-worker and I were working pretty well together, he was being casual again and himself... I sent an email to him asking if he had some season tickets he could sell to me... he answered the email and said no, but told me who to call. the next day he was not happy with my boss because of something that happened in a meeting. The day after that he went to HR saying I emailed him about the tickets, 2 days later I was let go because I emailed him asking if he had any season tickets left to sell.
What occurred never affected my work performance, I was with the company for a very long time, and had wonderful performance reviews and promotions. The co-worker I've heard is still under surveillance... and
are watching him very closely. No one is even allowed to speak with him over the phone unless someone else is in the room.
Yes, I emailed this person, I didn't think anything of it and this was against this agreement that I was aware of.. .Do I even appeal my ineligibility for unemployment? Do I have a shot?
Here's the thing about unemployment appeals I wish everyone would take to heart. If you're asking "should I appeal my denied unemployment claim" Do it! just so you are preserving your rights to the hearing. If you wait to long the deadline will have passed and you'll have no recourse, but to take the denial lying down.
If you change your mind, you can withdraw the appeal right up to the hearing. This will give you some time to investigate your options and in your particular situation, possibly contact an attorney.
Missouri is an attorney state. You don't need to have an attorney, but if you or the opposing side do choose to be represented, it must be an attorney. MO is one of only a handful of states that actually requires the person representing a party at a lower level unemployment hearing must be an attorney.
This is why I suggest you check out this website.
He's a Missouri employment attorney and has very useful and informative information. He actually lists his fees...if you can believe that.
Your case sounds complex. You could proceed without representation, but I wouldn't. Way too many pitfalls to avoid.
If you would be collecting the maximum amount allowed in Missouri an attorney may be well worth it.