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Fired for printing a home based business flyer using my work email address on my flyer as my contact email

(IL Unemployment Benefits)

I was just fired after 15 years of service. I had received a corrective action warning in October for being rude on the phone to customers and was told I needed to take a class on Customer Service which I did and my work had significantly improved as well as my attitude on the phone when dealing with people. However, due to the fact that when your under corrective action, anything else you do that is wrong while under corrective action can result in your termination.

After going through a painful and long 14 month divorce and custody fight I was in need of extra money because I did not make enough at work. So I tried to start a Window Cleaning Business and made up flyers with my home email address listed as my contact. However, due to the fact that my ex-spouse was taking our computer, I changed my business flyer and put my work email address on the flyer as my contact.

I printed some of those flyers at work and one must have gotten jammed in the printer and was turned in to my boss. I was fired for using company property and company email address for personal use. My boss and I had never had a good relationship so this was a no-brainer for her to get rid of me. This did not affect my work performance in any way and was not damaging to the company. This is no different then using the company phones at work to make personal calls or using the printer to print things unrelated to your job. I would see this all of the time when I would go to the printer. I just filed for unemployment online in Illinois and I'm waiting to hear if I'm going to get it or not.


Do you really not see what is wrong with what you did?

A reasonable person understands that you cannot use your work email to conduct a personal business .. whether your personal business may present a conflict of interest or not with regard to the work you do for the employer.

The email address belonged to the employer. There are cost associated with that .. including the fact that employers pay you to work for them while you are at work ..

My opinion is that there is no way, no how, you will receive unemployment benefits .. it's a no-brainer .. but don't let me stop you from trying. If you win, you can come back and tell me I'm full of it:)


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Unemployment benefits
by: Anonymous

Worked at home doing transcription and had in-house job doing transcription. I had no printer at home, so I emailed to my printer at work and printed out to take and look at my mistakes when I worked on weekend at home. I took my own paper and printed it off on my break. It was password and PIN guarded. There was no HIPPA law broken, but they said I broke company policy. I had never been given a discipline slip. Can I still get unemployment. I have hired a representative to represent me in a phone hearing as they denied unemployment.


What specific company policy did they say you broke?

Why would you mention HIPAA? Is that the policy they say you broke?

I agree
by: Michael

I agree that using your work e-mail address for your home-based business violates an employer's reasonable policy. However, I disagree that one should get discharged for it without progressive discipline.

The corrective action write-up for being rude to the customer happened nearly a year prior to the discharge, and in my opinion (and likely the case), it should not be used in association with the printing issue for termination.

Well hello Michael:)

Yes, that is a possible argument, but this is why it's always important to go to the employee handbook because it is your bible for working for that employer. All the expectations and consequences are there. If the employer has not followed their own rules for discipline the rules become your document to support this ..

For instance, an attendance policy may require progressive discipline, but a violation of an employee discount policy may include any action by the employer "up to and including immediate termination".

Trouble is, I always ask about the rules, but few can be specific as to what they are.

Hmmm. Maybe I should add a page devoted to explaining how the employee handbook can be used to work for you.

I have known employer who have actually amended their employee handbook because someone ingeniously used the rules to get benefits.

The rules tell us what possible consequences we may expect .. therefore, if the employer can prove we were made aware of the rules .. we have little excuse for breaking them.

Unlike other specific policies such as

Received a Hearing notice from Unemployment
by: Anonymous

I have a hearing scheduled for 6/22/09 at 9:25am regarding my discharge. I will let you know what happens.

Good Luck!

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