Fired for starting a campaign to unionize.
Great website! First some background:
I worked over 2 1/2 years with a MAJOR retail chain in their warehouse section. I believe I was terminated for threatening to whistle blow the company's labor practices, as well as huge OSHA violations. Myself and 2 other coworkers attempted to start a card signing campaign to allow the ILWU union to represent us in the fight for fair wages and safety. Me being the leader of the organizing party, I was targeted for termination before the actual campaign began. They effectively created a fearful climate by doing so, and I cannot get character statements from former coworkers (who also fear for their job). The corporation will not allow me to obtain documents pertaining to the termination.
I was denied benefits recently and will be filing an appeal. I was initially told on 10/20/09 by management that I was being terminated for tardiness (despite the corporation having a 4 minute "grace period" in place). I was given no actual termination paperwork and the corporation paid remaining wages/vacation by cash with no check stub. I was only given an internet print out with the current check information (dated 10/20/09 at the bottom). After completing the phone UI interview to determine eligibility, I was informed that I was denied for "not completing the amount of work required by employer". The termination date submitted by the employer is also incorrectly documented on 10/18/09.
Will the corporation lose the hearing for submitting incorrect information? What points of discussion will be relevant for my appeal (besides incorrect date and reason)? How can I fight their claims if I am not allowed to view relevant documents?
I've changed the title of your submission to what you said was the cause for termination.
First, let's get the personnel file question out of
the way. Whether we can view or copy or get access to it is determined by state labor laws.This page should tell you how to get your personnel file in California.
But don't lose that website because that's where you should probably file a complaint that the employer terminated you in retaliation for trying to organize a union .. "highly illegal" you know.
What was that you wanted to focus on? An "inadvertent error" made by the employer?
Funny thing is anonymous .. you say you were retaliated against for "threatening" to blow the whistle ..
I just got through reading an ebook because I'm considering recommending it. It's all about how we can take steps as employees to protect ourselves from exactly what happened to you by whistleblowing among various other techniques ..
If you were fired for the reason you say you were .. you should be talking to an employment attorney about suing the employer. If you can prove you were engaged in trying to form a union .. they committed a BIG no-no when they fired you.
It's a protected activity due to the very reason you stated .. nobody will give you statements for fear of their own job.
So why would you not use this to fight for unemployment benefits as well. The fear that your co-workers are feeling is understandable, but if you asked them to be witnesses at your unemployment hearing .. they too become protected and an employer would have a hard time doing anything further to them without it looking like retaliation.
Now I'm curious though, as to if you told the state the same thing you told me .. because the denial wouldn't really make sense then .. would it?
Had you gone as far at to have contact with a union organizer?