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Fired for writing a distasteful note?

by Brent
(Lewiston, ME)

Pardon the language...

I wrote a note that told my co-workers if they could "wipe their own a** then to stop leaving their s**t for the next guy to clean up". Nobody was named and I didnt even sign it. There was nothing threatening about it either. I never recieved a warning about it and nobody ever talked to me about it. In almost 3 years of employment there, I never recieved a single warning or write up of any sort. Former and present employees had recieved warnings and write ups, even been sent home for MUCH worse including violent acts.

Thank you for any time you can spare.
Brent Clark

Hi Brent,

Well, I suppose you want something to focus on.

I don't get many visitors from Maine .. in fact I haven't handled all that many Maine appeals, but Maine has very well organized unemployment statutes and this is the definition of misconduct which is used to define what may be good cause for being discharged:

"Misconduct" means a culpable breach of the employee's duties or obligations to the employer or a pattern of irresponsible behavior, which in either case manifests a disregard for a material interest of the employer. This definition relates only to an employee's entitlement to benefits and does not preclude an employer from discharging an employee for actions that are not included in this definition of misconduct. A
finding that an employee has not engaged in misconduct for purposes of this chapter may not be used as evidence that the employer lacked justification for discharge."

There's more and you should read it because after you find the definition for misconduct ... I want to draw your attention to what it says under 23(A)(2), (23)(A)(3), and then add in (23)(B)(1).

These are concepts that you could use to build a solid case on .. if the employer allows others to get away with the same type of behavior without firing. It's not that the employer can't fire you .. that's a given for just about any reason they want, but if the argument would be based upon the fact that if they don't want to pay unemployment benefits .. they need to be certain that they are enforcing the rules fairly and equitably .. across the board.

You made a one time error, you did not exhibit a pattern of inappropriate conduct on note writing.

By the way .. I suggest always .. to back up your arguments with documentation and witnesses to substantiate that what you say is true .. it adds weight to your argument.

What do you think Brent?

Do I think it's winnable .. yes, but there are unknown factors that come into play .. but I know of people who were fired for much worse that collected unemployment benefits.

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