...for no reason other than "this is a business decision".

by Anonymous
(Indiana)

I worked at a small family owned business with 50 employees during the high season and about 20 employees during the slow season. I worked in the HR department for 1 year.


During the first 6 months of employment, I found that I could not please my boss in any way. There was definitely an undercurrent of intense dislike on her part. But, I never missed a day, never late, never received a warning of any sort, very seldom made mistakes. After the first 6 months of employment my hours were cut from 40 to 20ish. I was told that I would no longer be eligible for benefits and that if I wanted to leave "they would completely understand". I chose to keep working the reduced hours and tolerating the undercurrents of dislike. Again, no warnings, no missed days, no late arrivals.

After 13 months of employment, I was called into the bosses office and told that effective immediately I was being terminated. I was told "everyone loves you", "you have done a great job", "this is purely a business decision". I was told that they would not fight unemployment and that they wished me good luck!

After filing for unemployment, I find that I am being denied benefits because my employer says that I was "terminated at will". Which according to the Indiana DWD (Department of Workforce Development) that means I was fired and not eligible for benefits! I contacted my employer and questioned her motives and was told that she did nothing wrong and that I should focus my frustration on the DWD not her.

I am not sure how to proceed. I understand that in Indiana you can fire
someone for any reasonable reason. How do I prepare a defense for an appeal when I am clueless for the reason I was fired? Heck, I didn't know that I was fired until the DWD told me. I thought I was laid off due to economic reasons.

Can you help?


Hi Anonymous,

Hmmmmmm. What's up with Indiana? I read recently that they got a spanking from the USDOL because they were found in violation of ... I think it was 41 violations total. And their fund is insolvent. When that happens they are forced to borrow from the Federal government.

Well, let's move onto Your lying employer. (did she happen to say she would be more than happy to call the dept. on your behalf?)

We are not denied unemployment for being released from "at will" employment. Heck, unless we are self employed or have a negotiated employment contract .. we're all "at will" employees.

We are denied unemployment when an employer states they discharged a person for violating rules or expectations and employer has a right to expect.

Appeal. Do it now. Let them know in the letter basically the same stuff you wrote here and go to the hearing.

Focus on the lack of written or verbal warnings, mention the conversation that took place when you were let go. You realize of course you could have filed for partial unemployment when your hours were reduced.

Please update this page with anything you find out. I've read some weird decisions out of Indiana lately.

By the way, the reason does not have to reasonable to fire someone .. as long as it is not illegal and violate any of your protected rights.

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by: Anonymous

Well, I have good news but I don't think it will help anyone. I emailed my ex boss about 5 times asking her to please write a letter to the DWD. She continued to ignore me until I actually wrote the letter myself and emailed it to her. The letter was simply 2 sentences stating that I was laid off due to economic reasons and through no fault of my own. She actually mailed the letter to the DWD and I was immediately awarded my benefits.

The day after I was terminated a new person started in my old position and they were being paid several dollars per hour less than I was making. So essentially, it was a business decision.

Thank you for your help in this matter! I would have gone to the mat if needed to, but this was resolved through my persistence!

Thank you again!

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