I was recently fired from my job of four years by the new owners of my place of employment in New Mexico. The immediate cause was an email I had written the day prior, a businesslike appeal for more oversight in my department, where two of us had seen job description changes that I argued were hurting our overall goal. Additionally, I discussed recent event failures and my professional opinion regarding why they occurred, and that prior to the changes in procedure, I had demonstrated a pattern of success. Finally, I stated that I was unable to perform my job function as described (‘getting people into the store’) without use of/direction of all the communications tools available to me.
I am concerned that I’m about to hear that I have been denied unemployment benefits because I was told, essentially, that I was insubordinate and difficult to work with. The correspondence in question was not at all inappropriate, and the coworker in question is someone who was moved to working solely at home because of her issues with all staff, ultimately requiring only me to work with her. (This was even stated on the morning of my termination by an employer). Additionally, I was never given specific examples of being ‘hard to talk to’ or suggestions on precisely what to avoid doing – and correspondence and meetings to address any conflict was always initiated by me, attempting to solve what was clearly an issue.
On multiple occasions, I had asked for meetings to evaluate the effectiveness of the new procedures, and I had written a few emails arguing my case for the level of direction I previously enjoyed, and asking for my employers to consult other industry professionals for reasoning similar to my own. Largely, editing of any sort seemed to be considered hostile.
There were conflicts with this coworker. We argued heatedly on one occasion, when she made a disparaging remark about my credentials, and I believe I was the only person reprimanded. I also voluntarily apologized prior to the complaint with my employer, whereas the coworker did not. On multiple occasions, my request to address serious errors she had made was ignored by my employers, and frequently, they missed meetings we had set, often without any communication. There is perhaps one email I will concede was inappropriate from several months ago (at least four, possibly six), but all other documented correspondence that is likely to be cited as inappropriate is not.
It’s unlikely I will be able to convince any coworkers at this small business to attend an unemployment hearing if I need to appeal, although when asked, none said they had issues with me, all were shocked by my termination, and all have complained about the coworker in question. What are my chances for winning this? Do I have any support from the facts that I always solicited the attempt to reconcile our issues, that my employers allowed hostile behavior from this coworker, or that the immediate cause (the most recent email) is obviously not inappropriate?
It seems to me, you might be leaving something out .. such as whether it was the emails themselves that were insubordinate or whether it was your ongoing interactions with the co-worker that are being viewed as insubordinate and in contradiction to a directive from your employer as to how to deal with this person.
It sounds like the co-worker was accommodated to work from home .. maybe because they complained of harassment?
I’m guessing you’d probably be better off with a hearing rep .. because it just sounds like a situation made messy by human interaction that even a good hearing repgood hearing rep would need to understand thoroughly to help you out with.