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How can I prove that I was unable to do the job not avoiding calls?

I was fired in Michigan for what my ex employer called call avoidance.

I worked at a call center for 4 years and was trained in 5 different departments during my history with the company. The company would often take you out of a department, and retrain you for a previous dept you worked in to handle the calls or sometimes just leverage you.

Recently, I was leveraged back to an old dept that I had not worked in about 4 months and was unable to complete the calls. I didn't have any of my call handling tools with me for that dept and when I left the remaining advisors in the dept received additional training to handle the calls. Also policy and procedure and scripting changed so much, I knew that I could not complete the calls. So, I informed leadership that I couldn't handle the calls and needed to be transferred back to my current dept (which I also struggling in trying to keep up with sales goals and ever changing policy and procedures).
I was put back into my correct department for about 15 minutes and handled those calls accurately and professionally. Then they transferred me back to my previous department because they were still busy. Since I could not handle the calls I warm transferred them to the other advisors that still work in that department.

My company fired me the next time I came in to work and said that I should have been able to complete the calls. I had been taken off the email list for that department and obviously was transferred out because I wasn't cutting it. I simply could not keep
up with that dept and my current dept. Most of the time when I was transferred back to a previous dept, they gave me a refresher or some kind of training review.

When I applied for unemployment I was denied and the state said that I was fired for unacceptable and improper conduct for call avoidance (misconduct)

This is just not true. I have always handled calls, even from previous lines of business when I was able. I have never received any warnings of any kind for call avoidance and feel that my company was just looking to fire me because I did have seniority and was among the mid range with compensation.

How can I prove that I did not willfully avoid the calls if I have to go to court because this company is known for fighting everyone's unemployment? I do have good performance recognitions, should I send them to the state to add to my unemployment file?

Thank You


Good performance recognitions do not cancel out rule violations.

Which brings up a question .. have you been written up for "other" rule violations? One thing to understand is that progressive discipline doesn't necessarily have to be for the same rule violation .. it could be for distinctly separate and different rules.

The exception might be when instead of a rule .. it's a policy .. like attendance.

You are the one with the information to understand how to fight this .. crack open the employee handbook and see if you can figure out how to prove the discharge was without good cause.

If you would like me to assess your situation .. I'd be happy to do so.

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Feb 15, 2010
by: Anonymous

Hi I wanted to let you know that the Lord gave me the victory and my unemployment determination was reversed!!! I think its so great what you do here by helping people who have no knowledge of how the unemployment process works. Thank You so much. I received some great information from this page!!!

You are very, very welcome.


Nov 10, 2009
Job performance neglect or inability.
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your response

I read previously that it is easy for an employer to prove that you willfully neglected the job duties if you had been able to do them before, but if you struggled before to do them, does that add weight to your case?


That's true .. it is easier to prove that an employee is "making the choice not to perform if it can be proven they did perform before. The strategy is meant to bury any argument that you were not doing the job due to "inability".

Each persons circumstance is specific to their experience.

Take quotas for instance .. it's possible someone might not attain quotas because they were experiencing personal problems. A failure to perform because of personal problems would not be an easy case to win .. if at all, but what if the quotas were affected by the economy? That's winnable.

Figuring out how to approach good cause whether you need to prove or disprove it is an individual process.

If you have always struggle to do a job it does not necessarily mean it was because of inability .. an employer would argue this with "we provided training .. they understood it then.

Then of course the claimant gives testimony about the length and quality of the training .. etc.

The winner is whoever provides the most weighted testimony and evidence .. according to the judgment of the person hearing all the testimony and evidence.

Nov 10, 2009
Thank You for your response
by: Anonymous

I had been written up about 3 weeks earlier for something that would normally be just a mark down on a monitor. So I disputed the write-up. I was not written up for any other "rule" violations, and the call avoidance guidelines are very vague. They do not include what I was fired for, they include things like hanging up on customers and putting the system in 'not ready', but the list says that it is not comprehensive. I have never received a comprehensive list although I requested it months ago. It seems that those vague guidelines allow the employer to fire you for almost anything and call it call avoidance.

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