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I have been scheduled for a phone interview!!

I was recently let go from a job I held for the past 6 years. I wasn't surprised and had expected this because business had been extremely slow for the past year. I worked in the oilfield/drilling industry which is really struggling as of late. I noticed this trend last year because I our purchase orders had slowed down significantly. In November of last year (2015) my boss informed us that the contribution to our health insurance would be cut from 80 to 20 percent. That amounted to a pay cut of approximately $400 a month. My boss made it clear that it was because she could no longer afford it and they were looking at ways to cut overhead. In January, business slowed down even more. I researched and read several articles which pointed out that the outlook for the drilling/oil industry was not good. One does not have to search very far to find numerous articles about the job losses not only in the United States, but worldwide. My colleague and I decided to ask our office manager if our jobs were secure seeing how much our work load had decreased. He assured us that our jobs were secure and that there was nothing to worry about. Two weeks later my boss called me to her desk and Said " Mary I have to let you go." My immediate response to her was "I saw this coming. I understand. I have been here 6 years and business has never been this slow. She told me This will be good for you, so you can concentrate more on school." She repeatedly told me how sorry she was and I told her not to feel bad for me. I told her I was confident that I would find something and maybe this is for the best. Maybe there is something else I'm suppose to do. She agreed and told me how she's been doing this for twenty years and she herself does not know how much longer she can do this. I asked about unemployment and she told me to apply. I went back the next day to collect my final check from the manager. I received my unemployment paperwork the second week of February. I checked my online unemployment account last week to see if any checks had been issued as of

yet. I had a notification that a phone interview had been scheduled to "determine eligibility". I did not think anything of it until I received the notice in the mail with the following questions:

1-Why are you no longer working at your very last job?
2-Were you warned that your actions could result in being fired?
3-When were you warned?

I'm confused as to why I have to answer these questions? I was not fired. At no time did my boss say the word fired or say that I had done anything wrong. Our final conversation was exceptionally heartfelt and friendly. I feel betrayed that someone I respected and though of as being honest and ethical would do this to me. My boss straight out lied to avoid payment for my unemployment benefits. I have never been written up in the six years I worked there. I received a favorable yearly review each and every year I was employed. I received a raise and a bonus each and every year except for the last year. My boss apologized for not giving me a raise, but still gave me a bonus. Again, she made it clear that she could not afford giving me a raise this year because of how slow business was. I received a Christmas bonus every single year. It's obvious that she needed to cut overhead and between myself and the other employee I was the one who made the most so I was the likely candidate to get cut. I can completely understand that. What I don't understand or accept is the fact that she lied to the unemployment department to save a few bucks. I am jaded to say the least and this has taught me a very valuable lesson. My interview is scheduled for next week. I am eager to tell them my side of the story. Any suggestions on how to approach this? Any experience with this kind of situation. Again the issue here is that my ex employer has given a completely different and false reason for why I am no longer employed. I spoke to my ex colleague and she informed me that they have not and will not be hiring anyone in the near future. In fact she is now responsible for her duties and all of the duties I use to handle.

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Mar 02, 2016
Thank for the California
by: Chris -

Hi Anonymous,

Yes, those question are troubling, aren't they? Especially since up until then, it all sounded just like a layoff for a "lack of work" to me too.

My first thought is, I don't think it's wise to jump to the conclusion this is definitely, the employer's fault .. as it could just as well be an error by the EDD .. and of course I would be remiss if I didn't ask .. Are you sure you checked the correct reason for job separation? Just asking because it would not be the first time a wrongly checked box on a benefit application was the culprit.

Jumping to conclusions is also what often takes a person's focus off a fact about being fired from a job..

The point being those questions they want you to answer .. are about the employer's burden of proving a discharge was indeed for willful misconduct.

(PS, I was also troubled by the conversation with your employer when it turned to you now being able to focus on your schooling ..)

Misconduct is why employers generally have employee handbooks with rules, policies and expectations of behavior .. and why most also have employees sign an acknowledgement to counter anyone telling the UI dept they weren't aware of all those things found in an employee handbook

A policy, like a "progressive discipline policy, is for normal everyday run of the mill types of conduct that can turn into misconduct when you know the meaning of some of those words used to describe misconduct.

Progressive discipline policies and the escalating verbal and written write-ups are used to prove the employee had been warned previously.

The final written warning is used to prove the employee was at last made aware further incidents of the same sort would put their job in "jeopardy", up to and including termination.

If in fact your empathetic employer did do the dirty deed and falsely respond to the notice of claim filed, she couldn't of been thinking her burden through very well .. unless she's one of those types of employer's also willing to go the distance and post-document and forge an employee's signature, or just put "refused to sign" on a write up.

Everything you told me indicates that if you keep in mind it's the employer who must support a discharge for misconduct .. no matter how the initial determination falls, you can and should get those benefits at some point.

Now, all you need to do it tell the truth and acquaint yourself with some of the things you can find in the misconduct section of the California UIBDG.

It's a link on the resource page.

How do you answer questions about getting fired, when an employer has no supporting evidence of misconduct?

Listen closely to the question being asked by the adjudicator and when you answer know it should be truthful, but concisely stated to rebut the things you should now know your former employer doesn't have in their possession. And also likely hasn't provided to the EDD to support whatever she wrote as her initial response to your claim.

Claimant was discharged for violation of the employers rules and or standard of performance. .. I don't know, but I do know, you're not alone in the boatload of employees who have had to deal with the same tactics and strategies.

Jaded Chris -

Mar 01, 2016
Employer location - California
by: Anonymous

I was employed in the state of California.

Mar 01, 2016
Before I'm willing to respond
by: Chris -

I insist on knowing the name of the state where you worked and filed for unemployment benefits.

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