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I Need Help With a Discharge for Absenteeism

by cara
(california usa)

Wow I wish I'd stumbled across this two days ago, before my appeal hearing.

I was involved in a previous unemployment appeal (different company ten years ago) so, I knew what to expect or so I thought...

Here is my story......... I worked for winco foods four years graveyard shift... A non union employee owned company using a point system attendance policy. Calling in sick 3 hours prior to start of shift- 2 points and 3 points if less then 3 hours, tardy 2 points etc. At 15 points you get a write up and suspension, at 18 points termination. When you get points the company is required to have you sign as acknowledgment.

Points fall off 1 year after incident.

My denial of benefits was because of attendance problems, however, the incident that put me over in points was a tardy( 20 min) and I called 5 min before my shift. In the four years of employment I was tardy 5 times. One of those times I was only late by one minute(2 points and I was afraid to grieve it).

I appealed the decision and was granted a hearing. I got to the hearing location 30 min early and my manager (with this store only 2 months) and a woman from Peoplesystems(who had represented winco before this same judge multiple times) was also present.

Approx five minutes to one, the judge hands me the case file to review and I was to give it to my employer for review. Well, I found multiple errors that I was noting for questions later, when the judge came out and
asked why I hadn't given my employer the case file to review yet and I told her that I found several errors and felt I needed to write them down for future reference since I didn't have all the documents and was told to hurry.

Meanwhile, the rep for winco makes a comment that normally it takes 7 min to look over a file in an intimidating manner.

At that point I knew I was dead in the water and sure enough, any reply I happened to give that wasn't yes or no, the question was manipulated in such a way that it threw me completely off by the time the judge asked if I had any questions or evidence to submit.

All I could say was no have a nice day. Can you help me?

On top of that winco is denying me wages earned...

I may of been able to help if given the opportunity to assist you in preparing for the hearing or if you had requested representation for your unemployment appeal, I'm sure the hearing rep wouldn't of been thrown off.

As it stands now, there's nothing to do until the hearing decision arrives and an appeal to the California unemployment insurance board of review doesn't sound to good at this point since you didn't bother to protect your right to due process during the hearing.

As for the unpaid wages, that is a different matter an may require you to file a wage claim.

I wish I could of been more helpful though with regard to your unemployment appeal hearing, but it's over with now.

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I'm reposting your last comment minus your full name.
by: Chris - Unemployment-tips

I presume that everyone who finds themselves unemployed is looking for a job .. I don't think it's wise for your full name to show up on the first page of google results that may explain an employment or unemployment problems.

Hi, it's me again the ex- winco slave.

I failed to mention that during my 4 years of graveyard ( we are not bats) backbreaking sweat dripping from the nape of your neck all the way down your ( get my drift) We, the crew had yet another assistant manager(winco brat with the company 12 years). He was only 28, fully vested...and the destroyer of lives.

Management got huge bonuses for coming in under target (spend less make more) and one way to do that was to take topped out employees and cut their hours from 40 to 16 hours. Sometimes as little as 8 for a week.

Then they would hire a whole new crew. well, the new guy never even worked with me to see my production, (120 cases per hour not bad for a 51 year old)which leans a little towards discrimination.

Anyway I filed for unemployment and recieved 3 checks when winco increased my hours just enough to stop my benefits, but not enough to pay the rent. So, here I sit and wonder whats up.

I can collect unemployment benefits as long as I'm employed, but once I become unemployed I am no longer eligable?

Am i missing something? Did they forget the working guy who understands the meaning of a hard days work and knowing in return your job is safe and secure.

I loved working even though it was a physically challenging job. 2 out of 6 new hires quit within the first week. In the beginning I would go into work hoping I'd be needed and 8 out of 10 times I was put to work. Everyday I was there I gave 110 and was available whenever they needed.

My attendance issues were not uncommon with the type of work required and almost all were dr. excused so, please help me understand how this can happen.

During this difficult economic time 4 out of ten people are without jobs a person needs to believe they don't need unions representation to make sure that their hard work ia secure and wages are ajusted accordingly . winco only lets a small percentage become fully vested. Those are the ones that benefit from the part timers hard work how can we stop them...

I will respond to your thoughts and questions directly via a blog submission of my own as comments are limited to length ..

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