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I think the company is trying to fire me and they are covering themselves really good. I am in Florida

by Vanessa
(Miami, Florida,USA)


I have been with this company for the past 2 years. Its a work from home call center and is pay per hour. They are located in Illinois and I am in Florida. For the past couple of months they have been writing me up left and right. They have written me up for not following scripts verbatim, which never was an issue for the past 2 yrs, but now all of a sudden it is. They say that its because the company wants more quality and want to hear a specific yes instead of ok I accept, or sure sign me up from the customer.

They did a one on one training over the phone with me right after a group training covering these points and others. After that training I was sent a memo that was explaining all the updated requirements for that program and I signed it and sent it back. They have tried to write me up already like 4 times in the past year for not working on my sabbath day, and when I get the written notice I then remind them that I observe that day and that they already should have that documentation in my file.

I really think that they are trying to cover themselves very well to avoid the unemployment claim. The other day my coach said that I had to work my scheduled shift which was 9am-5pm. The thing was that I am eastern time and they are central time, so I told her that I have always worked my hours based on eastern time and she said that all the schedules have always been approved based on central time. I went and searched my files and sent them an email saying that in the past I had been written up for being tardy based on eastern schedule and that the company having slow production in the first hour of the day did not justify them trying to pull one on me by changing my schedule all of a sudden. They then said ok that's fine you may continue with your schedule. I have gotten suspended like 4 times already because of not reading verbatim off the script or other things like that and were not an issue in the past.

Well after that long story to give you a snapshot of what I am facing, I wanted to ask for advice on the following:

* If they fire me because of not following the program guidelines like reading verbatim, or taking too long in between calls to get the next call, can I still collect unemployment?

* Or if I am fired because of attendance can I still collect?

* How would the unemployment work being that they are in a different state than me?

* Last but not least, should I refuse to sign anymore written notices or updates to their guidelines?


Signed Confused

Hi Confused,

Let's not mix rule violations:)

If you are fired for attendance the only written warnings that would pertain are the ones for attendance. Want an example?

Let's say the employee always shows up for work, but neglects
various rules everyday under the employer's rules regarding performance (not quoting script verbatim according to guidelines).

An employer would most likely start a progressive discipline until they have finally put him/her on a final written warning (one more time and you're outta here:)

The day after the final warning was issued and signed he/she calls in per policy and says "I'm sick I won't be in." The employer says that's it!! and fires her/him when they come in the next day.

This person is probably going to get unemployment because the employer mixed policies. If they had waited for another performance based incident and could prove "willful misconduct" the person would be denied, but the "final incident was for violation of the attendance policy and that is what the progressive discipline would need to address. Of course even when a person is on a final for attendance and calls in sick and gets fired...the employer may lose because sickness (in most states) is considered beyond the control of the claimant.

Refusing to sign updated guidelines...I think would be good cause to terminate you. This is how the employer assures you are aware of policy, guidelines and anything they want to update about working for them. Read the scripts verbatim..if this affects the results they be it.

In fact, I would never refuse to sign a write-up, but use the opportunity to write a letter of rebuttal to the employer outlining why I feel the employer was in error by doing so and minimizing any claim they have that my actions were "willful misconduct".

When an employer proves misconduct it means that the discharge was the employees fault and did have control to avoid being fired.

The state decides, upon the information they receive, whether your actions "rose" to the level of misconduct. They take into consideration how many times you did it or if it was a one time error in judgment. Smart documenting can undermine an employers attempts to build a case to fire a person if they just want to get rid of you and are grasping at anything.

You apparently document well, which is something everyone who works as an employee for someone else should do.

I am a firm believer in writing a rebuttal letter to an employer for any action they take that tries to lay blame. This is because a signature on a write-up without any statement from the employee implies agreement with it. Not doing so is one of the biggest mistakes employees make as far as I'm concerned. Your statement can be a strong piece of evidence for situations such as yours. You'd be surprised how often I've seen subpoenas from a claimant asking where the statement that was to be attached to the write-up is. That's why you also keep the original...

An employee's documentation can be of great value if an employer's actions are unjustified.

Of course all the documenting in the world by an employee cannot negate real misconduct when you're guilty. In those cases, the only thing that makes someone eligible for unemployment are the failures of the employer to document well.

Apply in Florida.

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