I was fired for a policy that was not documented anywhere in our Employee Handbook - I have since been denied unemployment for Section 4141.29(D)(2)(a), Ohio Revised Code.

by Jason
(Columbus, OH)

On Sept. 6th 2009, I was cited for a nonmoving driving violation - intent to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. This occurred on a holiday weekend during nonwork hours and I was with my personal vehicle. I was given driving priveledges immediately for work purposes and never drove the company vehicle at any time other than when my priveledges stated that I could. When I received the violation, I immediately checked my company handbook upon returning home just to ensure that I did not have a duty to inform my employer (since I did have a company car). There was nothing in the handbook what so ever indicating that I needed to notify my employer. Since I had work privledges and was driving legally, I felt as though nothing needed to be said. On March 9th 2010, I received my six month review of employment. I received all satisfactory remarks and was told that I was doing a good job. On March 12th, my boss and I had a disagreement (completely unrelated to my driving infraction) that I was certain upset her. After the disagreement, she advised that she had setup a meeting for the following Thursday for her and I to sit down and discuss the future of my employment with her boss. The meeting was scheduled for Thursday 3/25/10. At this time, I had never received any verbal counseling for my job performance, or anything related to such. I believe it was simply a conflict of personalities that resulted in her calling this meeting. After she sheduled the meeting, I believe she began her mission to find a reason to terminate me - pulling my BMV record being one of those things. On Monday evening 3/22/10 I received an email from my HR director that I needed to be available for a conference call at 8:30 am the following morning 3/23/10. When I called into the conference line I was told that she also had my bosses boss in the meeting with her and that the call was to terminate me. I asked why and I was told, "Jason, you know why. You are being terminated because you do not have a license." I advised her that yes, I did have a license and that I could prove it. The BMV website had never

been updated by the court however I had letters from the court showing they were working with the BMV to resolve the issue. She told me she didn't want to hear it, that I should have told them about the driving infraction and that of that moment I was no longer employed by them. The conversation lasted all of three minutes and was then over. I applied for unemployment as soon as I was eligible and am now being denied for, "violating a company rule. Evidence supports that violating the company rule was in connection with the work. Ohio's legal standard that determines if a discharge is with just cause is whether the claimant's acts, omissions, or course of conduct were such that an ordinary person would find the discharge justifiable." We have appealed stating, "There is nothing in the Employee handbook indicating I violated company policy nor was I ever informed of such a policy. In addition, I did have a license and tried to explain to HR when she was termintating me that there was incorrect information at the BMV that was being corrected and she refused to hear me out. The BMV now reflects accurate information and if my BMV file was pulled the same day that I was terminated, the accurate information would have been reflected." We are waiting on the response to the appeal but I'm wondering if I should do anything else. Do you think we should get an atty?




Jason,

Did you send the supporting documentation along with the appeal?

Ohio usually issues a redetermination first. This means it takes longer to get to the actual appeal hearing because it is usually the appeal of the "redetermination" that results in a hearing.

So I think that when a state does follow this practice of redetermining and that if you just reiterate what I'm certain you told the state already .. the first appeal is the time to back it up with the documents you would use at a hearing .. if your goal is a redetermination that reverses the first one.

Supporting documentation would be the employer's rule to show it didn't address what you did do and documentation from motor vehicle to show the employer based their decision on faulty information .. even after you told them why they had faulty information.

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