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I was fired for being late one time. Can I collect unemployment?

by Darlene
(Tennessee)

Due to my work schedule constantly being changed weekly I wrote down the wrong time I was supposed to work. My job is shared with 3 other women and we work different hours every week. Sometimes the schedule is made out and then later changed. It is always confusing.


I was scheduled to work one morning and I had written down afternoon. I know at one time it had been afternoon but must have been changed when one of the girls quit unexpectedly.

When I was called to find out why I wasn't there I rushed there and was 1 hour late. When my boss came in he fired me on the spot. He said I was late one other time, which I don't remember. I worked there one year and have never been reprimanded for anything. Will I be able to collect unemployment?


Hi Darlene,

I'm not the one who will make the decision about whether you are able to collect unemployment, but I can give you my opinion based upon what you've said...so here it goes.

I think you will collect unemployment. When we're hired for a job, most of us get an employee handbook which outlines the expectations an employer has of us as employees. It also let's us know what we can expect of the employer should we break one of those rules. When a person is fired the employer ultimately must prove that the act rose to the level of "misconduct". That the employee was aware of the rule and knew his job was in jeopardy through the use of the employer's discipline policy.

From what you've stated, you never received a warning pertaining to tardiness nor any other type of rule violation. The employer told you this was the second time you were late, but how will he prove it without documentation showing you were warned?

Just be completely truthful with the state. A word of warning though... Getting unemployment benefits sometimes requires an unemployment appeal Do not let this deter you ever...it sometimes just takes a hearing to develop the facts of what actually happened to get a determination denying benefits reversed.

Employers know this and do it day in and day out even when they have little chance of winning and they often times win by default because we don't show up to hearings.

Chris

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