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If I am fired for use of outdated forms and collect unemployment

by Jason
(Saginaw, MI)

I have not been fired yet but I know that I am because at the end of the night was a note pad on a shared desk we use that stated my termination due to a policy violation of which I apparently signed. What I signed was a slip that said to use original copies only of which I did and later found out that the original was out of date.

What happened:

In March I was filling in for another employee. The employee left me a packet of paperwork to complete his job with. He filled everything out, all I had to do was initial that I picked up a package.

April 3rd, I'm finishing up my normal job and go to call the company I send out packages to on the shared office desk out in the open for all to use and I see on a legal pad the investigation being conducted on me for a violation in shipping for the paperwork that was completed by the person I was filling in for. On the bottom it states "Prove and get rid of him."

So now all the employees know I'm to be fired before I am and my personnel file was scattered on the floor for all to read. Do I have a case for unemployment? I did not intentionally mean to violate any policy as it is my desire to work.


Do you have any prior rule violations? Has the employer followed their discipline policy.

Did you make a copy of your personnel file .. since it was scattered all about on the floor or the written note saying "prove
it and get rid of him"?

The fact that the violation occurred while you were filling in for someone else may weaken their case, but your account is lacking some details to say for sure.

Understand that it is the employer that needs to make a case .. your position is one of punching holes in their case.

Your unfamiliarity with the other persons job,
the fact that you were completing this other persons job with what they provided to you may be helpful.

The employer will need to prove that your mistake was something you should have known better than to do and that it could have caused harm to their interests.

The fact that a note was left on a shared "public desk" about your termination isn't really the point, but it highlights an irresponsible act by the employer and if you can find a rule anywhere that shows it is not allowed (personnel files should not be for just anyone's eyes they contain a whole lot of private information like ssn's) you might use that to prove rules are not uniformly enforced if whoever left it there is not reprimanded.

One more thought since you have not been terminated as of yet. Document on the termination notice or write a document of your own countering with the reasons you think you should not be discharged and emphasize the inadvertency of the mistake you made. Make a copy and ask the employer to attach it to your personnel file.

Whenever a person is reprimanded and they believe the employer is error a person should counter document with a statement pointing up errors in the employers reasoning.

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