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by Anderson
(iowa city)

I was employed for 4.5 years, had 1 write up for using instant messenger for mostly personal use. Stopped doing that, then was suspended a year later for using the instant messenger too much for business use (asking business related questions). They wanted me to write a commitment letter to let them know how I was going to change my ways and I refused because the policy never states you can't use the messenger system for business purposes. I refused to write the commitment letter and was terminated due to insubordination. I was also on FMLA during this time due to stress migraines from them. The terminated my ability to work from home as part of my suspension too leading to me missing more hours of work and using up my FMLA faster. Any help on this would be appreciated. Thanks!

Hi Anderson,

Sorry .. I think you're toast. Given the information you provided .. I can only think of a good argument for the employer

But you might try researching the issue.

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by: Anonymous

What could I have done differently to help myself be able to win the unemployment battle? Here's another question, if I would have just written the commitment letter and put in there that I don't agree with what happened with my discipline and carried on with working do you think I could have had a better chance getting unemployment if they would have decided to fire me for some other reason down the road?

Yes, absolutely. Don't forget .. you were on FMLA .. this by implications of what an employer is required to do for those on FMLA .. makes them a pain in the ass.

You changed the reason for the termination when you "refused" .. and the different reason makes your position extremely difficult to defend.

On the other hand if you had gone along and included your reasoning for your disagreement in the letter, but still with an attitude to comply .. you would have been documenting the employer's possibly ulterior motives for creating a chain of discipline meant to stand as misconduct.

Please understand that I do not have all the details .. so you may have information you could use to fight even this insubordination issue.

There are few slam dunks .. with a guarantee one way or the other .. which is why employers do pay for hearing representation .. because even they have a hard time understanding simple unemployment is a protection against "at will employment".

But my guess is that when you refused .. there were visions of an employment equivalent of a touchdown, a hockey goal or a checkered flag in the heads of HR.

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