My company is lying to the EDD about why I was fired in CA
I was being harassed by my boss for several months. It had nothing to do with my job performance since I always met my deadlines and was a good worker. I kept an electronic log of all the harassment incidents. One day, my department was called in for a “meeting” after we were supposed to be off work. We were told that internet use was not allowed except on breaks, lunches or before/after work and that if we continued, that it would result in us possibly getting fired. The following week, I used the internet on my breaks/lunches only. I was written up by my boss for “abusing” the internet per the handbook’s policy even though I was using it on my own time. (The odd thing is that he had written the write-up only 2 days after warning everyone about it). I stopped using the internet completely after that. Two weeks after this I complained about being harassed to my boss’ boss. I brought up several of the incidents of which I had kept record. I did not feel comfortable going to HR because the HR woman is untrustworthy and my co-workers told me not to go to her because it is a known fact that she gossips about anything that people tell her in confidence.
Two weeks later, I got into a disagreement with my boss. I was not rude in any way, but said that I couldn’t do what they wanted me to do because it was against the law. (Forging a document). He didn’t get upset, but dropped the issue. That was on a Friday. The following week, I had thrown out my back and went home sick the first day of the week. The second day, I couldn’t get out of bed. I called in sick. I went to the doctor that day but had to register as a patient (because I had never been there before) and couldn’t get seen that day. I went into work the next day where I was promptly fired. I was never actually told WHY I was fired except that “it wasn’t working out” and that I was “overheard saying that I wanted to get fired.” I told the HR woman that I had never said that. I also told her that I had complained that I was being harassed. She denied ever having been told about it. I also brought up several of the other issues I had. But I made it clear that I had never said that I wanted to get fired. She continued to tell me how things that I had supposedly said were making their way to her and how “people at the company talk” and she hears everything.
At this point, I still did not know exactly why I had been fired. On my EDD claim, I put down only what I knew had happened leading up to my termination. In my eligibility interview, I told the EDD only what I knew for fact. After talking to my former employer, the EDD ruled in my favor, stating that I was discharged “because co-workers did not like me.” I did find out eventually through friends still employed at the company that one of the girls who didn’t like me complained to her boss (who also didn’t like me) about something I supposedly said. That boss then complained to the HR Manager (who is her close friend) who then fired me. I knew nothing about this when EDD interviewed me. My company is now appealing and is saying I lied to the EDD. They supposedly went around and got people to sign a statement saying that I had been saying I was “trying to get fired.” Can they use that against me? My instinct is to say that if those people are the same ones that got me fired, then of course they are going to forge a document saying that I “supposedly” said I wanted to get fired. Secondly, if I had really wanted to get fired, surely I could have easily done so (by continuing to use the internet after getting written up, for example). Their logic doesn’t make sense to me.
Right now, the EDD has sent me a letter saying that I need to be called for a second interview to determine eligibility. They did not tell me why, but I know it is because my company is telling them I lied the first time. The HR Manager said that I was “never harassed” and that I can’t tell the EDD that I was. Her exact words were “well, I don’t have it written down in your file, so it never happened.” I have already pursued action with the DFEH in CA for discrimination and harassment. I kept a written log, as stated above, of what my boss was doing. The HR Manager also told me I was insubordinate. However, I had never been written up or counseled for anything other than internet usage (after which I stopped). I would also like to point out that I was the only person who was written up for internet usage despite the fact that everyone else abuses the internet. The discharge form I was given when terminated does not give a reason for my termination. I told the HR Manager that just because I reported the harassment verbally it is not my fault if it never got reported to her but that I had documented it myself. The internet write-up had occurred at least a month before I was terminated, but can they say that they fired me for using the internet? I know that they cannot possibly provide logs showing I was on the internet when I was clocked in because I know I wasn’t using the internet. Also, would I be able to ask them to provide internet usage logs for everyone else in the company to prove that I was singled out? Will the EDD accept the HR Manager’s claims that she “heard” that I was saying things? I had also told my boss’ boss that I was looking for a new job because I could not handle the harassment. Should I tell the EDD this in order to prove that I wasn’t trying to get fired? I mean, why would I be looking for a new job if I was also trying to get fired? I have documentation showing that I had had several job interviews prior to my termination.
I have numerous text messages from people still working at the company that lend credibility to my case. I was wondering if the EDD would even consider them valid and can I mention them in my second EDD eligibility interview? I have been researching this extensively and do not believe that anything I did could be considered misconduct. Like I said, I was never written up or told that I was doing anything wrong. My boss complimented me on my work performance almost weekly. Even though I did not like my boss I was never insubordinate (according to the definitions I have read). Does my company have a legitimate case? I don’t know what documentation they might have. Also, if a “write-up” does not have my signature on it is it considered valid? Because if so, then there’s nothing stopping my company from writing anything they want after I was fired and trying to say that it happened before I was fired. (Like the document that people supposedly signed saying they heard me “saying” I wanted to get fired.) That all sounds like hearsay on several levels.
I am currently facing severe economic hardship because the EDD has postponed paying me (even though they originally ruled in my favor) because my company is accusing me of lying. Will the EDD see past their b.s. and realize that the company is lying? Or does it even matter since I was obviously not fired due to misconduct?
Are you willing to offer to fax your “electronic logs” of your incidents of harassment and your attempts to speak to a manager about it?
I’m still not sure what the “lie” is that the employer said you told, but this is why I tell people to file “official” “formal” complaints of harassment with the “appropriate” parties regardless, of whether they are untrustworthy or not. It’s easy to confirm the fact you did bring it to their attention with a follow-up email.
Can you get any statements yourself from former co-workers?
Whatever you believe it will take to show the unemployment department that it is in fact the employer that is lying, is what you need to do ..
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