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Notified of Layoff Then Fired.

by Richard
(New Jersey)

On October 15, 2008 the entire company (62 employees)were told that the facility will be closed due to lack of business from economic downturn. My employment would be terminated on December 15, 2008. I operated as a straight commission salesperson. A written letter also stated that we were being given 60 days advance notice to provide an opportunity to start looking for other employment. I was sent a email by my boss to attend a 9:00 am meeting on October 21,2008. I was unable to attend this meeting due to a job interview, and requested to make the meeting at 2:00 p.m. on the same day. He responded that if I did not attend the 9:00 meeting he would assume I voluntarily quit. I stated that certainly was not the case and did not attend the meeting. I was terminated on October 24,2008.I was requested to sign a document stating that I voluntarily quit which I refused to sign. My blackberry and e-mail account were turned off and I turned in my laptop on October 27,2008. I have a copy of the termination checklist showing that I returned all company property and it states my date of termination. The reason for termination and term code was left blank. I had 53 hours of vacation earned that was not taken or paid. I have been required to participate in a fact finding interview with unemployment on January 21.2009 to determine my unemployment eligibility due to the fact I may have quit my job without good cause attributable to the work?



Hi Richard,

Your
employer protested your claim and told the state you voluntarily quit

When did you file? January 21st seems like a long way off for a factfinder. Are you sure it's not a hearing?

What exactly did you tell the state was the reason for separation?

Did you provide that letter to the state that stated they were giving you notice so you could look for employment? Hopefully you printed the email exchange between you and your boss also.

That letter if it states what you said it does could very well be the best support for your claim for unemployment.

Unless I'm missing some information it sounds like the employer was the moving party. In other words he fired you, but he protested to the state that you voluntarily quit when you failed to show for the meeting.

You will need to focus upon what's contained in that letter and show that a reasonable person would have taken the employer at their "written word" and started looking for employment.

I can't imagine that an employer would put something like this out there on the table and then not expect anyone to take him up on it.

I would think that a "reasonable person" would think the letter meant that the employer would also make an effort to be accommodating when an employee said "I can't make the 9 o'clock because I have a job interview, but I'm available at 2.

Sounds like shaky ground for the employer, unless he had previously warned you per his discipline procedures about this type of behavior.

Chris



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