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Oregon - I quit my job and was denied benifits because I was suspended for violation of company's call in policy.

by Ron Wilbur
(Tualatin, Oregon-USA)

OK, here I go. Like so many other posts on this website, my boss the operations manager at the company I worked for was on a permanent power trip. I worked there from 1989 to 1995 and again from 1997 to 1999 and this time from Jan 2008 to Feb 2009. In October 2008 I was sick and my phone had been shut off. I was to sick to find a phone to call in. So he wrote me up for not calling in. On Feb 3,09 I was terribly sick and left from work that afternoon to go see my doctor. Turns out I had a severe case of bronchitis. My doctor gave me a doctors note for my work, I asked the receptionist to fax the note to my work. The next morning I was feeling worse and tried to call in, but again my phone had been shut off. I was seriously ill and went back to sleep only waking to take my medication and use the restroom. On Monday I went in to work and he wrote me up again for not calling in, but the doctors office did in fact fax him the doctors note. He was not willing to let me slide on the company policy where an employee has to call in. I had no idea he would not accept the doctors note as replacement of a call in. Anyway, he must have forgotten that he wrote me up on Oct 10, and on that write up he wrote that if it happened again I would be suspended for three days without pay. Of course dummy me reminded him of the previous write up, so he suspended me for 3 days. While I was off, I had an offer to work for my old partner full time. When I returned to work on Feb, 11, I picked up my tool box and personal stuff and went on my way. The following Monday when I was to start working for my old partner, the company that he hired me on to work with set back the job until mid April. I filed for unemployment around the 20th of Feb. On my application for benefits I claimed that I quit.

Several weeks later I received a decision letter from the employment
office denying benefits because I was suspended for violation of company's call in policy. Two day later I received another letter from the employment office denying me benefits for quitting my job without good cause. Both denial letters had separate case and decision numbers on them. I lost the hearing for the suspension (that had nothing) to do with the reason I quit my job and had nothing to do with my original application for benefits. The second hearing came up on 4/14 for the quit. I won that hearing hands down because I quit for a better job and that showed good cause to quit. Not to mention the continual verbal harassment from the operations manager. Honestly, It don't make any sense that I could be denied benefits for something that had nothing to do with my voluntary separation from the company. Sure I was suspended for three days, but after the suspension, I was still employed with the company, I wasn't discharged - I quit for a better job! I can understand being denied if the suspension was for 30, 60 or 90 days. Here in Oregon we still have a waiting week before we can claim a week of benefits. I do not see anywhere in the Oregon unemployment laws where there is an explanation regarding denial of benefits for a suspension and it don't say anything about still working for the company after the suspension. If I was dismissed from the company due to the reasons surrounding the suspension, then denied benefits, I would understand the decision. I have until May 5th to apply for an appeal with the EAB. Any tips or pointers you can provide me with will be much appreciated.

Hi Ron,

You know what .. I need to read decisions.

I need the decision dates .. Just like you I can't figure out what's going on .. and it's probably because the state may have erred in some way.

Are you sure that one of those determinations did not replace the other?

You need to call the state. If I had all that paper sitting in front of me .. I might be able to figure it out, but I'd also bet that process would include a call to the appeal office.

One of those decisions must be overriding.

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