Temporary assignement ended because I was fired for tardiness.

by Denise
(Los Angeles)

hello. i was working thru an agency as a dental assistant at a hospital. I was told I was fired/end assignment due to tardiness and attitude.


I was given a warning for tardiness and for a month after that was going to work ontime. It was after a month of going to work ontime that they claimed i was fired for being tardy. If i missed a day it was because i was using vacation time. There were a couple days i missed because i informed them my mom was taking chemo and i had to take her.
Secondly i was late a couple of days and was told by one of the doctors who recorded my time not to worry about it. As long as i wasnt 1hr late (exaggerated) that i would be ok. On day of a meeting she told the chief director that i had come to work late. Since that incident i stoppped dealing with her on a friendly basis and would only deal with her on a professional one. I was at work on time and doing my job. All my co-workers can attest to that.

But now its one month later and i am being told im being let go because of tardiness and attitude. I was told by the agency that i couldnt file for unemployment because my assisgnment had ended. Yet they assured me that they would try to find me work.
So now im LOST. If i was rightfully fired why would the agency try to find me work? Why cant i file for unemployment when i was doing my job....ontime? I think in this case i am entitled to unemployment. I worked with this agency for 7 months 1 week. Tell me is there hope for me?


Hi Denise,

Let's get one thing straight right up front .. You are an employee of the "Agency". And I have to assume it is a "Temp agency".

So now we need to break down how unemployment for temp workers can work differently from a "regular job" and were going to start by referencing Table 5-3 under Non-Monetary Eligibility(opens in new window)
. This table list the states with "special provisions" for temporary workers. The provisions usually require a temp worker to contact the agency for further work as specified .. or it is consider a voluntary quit .. no matter what the reason was for an assignment ending. This is not a favorable condition for claimants.

You'll notice California isn't listed. Kinda lucky you.

So yes, they are right you cannot file because the assignment ended. You were fired and it did not end because of a "lack of work", but a discharge for misconduct, therefore you can file, but you need to prove even if the burden belongs to the employer, why you didn't commit any misconduct .. according to California's UI statutes when you file.

So what you need to do is check out the California Determination Guide and start reading what applies to your situation.

I see some possibility for you .. primarily in the fact that you claim there was a one month period between the time you had last been warned and after which you had no more occurrences of tardiness at which point the employer fired you anyway. But I suspect their primary reason was more for "attitude".

California will want to know why. There needs to be a relationship between the final incident and the discharge .. it is not acceptable for an employer to enforce their rules at their discretion or leisure. You'll want to read the section titled "Condonation" to understand how this might apply.

The reason some states do have provisions for temp worker is because it is the temp agency that will have to prove the misconduct and that may be hard to do if they don't get some cooperation from their client .. the hospital. It is also whoever fired you that has direct knowledge of what exactly happened and if the temp agency is forced to handle it on their own, the testimony is hearsay and hearsay does not carry as much weight as direct testimony (which is what you have).

But having said all this .. I wouldn't bet the farm that their is not cooperation between the agency and the client.

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