Terminated on medical leave, employer saying I quit
I live in New Jersey. I was with my employer for 5 years. I had no history of any wrong doing, was employee of the month and also sent to Florida many times for training, also given positive reviews with a raise at the end of each year.
I went out on short term state disability 10/22/2009 due to injuries from an auto accident. I had surgery on my back in 12/2009. When I went out on leave, I went to my employer (in person) and explained the situation and told him I would be out of work for a while. In the meantime, I had left my toolboxes and all of my tools at work, my employer continued to accrue my vacation days, paid for my health benefits, and into my 401K. I had every intention of returning to work.
In June, I received COBRA papers stating that I was terminated on 5/21/2010. I contacted my employer asking if I was fired. They stated that they were told I was cleared to return to work and since I hadn’t contacted them, they took this as a voluntary termination. I was also cleared to return to work in June right after this happened. I filed for unemployment 7/11/2010 and it was granted. In January, I received a letter from unemployment stating that I qualified for an extension. I had a telephone interview last week and it was determined that I quit my job and now have to repay the unemployment back to July. I asked why I was approved back in July and was told because my employer never responded the first time. I plan on appealing and have the COBRA papers stating that I was terminated. I also have an email from work stating I was cleared to return to work (which I wasn’t so no-one would have contacted my employer) and didn’t contact them. Is there any chance of winning this appeal? I wasn’t sure what to put in the appeal letter. I also wanted to know if I should contact my employer asking them for termination papers (which I never received) or the proof that I was cleared to return to work.
There might be, I would want to ask you more questions about whether your return to work date was ever extended or changed by your physician.
In the meantime write a very simple appeal letter stating your disagreement with the determination and request a hearing.
Nothing too elaborate.
If you use the search box and plug in "sample unemployment appeal letter" you should find it.