UNEMPLOYMENT APPEAL HEARING STATE CA
Hi I was recently terminated for "dishonesty and insubordination" on 24 Nov10. When I asked the HR- Director in what way, she stated that I was found to be dishonest in an investigation they conducted into my allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination. She also stated that due to this dishonesty I feel/found that I filed a complaint with DFEH which had no merit which is considered insubordination.
I received my letter of denial of benefits and immediately requested a copy of the case file. It stated that I was fired because on 19 Nov 10 I was asked to return documents in which contained proprietary information and I did not do so. It was determined after being investigated by a hired atty/investigator that my complaint of sexual harassment/discrimination claim had no merit. I was accused of insubordination because I did not follow the company's process to request help.
EDD wrote reason for decision: Was I was discharged when I removed documents containing proprietary information and refused to return them when asked to do so. The available information shows willful misconduct in that I disobeyed reasonable instruction from employer.
This is so far from the truth I really am concerned.
So my concern is this, is a battle of my word against their word. (Plus this is the first time I am hearing this. I was not advised this ever by my employer)
In regards to the conversation they are referring to the HR Director stated I would get a copy of the meeting minutes/notes. I never did. So I have my meeting
notes which include the questions asked and the answers given by both myself and HR.
Can I use this as evidence in my appeal hearing to show what was asked in the meeting in question in regards to the "proprietary documentation"?
My employer never states what proprietary documentation I supposedly took, don't they have to disclose this?
Should I focus on the reason for the decision or everything that was documented as a reply from my employer?
Does my employer have to prove their reason for terminating me?
Who has the burden of proof?
Thank you so much for your time as your reply is GREATLY appreciated.
You were terminated .. therefore the employer was the moving party and has the burden of proof.
That's about the only thing I don't have to speculate about.
Did the EDD interviewer ask you about this proprietary information?
I'm a little unclear about what the employer is calling proprietary documentation.
I think of client lists, secret formulas, documents describing a proprietary business or manufacturing process .. etc.
Even though it is your appeal .. the employer still has the burden and they must present witnesses and documents to sustain the finding of misconduct.
You can try to submit any documents you have to show the determination was incorrect. That's the point of a hearing. Instead of a phone interview it's a full fact finding process with both parties participating concurrently.
But, what is really troubling to me is why the determination went the way it did if everything was as you are telling it.