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unemployment in massachusetts

by humma
(medford ma)

i need help with unemployment benefit appeal. I went to my appeal this friday. I was so nervous that i think i really messed up. I was was fired from my previous employer, Evergreen and was denied benefits. Evergreen is a residental home for the disabled and i was a full time staff. My schedule was normally 3-11pm shifts on Wed and Fri with asleep overnight(11-9) on both days with a 9-4pm shift on Sat. I was there for a year and a half and was fired on Aug 31 for falsification of time cards. The day in question was on a fri AUg. 14. I was running late because i was stuck in traffic i was scheduled at 3pm. I called the house to let them know but no one picked up. I immmediately called the person i was working with on his cell and he said it was okay and that i should take my time that he was already there. I got there like 30-40 mins late. We have three residents that are in wheelchairs and they need to be feed, given medication, changed and showered before 5:30pm because they have music therapy around that time. Since I was already late we were behind and I immediately just started to help my coworker get things together. At the end of my shift at 11, I puched out and punched back in for my next shift. I was punching in and out for my shifts that weekend. We get paid every two weeks and Sunday is the last day of the pay period. We write time edit sheets when there is a mistake with our schedule either because we punched in/out wrong or sometimes the computer would not be working. Someone would come to take the sheets from the house on the last Sunday of every pay period and submit them to the main office in Milford. So i would came in on those Sundays just to make sure of my time.That Sunday was the last day of the pay period. When i looked at my schedule, I noticed that that friday and sat were all messed up because I had forgotten to punch in when i got to work. I usually work fridays at 3 so i wrote i had gotten there at three and passed it in I completely forgot about the incident on friday. I was called to the office on the 31st of that month and the director told me that there was a complaint filed from the drivers who dropped the residents off at the house at 3. He said no one was there and had to wait 20 mins for someone to show up. I was not aware of this because I had called my coworker and he told me he was already there. She asked me why i was not there and asked if i was late I said yes and i called the house to let them know. She then showed me the time form and said i was fired. I was shocked i never had any warnings or anything. In the appeal my employer said that she is aware that the she was informed of the compliant
on the 17th but she had to wait for a reply from her boss. She looked at my evaluation and the manager who was new said I need to be more on time. She said she asked coworkers who said i had the tendency to be late. She also said that I used the time sheets numerous times but is not sure of what times I had written down or whether I intentionally wrote the wrong time but she believed I did. I told the lady that when the manager wrote about my time he was talking about the two times I had had been late: once I was late for oversleeping ( I had talked to him about it because it was early in my pregnancy and i had i hard time getting out of bed) the other I had called him to let him know I was going to be a half hour late. I told her I was not always late to work as well. I also stated that I had always written the time sheets to the best of my knowledge and when i very very sure when i was time i always wrote in that time i had come in. I also stated that if i wasnt in such a rush when writting it i would have been more carefully. I am afraid i will not win because she did not seem very convinced of my side. She kept asking me why would i make that trip to come in every other Sunday before pay period to check my schedule if you thought you were punching in. I told her to honest truth. Sometimes the computer is not working or you think you punched in when you didnt or whatever the case and you would have to wait again until next time to correct it. It was not because I wanted to get paid when i was not working. I was never warned or written up ever. THere were things i should have said or brought up like i but i was so scared that I didnt really say anything.I talked to my lawyer after the hearing and she said that the strongest evidence against me are the ive used the time sheets in the past and that i would check my schedule on Sundays? Do i have a chance? I feel like the employer made more sense than I did but at the same time my lawyer said that they still did not prove that it was willful misconduct since i had no warnings and she is not sure of how i was actually filling them out. Just because i made a mistake does that mean i was doing it all the time?

plus she had no evidence of any of the former time sheets. I was so nervous that i didnt even tell the officer that everybody wrote time sheets and it was not only me. will that hurt me?

Hi Humma,

It's too late for me to offer you any advice .. what's done is done now.

I do have a few question though .. was your attorney at the hearing with you? Weren't you prepped for the hearing?

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