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Was I discharged for "Cause"

by N King

I worked for a South Carolina employer and on On Feb 24, 2010 I received a final written warning for attendance in which all of the days in this write-up were due to illness of myself and child...all of which I provided medical excuses upon returning to work. This is the very 1st warning I received regarding my attendance as on 2/12 I received my yearly evaluation and my attendance was not discussed there either. On Feb 25, 2010 I was in a car accident upon leaving work. I was out of work under MD care from 2/26-3/17 in which I contacted my employer daily regarding my condition and release back to work. I was never asked for medical documents prior to returning to work was only told to make sure I had a release that covered my days out. On March 12 I received a certified letter stating my employment had been ceased because I did not provide medical documents. At no time was I asked for these documents but only told I would need them to return. At a recent hearing I was denie benefits as being disqualified although the employer at no time could give dates, times or documentations where they asked for medical documents.


I would say no, you were not discharged for cause, but what I would really like to know is whether the hearing decision modified what statute was used and basically said if you voluntarily quit when you failed to provide medical documentation to the employer.

I would also ask you if you work for an employer that is required to abide by the Family Medical Leave Act .. because it seems to me that if they did .. you would have received notice from the employer telling you that they needed medical documentation to get you approved for that.

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Jun 22, 2010
Point Of Contact
by: N King

I have contacted SC Legal Services and was told to contact GA Legal Services because I reside in GA. GA Legal did a full intake and a referral to the executive director in N.Charleston. I was told to contact the office in Charleston in the morning as it was considered high priority because of the 10 day appeal deadline and should know where to go from there.

Is there anything in specific I need to request for them to do if my case is accepted?

They are lawyers .. they should know what to do.

As a claimant, I would just want to make sure they write the appeal and the corresponding brief based on the hearing transcript or recording of my hearing and not just make a half-hearted gesture if they say they might be able to help.

Jun 22, 2010
Fully Understanding
by: N King

Not sure that I fully understand what an appeal of a hearing needs to be based on....

As for an attorney they are expensive so I'll be fighting this myself unless I can find one that will help me Pro Bono or on a fee sliding scale.

Is there an outline for a "legal brief"?

In regards to the credibility I don't know what they consider credibility especially when the employer did not have any documentations or anything to support their testimony. With 3 out of 4 witnesses saying that they didnt request the documents then the 4th being bought into the middle of the hearing and still not having any supporting documents to include dates or times. It seems like the hearing officers work for the employer and really isn't a neutral party that is basing the decision on fact.


I have some copies of briefs written for others by attorneys, but I am not at liberty to provide them.

Basically, they are letters that review the recording or transcript of a hearing and point by point reference case law with an accompanying argument for what or how the hearing officer erred in contradiction to the case law.

Maybe you can find some pro bono help from a law school.

University of South Carolina School Of Law

Jun 22, 2010
Yes I am comfortable
by: N King

I just received the decision today and I have to appeal to the appellate in which I am in the process of doing...I have 10 days to appeal.

"Seven attorney states"?

Yes I am willing and comfortable providing the language here...

Finding Of Fact
The employer terminated claimant employment for excessive absenteeism. On February 22, 2010 (date is incorrect) the claimant received a final written warning for violating the attendance policy. Following the final warning the claimant was involved in a car accident and was absent from work from 2/26-3/12. The employer maintains that the claimant didnt provide the required medical documents to excuse her absence; therefore her employment was terminated. The claimant asserts that she had all reqd docs but recvd instruction from the employer to keep the docs until she was able to rtn to wk. The employer denies the claimant's allegations.

SC Code 41-35-120(2) The claimant was discharged for "cause" connected with the most recent bona fide employment

In this case, the claimant was discharged for excessive absenteeism & failure to provide med docs as required by employer. The testimony in this case is directly disputed. The Tribunal finds that the greater weight of credibility lies with the employer due to the method & manner in which they presented their case. Based on the testimony provided, the claimant recvd specific instruction to provide med docs during her absence & fail to do so. Therefore, the Tribunal finds the claimant was discharged for cause & a disqualification will be imposed.

*As I stated the emplyer did not have any record of asking for these docs & could not provide dates or times or a paper trail requesting said docs. Initially 3 ppl testified all stating that they never requested the docs from me & asked could they bring someone in after the hearing was in process. The person that they bought in was unable to give dates or times that she requested the docs or any documentation that she did & when asked said that she could not remember & it wasn't in my file.

See this page to find out about unemployment hearings and the need for lawyers.

Do you fully understand what an appeal of a hearing decision needs to be based on?

It should have an accompanying "legal brief" outlining the errors and referencing case law to support your point of disagreement.

If you can't afford an attorney .. go to and sign up fro a free 24 hour trial period and research case law for your brief.

You should be able to email the decisions to yourself so you can make the best use possible of that 24 hours.

Credibility .. hearing officers are given W-I-D-E discretion in judging credibility .. don't argue that.

Jun 21, 2010
Not Voluntarily Quit
by: N King

The statute was not for voluntarily quit but discharged for disqualifying cause. I submitted 28 pages of documents to the Appeal Tribunal that included the letter of termination, final written warning & the medical excuses for the dates mentioned in the warning, attendance policy, police report, all work excuses that were dated during the time I was out for the accident, statement from MD stating that I was under his care and under medication and taking physical therapy, a detail call log of when I called in, and my mother as a witness because she was caring for me at the time. The employer intially had 3 witnesses all of which were not sure if documents were requested and in the middle of the hearing one of the witnesses for the employer asked if they could bring in the Asst Director of HR who was allowed to enter the hearing as she states she asked me for medical documentation upon speaking with me. She could not give dates or times that she spoke to me and requested the documents...said that she could not remember and didn't have it in my file. My immediate supervisor testified that I contacted her daily and that she never asked me for documents.

I was not elgibile for FMLA as I was only employed 9 months but elgibile for the company's LOA which I was not offered nor did I receive anything requesting documentating to open an LOA case. The employer submitted no documents to the hearing.

Appeal. If you can afford it .. have an attorney write the brief for you.

South Carolina is one of those seven "attorney states".

The commissioner is supposed to "weigh" the evidence .. not disregard it in favor of unsupported testimony.

Are you willing to provide the language of the hearing decision here?

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