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Was I Fired or did I quit?

by Craig

As you know the state of Massachusetts was in a state of emergency on December 12th. I usually arrived at work at 7 o'clock in the morning, but that day I made a call to him trying to inform him that I had trees down in my street, no power, and a new born baby and needed to find comfort for my wife and kids.

My phone call didn't make a connection the first time, I tried again and it rang, but went to voicemail. I later talked to my parents about their power situation and wondered if they had talked to my boss because my father was employed with the company. My parents informed me that they talked to him stating none of us were going to make it in because of the storm.

That following Monday I was harassed about not calling him personally and not making the attempt to come in and he was giving me a hard time when I tried to explain that i did try calling him and that he never picked up and that we were in a state of emergency. I walked away heated and stepped outside to take a breather and was told "well ... aren't you going to take your tools with you"? So was I fired? Did i quit?

I was not intending to quit or take my tools, but when that was said it made me realize the type of work situation I'm in.

Since I haven't received any calls from him and it's been some time looking for work I would like to collect benefits if possible.

Hi Craig,

Well, let's start this with a positive. Massachusetts has one of the five highest UI recipiency rates for unemployment in the nation. Last year 55.3 percent of
unemployed people in Massachusetts received unemployment.

Did you happen to leave your boss a voicemail when it went to voicemail?

It all comes down to the question: Would any reasonable person, who was in your situation think they were fired. This is a he said/he said situation and credibility matters.

My biggest concern for you is you don't seem to know if you were fired or if you quit and perceived credibility is influenced by a person's certainty of the facts and conviction that they are not at fault.

"I was not intending to quit or take my tools, but when that was said it made me realize the type of work situation I'm in."

This statement makes me think you knew if you turned around and walked back inside you'd still have a job. Basically, I think your account lacks conviction. I'm not saying you're wrong to consider applying for unemployment, but that you might think so.

Craig, an employer who doesn't understand that his employees will probably not be into work during a state of emergency is an idiot. And then to harass an employee because he didn't personally call him and/or leave your family during the state of emergency to come into work makes him sound like an unreasonable idiot. He was notified by your father...correct? I'm also going to go out on a limb and guess this type of harassing behavior wasn't a one time thing.

You just need to apply for unemployment and tell the truth and wait for the decision. If you or your boss happen not to like the decision either of you can file an appeal.

You just need to decide for yourself whether you were fired for something that wasn't misconduct or if you quit for good cause.

All the Best,


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