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What to say in letter? What are chances I'll continue to get unemployment?

by Jenny
(Westland, MI, USA)

I had intermittent fmla due to personal illness. My job was aware of this and told me they would work with me about my absences. Normally employess get fired after 9, but I had 15 and they kept me on in Sept. The same month I had 1 absence not covered by fmla. 2 months later, another. This absence prompted them to have me sign a corrective action form, which I was told would be sent to corporate to request my termination. This was on 11/10. It normally takes up to 2 weeks before the person is fired. During this time I had another illness and missed a few more days of work. After 2 weeks I spoke to my manager who told me he had heard nothing back from them and no news is good news. On Dec 6th, I was asked to sign an updated corrective action form, which had notated that my fmla was exhausted, so the days I took off in Dec were not covered. On Dec 14th I was let go from my job .I spoke to hr and asked about applying for unemployment and my health insurance. They told me they would send my info over and I only needed to call to file for unemployment but my insurance form would be sent to me. I called, told them I got laid off, and received an unemployment check. The next day I filed for food stamps. My worker told me I would need to fax a letter from my employer of the separation. I faxed over my last corrective action form. However the form also shows all of my absences and my last 3 write ups for them and says I was told if I had another absence not covered I would be fired (but the actual write up for that absence says I would be subject to corrective action up to and including termination that would be determined on a case by case basis). I was also told by hr that my situation was different and they would not fire me but would work with me and my absences. I called in all days I missed work, and spoke to my manager everytime after I returned to let him know what was going on and provided them with doctors notes. I certified for my 2nd unemployment check on 01/11 and on 01/12 received a letter from unemployment that was mailed on 01/11 stating info they receieved indicates that I may have intentionally mislead them and that I may not be eligible

for benefits. They say they were informed I was terminated and want to know why, did I recieve write ups, what dates, was it bc of absence, why was I absent, did my company have an attendance policy, was it due to illness, did I give them doctors notes or seek medical attention and did I lie to them to recieve benefits (asking me a question about every statement that was faxed over for food stamps). I received my 2nd unemployment check on 01/13. In the letter it says I have to reply with a statement and tell them why I didnt tell them all this in the beginning and they will make a redetermintion to see if im eligible. My question is why would I get apporved for unemployment and recieve checks if I wasnt eligible? Why didnt my company send them this info regarding my termination when they said they would? What are my chances of being allowed to continue to receive my unemployment? I wasnt purposely missing work, and they waited until my intermittent FMLA ran out to lay me off. What should I tell them? If they do stop my benefits can I sue my company for waiting so long to let me go (normally its after 9 absences and only takes 2 weeks after form is signed, in my case I had 24 absences,my 1st uncovered absence was in Sept, my 2nd in Nov and they didnt fire me until after my fmla ran out in Dec).

Hi Jenny,

What is clear to me from everything you said here and why you are now being asked to answer questions to find out if you mislead (misrepresented facts) the unemployment department is due to telling the unemployment department you were laid off. You weren't. You were fired.

A layoff is a lack of work or an elimination of your position with nothing else offered from the employer to replace the job .. period.

Anything else is a discharge and there is usually a final incident that motivates the discharge. In your case it was a discharge for unacceptable attendance.

But the final incident that motivates this type of discharge .. matters.

Why the you received a check before the employer responded that you were fired .. I can't answer.

But ironically everything else you told me leads me to believe that you stood a very good chance of getting benefits if you had been clear and truthful about the reason for termination from the beginning.

Answer the questions truthfully. It's your only option.

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