Will I be able to collect unemployment for attendance in NC (attendance policy was changed)?
(NC Unemployment Benefits)
My situation takes a lot of dips and dives, so bear with me. I just got fired from a call center job that paid hourly. I was terminated due to attendance.
Our department in this Fortune 50 company was a brand new department that only opened up 9/2010. I was in the second hiring group and went to the phones one month later. Throughout the job I had issues with my health due to stress from the job. I literally lost hair over this job. I was also prescribed an anti-depressant that in turn, back-fired and caused me to have almost chronic stiff jaws, that in turn caused migraines.
The first attendance policy (from my hire date) states that you could have 88 hrs unapproved/unexcused time for a rolling 12 months and 48 hrs unapproved/unexcused time for a rolling 3 months. Mid May of this year they changed that policy to 40 hrs total unapproved/unexcused time for a rolling 12 months. (Each policy does not allow doctors notes to excuse an absence/ nor are you eligible for FLMA until after your one year). Thing is, they did not set you back to zero if you already accrued that time. I was at 48 and on a warning for rolling 3 months, with a few days about to fall off. When they changed the policy I was set to 40 hours. Not zero. So this meant that any additional unapproved time I had would be added to the 40 hours and counted towards other warnings from May to at least November for me.
My supervisor at the time, after having further health issues was required to give me a 2nd warning.... which I signed due to the health issues. Then, one day, she pulls me aside and says, "Hey, some reporting came out and now you're actually 4 hrs away from being terminated. So your second warning is actually your final. If you miss 4 hours, you will be terminated." That was not a written warning, I did not sign anything.
This was the end of June. On July 12, 2011 I missed 5 hours due to a migraine from my stiff jaws. I went back after taking an additional day expected for them to walk me out anyway. But, no... eventually my supervisor was being hostile with me. I'm sure she was trying to get me to quit and lay the pressure on me, which did cause me to miss more work due to the stress. I ended up emailing the VP of our department asking him to please have someone with us during future coaching sessions due to her hostility.
I did not receive a reply back, instead I had a meeting with the Director under him to talk about what
happened. I gave him my side, strictly about what happened during out last few coaching sessions. About a week and a half later she was no longer with the company... mysteriously.
So now, I'm under an old supervisor I used to have. Her boss (my manager) wants to meet with me. She basically says that I'm not eligible for FLMA, I brought up how I asked my former boss about going part-time and she reiterated that I did not have an actually medical condition to qualify for part-time... she then says, "You could have taken a personal leave of absence, or done a temporary schedule change..." she couldn't even bring it up in the knowledge base. And, no previous supervisor told me anything of the sort, even though I had asked.
So... they finally let me go on 9/7. Almost 2 months later. Come to find out, they hadn't even put in for my termination until 8/18. WTF? So, not only did they try to get me quit, create a hostile work environment that backfired, but they added on all this time that works against me due to the stress they caused me. The unemployment office want my rebuttal. I do have a copy of the email I sent to the VP and I have a copy of both attendance policies. How's it looking for me? Any suggestions on what I should say... or am I royally screwed.
Okay, it's a given, it's important to get to work on a regular basis. It's also a given that some people deal with stress of a job, better than others
And logically, it's a given that a business relies on the people they hire to show up and be ready to work .. and reliably so.
But, after answering so many questions about discharges for poor attendance, I fail to understand why my message is not getting through.
An employer's rule about something . anything, has to be a reasonable rule per most state UI laws.
And regardless of whether an employer chooses to be reasonable on the issue of a doctor notes .. a doctor's note is the documentation which can show the unemployment department the final incident of absenteeism was beyond a person's control.
Therefore .. not willful or intentional misconduct.
Why complicate a matter with evidence someone might use in an attempt to show good cause for quitting due to a hostile work environment when the issue at hand is poor attendance and in fact, the separation was a discharge and the burden of proof to show misconduct belongs to the employer?
Give the UI department what they need to show you didn't willfully miss work.
Doctor notes that you were ill the last time that caused the discharge.