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Old 12-20-2008, 09:12 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
3,814 posts, read 7,900,358 times
Reputation: 910
Default No unemployment because company lied about firing

I was fired from my job two months ago, and the company said it was for "violating company policies." They wouldn't tell me which policies. When I applied for unemployment benefits, I was honest and told them that I was fired. I was later denied benefits because my employer told unemployment that I was fired for stealing more than $200. I never stole anything, I never said I stole anything, and no criminal charges were ever filed. I filed for an appeal two weeks ago and asked that unemployment give me copies of what the company said about me. I am still waiting for a date for the appeal. The company says they will not challenge my unemployment if I promise not to sue them. Can the company just lie about me like this to unemployment? Can they hold my unemployment hostage like this? And how long does it usually take to get the appeal hearing?
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Old 12-20-2008, 09:28 PM
 
Location: Piscataway, New Jersey
526 posts, read 1,425,310 times
Reputation: 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by diorgirl View Post
I was fired from my job two months ago, and the company said it was for "violating company policies." They wouldn't tell me which policies. When I applied for unemployment benefits, I was honest and told them that I was fired. I was later denied benefits because my employer told unemployment that I was fired for stealing more than $200. I never stole anything, I never said I stole anything, and no criminal charges were ever filed. I filed for an appeal two weeks ago and asked that unemployment give me copies of what the company said about me. I am still waiting for a date for the appeal. The company says they will not challenge my unemployment if I promise not to sue them. Can the company just lie about me like this to unemployment? Can they hold my unemployment hostage like this? And how long does it usually take to get the appeal hearing?
I'd lawyer up if I were you. Don't let them get away with it.
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Old 12-20-2008, 09:47 PM
 
1,914 posts, read 2,038,843 times
Reputation: 1055
Quote:
Originally Posted by diorgirl View Post
I was fired from my job two months ago, and the company said it was for "violating company policies." They wouldn't tell me which policies. When I applied for unemployment benefits, I was honest and told them that I was fired. I was later denied benefits because my employer told unemployment that I was fired for stealing more than $200. I never stole anything, I never said I stole anything, and no criminal charges were ever filed. I filed for an appeal two weeks ago and asked that unemployment give me copies of what the company said about me. I am still waiting for a date for the appeal. The company says they will not challenge my unemployment if I promise not to sue them. Can the company just lie about me like this to unemployment? Can they hold my unemployment hostage like this? And how long does it usually take to get the appeal hearing?
Unfortunately they can and they did.

Now...did you sign anything?

I was an "employer" (read: recruiter) who went to an employee appeal "hearing". It was almost comical. The guy, who moved 90 minutes away from my office (homebase) refused to take any jobs we had for him. He emailed me (brought the email with me to the appeal) stating that he was happy getting up late and riding his bike all day long so unless I could find him a job that fit in the 4 hours per day he wanted to work, and the job was in his backyard ( the middle of nowhere) - where he chose to recently move to... he wasn't going to drive more than 20 minutes or ride more than 30 (on his bike). We canned him. No need to pay him for sitting on the bench (he was a contracted employee, not staff). He was denied unemployment (for more than fair reasons), he appealed and...

He won!

It sounds like you didn't sign anything admitting guilt AND your company is asking you not to sue them? I'd say you have a pretty decent chance of not only getting unemployment but perhaps any retroactive unemployment due to your company delaying your benefits through lies. I'd bring that up at your appeal.
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Old 12-21-2008, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Vermont
4,671 posts, read 8,851,735 times
Reputation: 1854
This is such a mess. Do FORMER employers pay out UI after you get laid off, but not fired? Do they have an incentive to deny you UI? I hate UI and wish I did not have to pay into it. Of course, I have no choice but to pay into it so if I get laid off I will "try" to receive it.

i just checked my paycheck, and the amount htey take out is pretty trivial - i am surprised...
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Old 12-21-2008, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Toms River, NJ
1,047 posts, read 3,128,601 times
Reputation: 558
I worked in HR for 16 years. I never lost a hearing on behalf of my employer because every employee was given the opportunity to correct the performance before termination. My motto was, I never fired an employee, they fired themselves. That said, many employers are not as diligent as I was. I documented everything.

If an employee is fired for cause the employer has a responsibility to state the facts to unemployment. An employer's experience rating (UI Tax) increases if there are a lot of claims against them. If you are terminated for poor attendance, excessive lateness, gross misconduct or excessive misconduct than the employer has a reason to state the facts in a case and you could potentially be denied unemployment. (BTW, I'm no longer in HR, didn't like protecting companies from litigation when they deserved to be sued)

Now to the OP. The appeal process is usually very quick. Did the employer ask you to sign something that said they would not challenge your unemployment if you didn't sue them? If they did, keep that... so you can take it to a lawyer (it is a form of bribery/extortion) and you can still go to your appeal. You go to your appeal no matter what. They have to present documentation to support their statements. Be prepared to ask the company rep. questions. If you stole, why didn't they notify you? Why didn't they notify the police? If you have any documentation or witnesses as to why you are fired, bring them with you. If there are people that can't come, have them sign a notarized letter to their knowledge of the facts.

I don't know if things have changed but it used to be that Unemployment required some form of proof as to the theft.

Good luck.
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Old 12-21-2008, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Manchester Township, NJ
337 posts, read 743,354 times
Reputation: 119
Were you in a Union? If so, this is certainly a matter for them to handle.
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Old 12-21-2008, 11:50 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
3,814 posts, read 7,900,358 times
Reputation: 910
Thanks for the replies! To answer your questions -- no, I never signed anything admitting to any sort of theft and there are no unions where I worked. There were no warnings of any kind before this firing. I had a great record for the year I was with them, and had been promoted a few months earlier. I have found an attorney who believes that I do have a case in the way this has been handled by my former employer. We'll see if he can make any headway with them.
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Old 12-21-2008, 12:09 PM
 
1,308 posts, read 3,050,237 times
Reputation: 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by syncmaster View Post
I'd lawyer up if I were you. Don't let them get away with it.
I agree and that is horrible Good luck!
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Old 02-21-2009, 08:48 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
3,814 posts, read 7,900,358 times
Reputation: 910
Default Company deceipt revealed in appeal; unemployment granted

Quote:
Originally Posted by diorgirl View Post
I was fired from my job two months ago, and the company said it was for "violating company policies." They wouldn't tell me which policies. When I applied for unemployment benefits, I was honest and told them that I was fired. I was later denied benefits because my employer told unemployment that I was fired for stealing more than $200. I never stole anything, I never said I stole anything, and no criminal charges were ever filed. I filed for an appeal two weeks ago and asked that unemployment give me copies of what the company said about me. I am still waiting for a date for the appeal. The company says they will not challenge my unemployment if I promise not to sue them. Can the company just lie about me like this to unemployment? Can they hold my unemployment hostage like this? And how long does it usually take to get the appeal hearing?
Well, it took me two-and-a-half months, but I finally got a date for an appeals hearing with Unemployment in this case. Despite my former employer's attempts to fabricate "evidence" to support their false charge that I was fired for stealing, the Unemployment Examiner saw through it and found in my favor. Unemployment granted me benefits. Now I will be going after the former employer in the civil courts. Thanks to everyone who read my earlier post in 12/08 and were so encouraging. And to anyone else in a similar situation, I urge you to stick with it even when it seems to drag on interminably. Too many of these huge corporate employers hope to simply wear us down to avoid paying benefits so they can keep lining their own pockets -- and they try to milk the delays that are increasing in the overworked unemployment system.
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Old 02-22-2009, 06:09 AM
 
Location: NJ
7,280 posts, read 4,036,413 times
Reputation: 4728
Default hire at will

Most large companies use a "hire by will" clause that means you can be fired at anytime for anything and no reason is required to be given.

Despite that escape clause it is almost impossible to get fired in large corporations. Assult, theft, drugs would be clear cut reasons to be fired.

Most causes are so interpretive you would have an impossible time and spend too much money on legal council.

If you have a statement in writing that you were fired for theft and you did not steal anything you would have a good case.

Something is odd here. Most big companies will not make life hard for you during or after a firing because it focuses your anger on the firing manager and company and might result in a costly law suit which, even if the company would be the clear winner, they will settle on the steps of the court the first day of the trial.

Fired for theft of service or theft of material goods ?

The company is not allowed by law to tell your next prospective employer anything but to confirm you worked there, your hire and departure dates.
Not sure what can be divulged to the Unemployment Dept.

Go seek a "personnel law lawyer" if you go forward with action. Might be a state agency that would take up your cause for free.
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