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Old 11-12-2011, 01:04 PM
114 posts, read 217,213 times
Reputation: 96


Each state is different. This may be long but informative to some.

The first time I ever received unemployment was in 1989 in California.
I had been working at the same company for 9 years in two different states, Colorado and California, I was in Cali about 1 year. and I had a wage dispute with my boss, after discussing the situation with her, I gave my two week notice and advised my co-workers why I was quitting. My boss did not like the fact that I was discussing my wage and fired me on the spot. She said wages could not be discussed so I was terminated, since wage ranges are posted by position in our corporate office, I had done nothing wrong and I received the regular 26 weeks of unemployment because I was not allowed to work until my resignation date.

I know thart in some states it would have turned out differently, I would only have received 1 week of benefits. (my waiting period and my week payable until my actual resignation date).

The next time I received unemployment was in 1995. I had been working at a county job in California and quit after 6 years to travel around the country. I knew I was not eligible for unemployment. While travlling, I got a job as a bar tender in Florida but was not good at it so I was let go. I went to the Florida unemployment office and filed an out of state claim because I was fired for no fault of my own. The folks there told me I would not qualify because I did not have sufficient work history in Florida and had quit my California job; however, California looked at it differently,
I had a work history there and a valid job termination elsewhere which qualified me to collect unemployment from California. I continued travelling and looking for new work. I would pick an area of the country to check out the employement situation, head that way and call unemployment to have my checks sent to General Delivery in the town I was relocating to (in this case Tennessee) Since I would immediately get a residence in my new town, it was no problem and I had my next checks mailed to that address. I met all the other criteria necessary for receiving benefits.

In Tennessee, I got a job and held that for several months, I did not like the job and it was causing me repetative motion strain, I went to the doctors who gave me a medical excuse and then shortly quit my job. I returned to California and again filed for out of state employment against Tennessee. The reason I told my employer I quit was due to being home sick so I was not eligible for unemployment, I appealed that decision using the medical reasoning but lost the appeal because that was not the reason I gave to the employer and they would have tried to accomodate my medical problem but were not given the opportunity.

My unemployment was penalized until I earned 6 times the weekly wage and had a reduction of weeks eligible from 26 to 20. I worked several temporary jobs, kept all of my pay stubs and took them to the California unemployment office showing them I had met the requirement of earning six times my weekly unemployment. I could now receive twenty weeks of unemployment from Tennessee.

While I received that, I worked a part time job and filed each week for unemployment reporting my wages. since my wages were less than my unemployment, they disregarded some of the wage and offset the unemployment benefit by the amount of my earnings. I ultimately got an extra 50 dollars per week over my benefit amount because of the disregarded income from employment.

In 2000, I was working in Colorado and the company closed down, I received a great severance and moved to Oregon. I filed for out of state unemployment against Colorado and got that with no problem. I got a new position that was only temporary until the project was done but wound up quitting that for numerous reasons. I still did not have a long enough work history to qualify for Oregon unemployment so I re-opened the Colorado claim and gave them the reasons why I had quit this job. They picked one of the reasons and decided it was valid enough to allow to claim again. It was not the reason I thought they would have approved it for but ok by me. They actually used the reasoning of inadequate training by the employer making it a valid job quit.

The next time I applied was in Oregon, in 2006. It was job I hated and it hurt my hands. Knowing I was going to leave, I went to the doctor who gave me a note stating I was limited to positions that did not require fine hand movements. My employer was trying to work with me to get me into a position but they took to long, I was in constant contact and doing everything in my power to keep working. I was denied that claim but won on appeal because I had noted all of the dates that I spoke with my boss and noted all of the attempts I made to continue to stay there.

In 2009, I was laid off of the company I was then working for due to the downturn in the construction industry and of course received unemployment with no problems.

In 2011, I quit my last job due to the repetative motion injuries, the death of my fiance and therefore the foreclosure of the house and my inadequate wages which did not afford me the ability to support myself. I was looking for a different position and had several interviews to no avail.
Since I knew I was going to be quitting and had never mentioned my injury to my employer, I got an updated medical excuse which indicated I could do computer work intermittently but not constant. This would mean my employer would have to find different work for me but they never acted on it even though I constantly followed up. I moved to California to my family to cut my expenses and filed for out of state unemployment in Oregon. When I filed that claim, the analyst called me and said that I had listed several reasons for quitting and which one was it. I told him it was all of them put together but if I had to pick one, it would be the medical. The analyst must not have been listening because on the denial the reason was that although the house was going into foreclosure, there was no actual date and I could have continued to live there for much longer so there was no reason to quit. Fortunately, I had all of the dates I spoke with the foreclosure people documented as well.

I filed an appeal and had a phone conference with the Administrative law judge and the employer. I won that appeal because the ALJ felt that I had a valid job quit. His reasoning was that I had the medical and although the employer was trying to work with me, they were too slow in doing so with the underlying additional circumstances that the foreclosure was inevitable even without an actual date, that I had tried to find other work and that I had moved in with family to mitigate my expenses. I won and am currently collecting unemployment.

It may not seem so but I prefer to work and my job hunt is going pretty well but is still discouraging, I will get something eventually but I do have to be a little more picky just because of the medical.

I hope this helps some of you, always read your state statutes and do your best to understand them, if you can read past all the legal jargon, you can usually find a way.
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Old 11-12-2011, 03:57 PM
Location: Wisconsin
24,760 posts, read 53,560,603 times
Reputation: 21162
An interesting, revelatory, and well articulated post. Thank you for sharing. Take away is to be persistent and document carefully events as they unfold. Your point on knowing the state statutes is well-taken. Not everyone takes the time to do the research (not to mention the skill) nor has the patience and tenacity to follow through.

Good luck with the job search.
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Old 11-19-2011, 08:37 AM
804 posts, read 1,865,721 times
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Default Good post! UI covers more than layoffs.

Thanks for sharing. It pays to be careful in disclosing details to your employer.

I was fired from one job after having two minor joint surgeries that were medically necessary. They had to be performed separately, but both were outpatient procedures. Just to make certain things would go smoothly, I scheduled them to be performed on Fridays to give me additional resting time, minimize the impact on work, and ensure the anesthesia would wear off before returning to the office

I was on crutches for two weeks, but that has little impact on a "cubicle job". The brief time off was approved in advance and discussed with my manager. However, after I returned to work, the manager began digging for excuses to terminate me and demanded my resignation. I had received great reviews before that time.

Unfortunately it was a small branch office with no HR oversight. Because of this, and my short length of employment, the situation was not covered under FMLA guidelines. I did speak to someone in corporate HR, but he was quite argumentative and sided with the manager without investigating any details.

I applied for unemployment and was approved! Since I had provided medical records, the state determined that the employer did not prove a valid cause for termination. Their claims of "poor performance" had weak evidence and were suspiciously timed around my surgery. Their appeals were denied and the employer was billed for 100% of my UI benefits.

The company's insurance plan is "self funded", so it's possible they were going to extremes to cut any employees with medical expenses. These were common procedures that are not very expensive (roughly $2k). Lying and causing a hassle ended up costing the company more than that, even in a "business friendly" state.

The case was not significant enough to warrant the time and cost of a lawsuit (I did consult an attorney), but it was a good lesson for a Fortune 500 company.

Last edited by nomore07; 11-19-2011 at 08:47 AM..
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Old 11-20-2011, 09:20 AM
1,828 posts, read 4,510,789 times
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Not sure why you would have contacted an attorney as they don't have to have ANY reason to terminate you. They can get rid of anyone for no reason at all.
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:27 PM
78 posts, read 303,316 times
Reputation: 135
Originally Posted by Grovester View Post
Each state is different. This may be long but informative to some.

I hope this helps some of you, always read your state statutes and do your best to understand them, if you can read past all the legal jargon, you can usually find a way.
I know you mean well, but I would not post on the WWW your personal experiences with unemployment. To be on unemployment 8? times since 1989 may seem excessive to some and leads to the belief that unemployment is being abused even if you are entitled to it.

On a personal note, you need to get serious about your future. Nobody can live well on minimum wage, UE benefits, disability income or social security without the financial help of others. I have seen what happens to the elderly that don't plan for retirement and it is not a good thing.

You are way behind your peers on career building and asset accumulations.

Good luck my friend.
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Old 11-22-2011, 08:21 PM
114 posts, read 217,213 times
Reputation: 96
Thank you for your concern, you may be correct.

I walk on both sides of the fence on this, I think it is excessive too but it is there and if it was not, then it would have been different, good or bad. I have never come close to maxing out my unemployment, until now. I recognize how this can be perceived as abusing the unemployment, I appologize; however, I did not make the laws, I always try to live within them, the people who were elected to office made these decisions for the people they work for.

I do not believe I ever said I do not live well, I am a minimalist to begin with. I may or may not have a fortune packed away, how could anyone know. It is possible to live on very little, I never understand why people think they need to have so much.

However your point is well taken.
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