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Old 06-05-2013, 09:11 PM
 
15 posts, read 16,554 times
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Hi All, I will try and keep it brief.

I was fired in May for "misconduct"; I had worked for the company for 8 years. I'm was in an industry where I handled a high volume of files year (700+). That translates to 700 people I typically dealt with (not to mention doctors and attorneys associated with each file), handling anywhere from 130-170 files at the same time. I was awarded unemployment through the state even though I was fired, and my employer is appealing the decision. I was on performance management the beginning of this year because I was dealing with personal issues at home, and could not concentrate at work. I managed to get myself off performance management, and then a month later I was fired anyway. My employer claimed I was falsifying documentation: noting I called a client in my file and left a message, and when she ran a trace on my phone, there was no record of that call being made. She said 30% of my files showed this, out of how many files, I don't know. I don't deny this could have happened, this is a job where one works on *multiple* files at once. This is a job where you make a lot of outbound calls, many times into empty voice mail boxes with no outgoing message, many times you have no idea whether you're making the right call or have mis-dialed. I absolutely do not deny I made mistakes and documented files wrong, and put the wrong notes in wrong files, especially while I was stressed, but I do deny it was with intent. It is not advantageous at all for me to do that, it does not lead to closing a file, which is what you want. My concern is my employer will no doubt be able to produce documentation showing no history of numbers being called, and my only defense was it was a high volume job and I made mistakes. On a side note, I met with this manager every singe week to monitor my performance while I was on the written warning, and she never once mentioned issues with my documentation, not a single time. My direct supervisor also told me, off company property, the manager who fired me was "looking" for something on me, but I know that is hearsay. Do I stand a chance? Should I get a lawyer to help me during the hearing? Thanks in advance.

Last edited by rabbitz102; 06-05-2013 at 09:18 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:47 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
23,546 posts, read 50,140,471 times
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Your state?
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:37 PM
 
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Oregon.
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Old 06-06-2013, 02:56 AM
 
14,508 posts, read 26,125,653 times
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What you describe sounds like poor performance, and poor performance is rarely grounds for denial of benefits.

However, as is typical of people fired for misconduct, you might be one to talk too much. You never want to admit to anything. Let your employer make the allegations, and prove them. Don't say things like, "I might have."

You can't be certain that your employer is going to show up with phone records. That's a lot of work. For all you know, they might not show up for the hearing. It does happen.

With the hearing notice, there should be instructions on how to view the information that will be used against you. Go view that file, and get an idea of what they are actually bringing. Quite often, it consists of nothing more than warnings that you need to do a better job, and that just reinforces the fact that you couldn't do the job rather than you didn't do the job on purpose.

Also, be sure to say what thebunny tells claimants to say, "I did the best job I could."
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Old 06-06-2013, 04:15 AM
 
4,399 posts, read 9,672,111 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbitz102 View Post
Hi All, I will try and keep it brief.

I was fired in May for "misconduct"; I had worked for the company for 8 years. I'm was in an industry where I handled a high volume of files year (700+). That translates to 700 people I typically dealt with (not to mention doctors and attorneys associated with each file), handling anywhere from 130-170 files at the same time. I was awarded unemployment through the state even though I was fired, and my employer is appealing the decision. I was on performance management the beginning of this year because I was dealing with personal issues at home, and could not concentrate at work. I managed to get myself off performance management, and then a month later I was fired anyway. My employer claimed I was falsifying documentation: noting I called a client in my file and left a message, and when she ran a trace on my phone, there was no record of that call being made. She said 30% of my files showed this, out of how many files, I don't know. I don't deny this could have happened, this is a job where one works on *multiple* files at once. This is a job where you make a lot of outbound calls, many times into empty voice mail boxes with no outgoing message, many times you have no idea whether you're making the right call or have mis-dialed. I absolutely do not deny I made mistakes and documented files wrong, and put the wrong notes in wrong files, especially while I was stressed, but I do deny it was with intent. It is not advantageous at all for me to do that, it does not lead to closing a file, which is what you want. My concern is my employer will no doubt be able to produce documentation showing no history of numbers being called, and my only defense was it was a high volume job and I made mistakes. On a side note, I met with this manager every singe week to monitor my performance while I was on the written warning, and she never once mentioned issues with my documentation, not a single time. My direct supervisor also told me, off company property, the manager who fired me was "looking" for something on me, but I know that is hearsay. Do I stand a chance? Should I get a lawyer to help me during the hearing? Thanks in advance.
Do you have documentation about why you were put onto performance management and when you were taken off?
I think this works strongly in your favor.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:55 AM
 
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Thanks for the replies so far. No, I don't have my personnel file, or anything showing I was on performance management and then removed; should I request this from my employer? Thanks, Chyvan, I'm fairly certain this employer will show up with documentation, she has an ax to grind. Worst case scenario, how do I respond when asked about it? I don't want to seem dishonest or evasive. The hearing date has not been set yet; I only received the notice of appeal, about 2 weeks ago.
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Old 06-06-2013, 12:38 PM
 
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There are plenty of people in jails because they didn't "want to seem dishonest or evasive."

Documentation isn't an end all. The unemployment hearing officer/ALJ will confine themselves to the LAST thing you did that caused you to be fired.

From reading your post, you were accused of noting you called someone, and your telephone records didn't support such a statement. You must confine yourself to only this event. Don't mention the mistakes you made because you were stressed out, or anything to do with your prior improvement plan. Those items are only relevant if you had been accused of making notes that your phone records didn't support in the past.

I'm still of the opinion that this ax grinding only had to do with getting you out the door. She's just not going to do well at a UI hearing. Many employers are still of the opinion that at-will employment means that if they can fire you for a reason that same reason means you can't collect UI. It's the oposite. The UI system is the buffer to arbitrary firings because of at-will employment.

She has to prove that you knowingly and deliberately didn't make that call, and even if she succeeds in doing that, an ALJ has to conclude that one instance rises to the level of misconduct.

She can tell you that 30% of the records she checked had this same error, but did she actually confront you with hard proof? She's going to need a lot of paper at the hearing. We don't have to beat this up too much until you actually review the evidence file that will be used at your hearing, and then we can discuss each piece of paper and figure out ways to make it inadmissable, or show that it proves nothing. An example would be she can have a file with a note in it, and a telephone log showing no call. If the note doesn't have a date/time recorded, the call log would be meaningless because there is no way to know if the call log was for the exact same date and time for the note.

Last edited by Chyvan; 06-06-2013 at 12:48 PM..
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:06 PM
 
15 posts, read 16,554 times
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She had some papers in hand, but did not actually show me anything; HR was there also. She read my own notes that I had made calls from two files, followed by the "30% of your files showed the same incorrect documentation". Everything we do is time stamped in notes (date and time we were supposed to do something). But as I said, I worked multiple files at once, there is so much room for error. I thought maybe it would be advantageous to mention I was never warned about this when I was on the performance management. Anyway, I will wait and see what they are going to actually present and update the board when I know. Thanks again, I appreciate the feedback. And yes, I believe the ax to grind was she wanted me out the door. She believes my actions were insidious and with intent (my direct supervisor told me this), so I expect her to come prepared to the hearing.
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:38 PM
 
14,508 posts, read 26,125,653 times
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You can say that you were never warned about this type of error, but the performance plan is irrelevant unless it was specifically about this same time of infraction.
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Old 06-08-2013, 02:59 AM
 
1,359 posts, read 2,126,853 times
Reputation: 1206
Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbitz102 View Post
Hi All, I will try and keep it brief.

I was fired in May for "misconduct"; I had worked for the company for 8 years. I'm was in an industry where I handled a high volume of files year (700+). That translates to 700 people I typically dealt with (not to mention doctors and attorneys associated with each file), handling anywhere from 130-170 files at the same time. I was awarded unemployment through the state even though I was fired, and my employer is appealing the decision. I was on performance management the beginning of this year because I was dealing with personal issues at home, and could not concentrate at work. I managed to get myself off performance management, and then a month later I was fired anyway. My employer claimed I was falsifying documentation: noting I called a client in my file and left a message, and when she ran a trace on my phone, there was no record of that call being made. She said 30% of my files showed this, out of how many files, I don't know. I don't deny this could have happened, this is a job where one works on *multiple* files at once. This is a job where you make a lot of outbound calls, many times into empty voice mail boxes with no outgoing message, many times you have no idea whether you're making the right call or have mis-dialed. I absolutely do not deny I made mistakes and documented files wrong, and put the wrong notes in wrong files, especially while I was stressed, but I do deny it was with intent. It is not advantageous at all for me to do that, it does not lead to closing a file, which is what you want. My concern is my employer will no doubt be able to produce documentation showing no history of numbers being called, and my only defense was it was a high volume job and I made mistakes. On a side note, I met with this manager every singe week to monitor my performance while I was on the written warning, and she never once mentioned issues with my documentation, not a single time. My direct supervisor also told me, off company property, the manager who fired me was "looking" for something on me, but I know that is hearsay. Do I stand a chance? Should I get a lawyer to help me during the hearing? Thanks in advance.
Repeat after me: "I did the best that I could."

That is your defense.

No matter how much your employer wants it to be different, poor performance is not misconduct. The employer's grasping at straws. Still, seeing an attorney that specializes in UI law couldn't hurt.
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