Plan of Attack
If you were fired or suspended, your former employer has to prove that there was some sort of misconduct in connection with your position. You will receive unemployment benefits if your former employer fails to demonstrate willful misconduct on our part. An employer can successfully claim that there was misconduct if:
- You breached the employer’s rules
- You should have known about the rules either through the handbook or some other means.
- Your misconduct was not related to your position.
- Your misconduct falls within breaking a known set of rules and guidelines
You will have to prove that any of the above statements are incorrect about by stating that you never violated the rule they say that you violated, you never thought that it was something that could get you terminated, that there was another reason why your employer terminated you, that your employer never did have this policy or didn’t make you aware. You can also state that you tried your best to follow the rules but you were unable to do it.
Your employer may try to terminate you due to a rule that has never been in
clearly stated. If you never received a handbook or an employee manual, begin there. You may also bring witnesses with you agree with what you are saying to the hearing. It may be that the policy was not clear or not a formal policy.
There are also times when there is a rule, but it is never enforced. If you were terminated for it and you know for a fact that there are others who did the same thing who are working there, that is a basis for your argument. This will help paint the picture that a clear rule was never present.
If your former employer says that the rule is listed in the handbook, you can say that you did not receive it. Especially if you did not sign anything saying that you received the handbook. You can state that you did not have a clear knowledge of the rules that were in the handbook.
One of your defenses could be that the real reason for firing you was not the reason that they stated. In showing that this is your defense, you will have to show a chain of events leading up to the termination and the fact that something else happened to cause it.
Another defense could be that you did not really know that you could be fired for doing some type of misconduct. Each employer should spell out what the rules are and the consequences for not obeying the rules. The consequences should follow a progression unless the misconduct is severe. If the misconduct is severe, you can be terminated immediately, but even that information should be told to you. If you never knew that doing so would get you terminated, you probably wouldn’t have done the action. If you know for a fact that other supervisors or managers have not fired someone over the same action, make sure you offer this information. It will help prove that there is a clear distinction between management at your former employer. It will show that even management handles that particular policy differently.
There should be some type of warning that you are given to let you know that if you continue with this behavior, there will be consequences. Tell your interviewer that there are other employees who did the same action and were not terminated from their job.
If you did not breach the company rule, say so. There are times when an employer will terminate you based on the fact they believe you broke the rule. Deny this allegation. Show that you truly didn’t do what your previous employer is accusing you of. If you want to use this defense as your plan of action, make sure you show emotion. Most people who are accused of doing something are pretty upset about it. You would not just say, they said I did it, but I didn’t. The emotions will help build your case.
If you were fired because you made mistakes or had problems following their instructions, many believe you will not receive unemployment. Just because you are unable to do a task does not make your situation disqualified from receiving benefits. Your former employer will have to prove that you were deliberately not doing the task well. If you fired because you didn’t meet their goals, you will most likely get benefits. Tell your interviewer that you tried, received up training, and did the best you could do but couldn’t meet your former employer’s expectations. It could be that you were poorly trained or the fact that their goals were too lofty.