Will I qualify for unemployment benefits?

I was discharged on 8/12. I filed immediately for unemployment. I was told that I could put whatever I want about the seperation from the company on any application moving forward. HR Told me I could say I was laid off, fired, quit, whatever I wanted. The real reason I was terminated was for my performance. It was not malicious or purposeful misconduct whatsoever. Now, my question is, since HR told me I could basically "lie" on applications, I told unemployment the absolute truth. And they requested more information about "why i was fired." I didnt feel right lying to the state and probably rightfully so. Should I have just put on the unemployment application that I was indeed laid-off? What I figure is the employer will not regardless dispute the unemployment insurance so thats why they told me this.. I have no idea the consequences of not telling the absolute truth however. Now that Unemployment has "requested more information in detail of why i was terminated" that they are indeed setting up to "deny" my benefits for unemployment insurance. Let me know what you think. Without UI, I sincerely am in an absolute world of hurt.

1 answer  |  asked Aug 18, 2012 2:08 PM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (1)

Neil Klingshirn
You did the right thing by being truthful on your application. It is troubling that your employer would encourage you to lie.

Just because your employer separated you for performance does not mean that you will not qualify for unemployment compensation benefits. First, technically, you should receive benefits unless you "disqualify," not the other way around. You disqualify for UC benefits if, in this case, you were terminated for "just cause," and not just for not meeting performance expectations. Just cause means that you were enough at fault for your discharge that you should not receive benefits.

Applied in practice you were terminated for just cause if you failed to show for work, violated a company policy knowing it was a violation, or you were able to perform your job but simply did not. On the other hand, if your employer placed you in a job for which you were not suited, or changed your job to add duties for which you were not qualified, you were not fired for just cause.

Every case is different. You should consult with an experienced employment lawyer about your specific situation and craft a strategy for demonstrating no just cause. The good news is that it sounds like your former employer will not contest your benefits, meaning that your explanation should be given credit.

posted by Neil Klingshirn  |  Aug 19, 2012 08:35 AM [EST]

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