laid-off and then fired

I volunteered for a permanent layoff around August 16,2002. My job was to pay me 26 weeks of sub-pay and I also would receive unemployment pay. My last day of work was to be Sept. 13. I called into work on Aug.30 and left a message to my supervisor that I would not be in for my shift at 3:30pm. I was also supposed to be at an unemployment meeting in the training room at 2:30pm on the same day. I showed up at the meeting and left at 3:10pm. When I showed up for work on Sept 3 I was told I had left my job while on the clock and I had to be let go. They called this voluntary resignation. We do not clock in and out and I feel that since I left 20 minutes before my shift began and my immediate supervisor knew I was not going to be at work, I should not have been fired. The employee handbook states" anytime an associate leaves the plant during work time without group leader or management authorization will be considered a voluntary resignation." I feel that since I had called in before my shift began I had authorization. The handbook also states"should it be necessary for you to leave your workstation duing your must notify your group leader." I had never reportd to my workstation. I do have a workers comp. claim against my former employer which I feel may have something to do with me getting fired. I have recently just begun to get unemployment benefits, which took 3 weeks for review. My former employer never answered the unemployment office's question as to the reason I was fired. Do I have a legitimate reason for a wrongful discharge case or an unfair dismissal?

1 answer  |  asked Sep 30, 2002 11:00 AM [EST]  |  applies to Indiana

Answers (1)

Brenda Franklin Rodeheffer

I am assuming in giving this answer that you are not a union employee with contractual rights and that you do not believe that discrimination was a factor.

Your question and your chance of recovery is very fact-sensitive. I would need to know upon why you were taking off after coming in for the meeting. Usually you would assume that if you were ill, you could not call, go to a meeting anyway and then leave right before you went on the clock.
Also, I would need to know if there was a pattern of the company punishing people for taking workers comp, where you were in the workers comp process, how much $ was involved, etc.
It is not a question easily answered and i would advise you to pay for a consultation with an attorney in your area.

posted by Brenda Franklin Rodeheffer  |  Sep 30, 2002 11:21 AM [EST]

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