My previous employer had fired me after 5 years of perfect attendance and grueling work! I was shocked!! They had absolutely NO reason to fire me (other than maybe they just felt like it..). They basically put words up in my mouth, investigated a bunch of miserable old biddies who were out to get me, and just slammed the door in my face! I filed for unemployment and was DENIED!!!!@#$%^&*() I've never been a quitter, and I knew that I had a right to unemployment benefits. You do to (as long as you didn't get fired for doing something TOO crazy!!) Basically, this article is for anybody who just got the door slammed in their face for no reason at all, and their ex-employer doesn't want to pay them the unemployment benefits that they deserve. Read on..
Okay, so you went to the employment center and basically wasted your time filling out the application to receive unemployment benefits only to find out a week later that your previous employer is denying you?!?! What a crock! Now, if you DID do something STUPID (for instance: not show up for work, physically assault or harass another employee, etc.), you probably don't have a snowball's chance in hell. So, you'll just have to look for a new job. BUT, if you were like some of us out there who were wrongfully terminated, you DO stand a chance! I fought, and I won! But first, you have to ask at the employment office how to APPEAL this decision and follow through with all of their instructions. Everybody has the right to appeal.. and re-appeal. You can find out more information on how to appeal through your state's department of employment security web page. They will list who to call, who to write to.. You just have to be persistent.
Before you go crazy with hatred and file the appeal right away without even having anything to back your decision up, you may want to sit with paper and pen and list down all things that come to mind about your "termination". List the reasons the HR or boss gave you for your termination. List reasons why you think it was wrong. List situations where fellow co-workers were allowed to exhibit the same behavior and were overlooked for termination or discipline. Basically, you are going to have to have a good couple of reasons for filing the appeal, otherwise your hearing (yes, there will be a "telephone" hearing) will be pointless.
Now that you have a list (which you CAN keep adding to!), you might want to dig out the old employee handbook. If you do not have one, contact a friendly ex-co-worker who will have one that you can borrow! You are going to have to read this handbook carefully in order to find the "loop-holes"!! Hopefully you will find one! ~ I know I did! Hehehe!! ~ Add these findings in your handbook to the list on paper you are writing.
Once the appeal has been filed, the Department of Employment Security will mail you a letter telling you of the time you will be contacted. I can't really remember if they interview you firs, but whoever DOES contact you from D.E.S. will ask you questions about why you think you deserve the unemployment benefits. You better have that sheet handy and be ready to answer them as professionally as possible!! You do NOT want to appear an unorganized idiot or they will probably deny you the hearing!
Once your hearing has been set up, it's just a matter of waiting for that call. You better MAKE DAMN sure that you have done your research and are available for the call! During the call, you will be on the phone with the judge assigned to your case AND your ex-employer. Your ex-employer is going to try her damnedest to make a fool out of you, so this is why I am telling you to be prepared! You may also want to think about writing out your statement or whatever it is you want to say on your paper so you DON'T FORGET some of the important points you want to mention! Trust me.. This is just something you DON'T want to "eff up"!! There should be videos on your states D.E.S. website showing you "what to expect" during a hearing. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND viewing these videos!!
Word of advice: Whatever you do, DO NOT interrupt the judge OR your ex-employer NO MATTER HOW annoying they are or however bad you want to correct them!!! This basically is just ASKING to be denied... again. You want to appear as courteous and polite as possible. If you appear obnoxious, rude, bossy, or mean, the judge will pretty much think that your personality is good enough reason for the termination. So, mind them manners!!! Make sure you are on a landline or are in an area where your phone will NOT cut out, otherwise this is also grounds for denial.
Now that the hearing is done and over with, you have to wait a while before you will hear anything further on the matter. Just be patient and keep looking for jobs. If you do end up winning your benefits, I recommend viewing the EEOC website. You may want to look into filing a charge against your previous employer for wrongful termination. Why stop at unemployment benefits?? If you truly were wrongfully terminated, you need to stand up for yourself and fight. You will undoubtedly feel 100% better about yourself when you fight for what you believe in!
It helps to have supportive friends and family... I DIDN'T!! My friends and family thought I was wasting my time and they were jerks.. Absolutely NO positive encouragement WHATSOEVER!! That's okay, I made them eat their words!! LOL!!
Like I said, if you really did do something stupid to get fired and you don't have any excuses to fall back on, I wouldn't even recommend trying this. This is for people who were wrongfully terminated and DO have something to fight with!