View Full Version : Claims Examiner Approval? New Jersey

10-05-2006, 01:20 PM
Here is my unique situation:

I was in a sales position for one full year at a printing company. It was my first job out of college. I was originally hired for graphic design and sales, but that was simply just to get me into the door to do fullblown sales only. I applied for a design position, but I took sales/design instead because they assured me I would do designing. I wasn't happy not being able to do art after a little while, but just graduating college, I felt that I should atleast keep the job for a year. I did mediocre sales work, but I didn't excel. Around my year review time, my boss called me while I was on the road and expressed concern that looking at my calendar, he saw the same client listed quite often. He said that my calendar was very vague. He then told me to think about a way to better my sales for the company over the weekend, and we would go over that at a meeting on Monday morning.
Monday morning rolls around, and I meet in the conference room with my sales manager and my boss. He tells me that he hopes I thought a lot about everything over the weekend because he has too. He says that the average sales person brings in $100,000 his first year, and I only made him $72,000. I resonded that I did not apply for a full sales position. He also said, on a whim, he decided before the meeting to call the client that I wrote down so often on my calendar. She said that she had only spoken to me on the phone, but had not seen me in months. He said "You lied to me. And I can't work with someone I can't trust."
I asked him "How can we make this work?" He said "Frankly, I can't trust you. That's it. You're fired."

I filed for unemployment the next day, and everything seemed to go smoothly. I received my first check shortly thereafter, and it appeared that the umbrella company (Gevity) had approved my claim. When I tried to claim my next check, the unemployment rep said that the payroll/HR company sent them a letter saying that I was terminated for cause. She said a claims examiner would call and interview me. The woman also said that 9 times out of 10, it's difficult to even get the employer on the phone. (We have an umbrella company that handles the HR and Payroll/Benefits etc. I filed my unemployment to them instead of the franchise branch that I was locally working for.)

Now for the questions:

When the examiner calls me, will she have detailed information on "why" I was terminated, or in NJ is the employer not permitted to reveal that to anyone? Can she also go back to the employer with my explanation and compare notes afterwards?

Also, if I just tell the examiner that I was terminated because at my year review I was told that I did not generate enough revenue for the company, will that suffice in order for me to receive benefits? It's the truth. I just want to solidify my ability to receive benefits. I also want to make sure that the examiner will not get a different answer from my employer. I was NEVER given any warning notice before I was fired. No letters, no emails, no notice.

I was told by the unemployment agent that the worst that could happen to me would be that I might be on probation from benefits for 6 weeks from the date that I was terminated. After that time, I can begin to receive my checks again. I'm just praying that I'm not indefinitely denied for benefits. I didn't think that my reason for termination qualifies as "misconduct." Do you think I'm in an okay position to be approved immediately?

10-05-2006, 01:45 PM
There is NO state where the employer is prohibited from giving the reasons of termination to anyone. Despite a widely held misperception to the contrary, in all 50 states it is legal for the employer to give the truthful reason for a termination to anyone they choose to give it to. Including posting a billboard on the New Jersey Turnpike, if they want to go to that expense.

That being said, we don't know how much information the employer will choose to provide. It is in the employer's best interest to provide as much as is asked for. Nor can we look into the future and see if the examiner will go back to the employer. I have only had a claims examiner do that once; when the information the employee was giving did not match what I had said. (Unluckily for the employee, who clearly wasn't thinking, I had documentation of what had occurred, including copies of the warnings she had received with her signature on them.)

I wouldn't recommend only giving a partial answer, even if the answer is true as far as it goes. Because the employer almost certainly will give the complete response, and if you haven't mentioned the rest of it, it will not help your cause.

If an employee had lied to me the way you evidently did to your employer, I would be doing everything in my power to see that you did not get benefits. Personally? Yes, I think it was misconduct and if I were the claims examiner, I would not approve you. Sorry that isn't what you want to hear, but that's how I see it.

10-05-2006, 01:47 PM
Also, if I just tell the examiner that I was terminated because at my year review I was told that I did not generate enough revenue for the company, will that suffice in order for me to receive benefits? It's the truth. I just want to solidify my ability to receive benefits. I also want to make sure that the examiner will not get a different answer from my employer. I was NEVER given any warning notice before I was fired. No letters, no emails, no notice.

Actually it is not the truth. You were terminated for lying about visits to a client. I do not suggest lying to the hearing examiner in order to get UC. That is called fraud and is illegal. Try it and the least of your worries will be having your benefits denied.

You do not have to be given advance notice that it is not permissible to lie to your employer about your schedule or visits to clients. It doesn't matter if you wanted to do sales or not. You accepted the job as it was and could be held to the same standard as anyone else. Most employers will tolerate average performance if they feel you are trustworthy and showing effort. Very few will overlook dishonesty.

Your employer is not only permitted to tell the whole truth, but required to. Lying is no more permitted from their side as it is yours.

What you did is misconduct. Only the state can decide if it is misconduct worthy of disqualifying you from benefits. I'd suggest stepping up your efforts on the job search. You may qualify for UC, but it isn't certain and having been fired from your first job out of school for dishonesty with a record of poor performance is not going to make you a stellar candidate.

10-05-2006, 02:27 PM
Quote from State of NJ Department of Workforce & Development:

"If you were fired or discharged from your job because you did something not in the best interests of your employer (like breaking company rules or policy), you may be disqualified from collecting benefits. This kind of discharge is known as "misconduct." The disqualification would begin the week the firing or suspension occurs and continue for the next five weeks. After the disqualification period ends, you may be able to collect benefits."

Yes I admit I was at fault for writing down the client more than I saw him. If the HR company was notified by my boss of the full termination reasoning, it would have been stated that "The employee was not truthful as to his whereabouts. He also did not generate enough revenue as a first year sales rep."

I'm sure that many of you are sneering at my post, and I do apologize and regret my actions. I'm sorry if I appear as a slacker or a liar. Just like many people, I have bills and rent to pay right now, and until I find another job, I'd hope to receive unemployment to help me do so. I'm not justifying my actions as tolerable, but I was never given any instruction at all to hand in a detailed calendar. I was told to write down the people I spoke to/visited every day on my desk blotter, and I'd meet each week to go over my goals with my sales manager. It was a very vague "word of mouth" instruction. I listed specific clients every day without any meeting times. They were in fact jobs that I was currently working on. Not once was this method ever a problem. I was never asked to hand in a calendar of my whereabouts. Sometimes my sales manager (who only worked 2 days a week) would go over my blotter with me, but never asked any questions. And on more than one occassion, the boss told me that honestly, he could care less where I was as long as I made him money. He said "for all I care, you could be out having coffee and reading a newspaper, but you just have to bring in sales." They were very lax about their formalities, and there was never really a set instruction as to what they wanted from me, except my numbers at the end of every month.

Knowing more of the explanation now, what do I tell the claims examiner?

10-05-2006, 02:30 PM
The truth!!Simple as that. Not the justification for why you thought you could gt away with what you did, but what you actually did and why you were terminated.

10-05-2006, 02:38 PM
In this case, is there a possibility of being indefinitely suspended from UI? I've done some research, and it seems that only people who commit a crime or break the law could indefinitely be disqualified.

From the paragraph directly under the misconduct penalty:

"If you were fired for any reason that is serious enough to be considered a crime under the "New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice," you may be disqualified from collecting benefits indefinitely. This is known as a "gross misconduct" discharge. To remove a "gross misconduct" disqualification, you must return to work for at least 4 weeks, earn 6 times your weekly benefit rate, and become unemployed through no fault of your own. In addition, the wages you earned with the employer who discharged you cannot be used to establish an unemployment claim or to remove a disqualification."

I'm pretty sure that none of you are claims examiners, but does it seem in my circumstance that the absolute worst that could happen would be the 6 week penalty?

10-05-2006, 02:47 PM
This is telling you what will happen in the event that you have a gross misconduct charge. It's not saying word one about what will happen if you are denied for other reasons.

10-05-2006, 06:24 PM
I received a letter in the mail today that states: "The reason for your appointment is... You may have been separated for misconduct in connection with your work."

One of the questions could be "Did you violate company policy?" Honestly, I don't know if I did because there are no set-in-stone regulations for a sales rep and how they keep their calendar. How would I answer this?

In the fact-finding interview, is it a three-way call so that the employer can hear what I'm saying? How common is it for the employer to participate in the fact-finding interview with the claims examiner?

10-06-2006, 09:43 AM
Whether it will be a three way call will depend on your state's policies and where in the process it is. If the employer contests, there will definitely at some point be a three way call or a face to face encounter.

Why in heaven's name would you think that your employer would NOT participate? Why on earth should they not have a say in this?

10-06-2006, 02:22 PM
I didn't say I didn't think the employer would participate. But I was given a tip by an unemployment agent that most times they have a hard time even getting them on the phone. My circumstance involves the umbrella company AND the franchise I worked for. The franchise fired me in person, but Gevity HR takes care of the paperwork. The umbrella company is Gevity HR (who is the one they're asking to participate). My franchise had no HR department, and Gevity acts as an outsourced HR department. The office I worked for is not being contacted, rather Gevity is instead. Just a clarification.

10-06-2006, 02:29 PM
jalamar, it seems a little odd that you don't realize the simple truth: you lied about your work activities to your employer; you got caught; you got fired. That is work-related misconduct.

10-06-2006, 02:43 PM
And whether it's now or later, there is no getting around the fact that at some point, your employer IS going to know what you say.

So if these questions are based around the hope that you can say what will put your spin on the facts and your employer will have no opportunity to question it, that's NOT going to happen.

10-08-2006, 01:29 AM
Hey, go easy please. I came to this site for advice. If I wanted to have my nose rubbed in my faults, I could have gone elsewhere. I can deal with the truth being said by people's replies, but I'd hope you can put your anger and disapproval aside when posting for me to read. As I said previously, "Yes I admit I was at fault for writing down the client more than I saw him. I'm sure that many of you are sneering at my post, and I do apologize and regret my actions. I'm sorry if I appear as a slacker or a liar."

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