View Full Version : Oklahoma Unemployment Appeal

02-19-2006, 12:35 AM
I was recently terminated without givin a reason after 2.5 years of employment.
Several days later I received a letter in the mail stating that I was terminated for dress code. I began claiming unemployment benefits. The employer filed an appeal and gave the rest of the employees 3 papers which to choose to sign. One stating that I was guilty. One that I was innocent. And One that they did not want to be involved due to the personal relationship between us. These employees were told that by my claiming unemployment benefits would directly effect their year end bonus's. By fear of losing their job or year end bonus money. 4 signed the guilty and 3 signed the one stating they didn't want anything to do with it. There is no proof that I have ever broken the dress code, and it's all being fabricated by the CEO who fired me. Just one month earlier had asked me if I was planning on staying around since he knew I had a few other job offers. I should not of told him anything, but he seemed sincere. One month later I was replaced. The management of the company all started the company together. Which equal the 4 signed guilty. Can I fight this? Or should I even worry since there is no real proof of anything? Can the signed petition I guess you would call hold ground??? Can an employer make comments that my unemployment would be coming from their bonus's if I collect? Especially before he made them sign.


02-19-2006, 06:23 AM
Can you fight this?


It is not up to your co-workers to determine if you are "gulity" or "innocent" for unemployment benefits. In fact, it's not really up to your employer. either.

It is a matter of if you lost your job through no fault of your own.

If "dress code" was the problem, he can fire you. But unemployment holds the employer somewhat responsible as well. They'll want to know if there was a policy, if he gave you any warnings. But it's a matter of eligablity, not "guilt" or "innocence."

It is illegal to coherce or retailiate against anyone who participates in the unemployment process. What he is doing clearly will affect other employees decision if they wish to file for unemployment, or if they are asked to participate in any hearings, now or in the futute.

Obtain copies of those letters. You should be able to request whatever information he plans on using for the hearing. If he refuses to give them to you supeona them. Contact the Appeals office, they will help you with how to do that. Also, see if you can get some of your former co-workers to write down or testify what happened.

The Unemployment itself will depend on what happened prior to your termination. How reasonable was it. That depends on the circumstances.

You can usually get a copy of the statutes for Unemployment off the internet. The unemployment office should be able to help you with that,also.

02-19-2006, 07:45 PM
If he did in fact win his appeal.. Can I be held responsible to pay back what I've already drawn? I start my new job 5 days after the appeal anyway.


02-19-2006, 09:12 PM
Yes, you would.

"One stating that I was guilty. One that I was innocent. And One that they did not want to be involved due to the personal relationship between us. These employees were told that by my claiming unemployment benefits would directly effect their year end bonus's."

1. "guilty"? or "innocent?" This isn't a TRIAL. It's an UNEMPLOYMENT hearing. What the heck is THAT suppose to mean? Besides, It's HIS decision, not theirs.

2. If he wants to keep his unemployment rate down, he can work on reducing his claims through better managment--not cutting bonuses.

That's my opinion.

The issue is STILL going to be if it is "by fault of your own."
If by violateing the dress code, he means you came to work wearing nothing but a g-string, then yeah, that would be by fault of your own. But if it's something like, wearing jeans, then they will probably want to know if you were aware--was there a written policy, were you given any warnings not to wear jeans, but you did it again?

There's no "guilt" or "innocence." It's not a murder trial.

02-19-2006, 10:36 PM
There are no warnings on paper or anything. But as soon as he filed an appeal. The co-owner with him wrote a statement claiming to have warned me over 12 times. Can that hold water? This stuff makes me sick.


02-20-2006, 05:31 AM
Like I said, it depends on the specific situation.

You won your first appeal. That holds weight. After all, the employer would have been asked for information when you first filed.

And he mailed you a letter AFTER he fired you. Obviously, I don't know what the letter said, but it seems a little odd to fire someone first and THEN mail a letter.

Why do you think he would fire you rather than allowing you to quit, since you already put in notice? just curious.

Unemployment will look at the ENTIRE situation. Your own testimony also holds weight.

good luck.
keep us posted how it goes.

Oklahoma Labor Law Posters
Comply with Oklahoma regulations with one Complete Oklahoma Labor Law Poster.
Trusted with customer satisfication.
Call (800) 745-9970 or shop online at www.LaborLawCenter.com.