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Voluntary vs. involuntary termination

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  • Voluntary vs. involuntary termination

    we had en employee who was had excessive absences over several months. She was given verbal warnings. She was also given a written warning telling that we need her to work her scheduled hours and, during that meeting with her, I stated that she is not being fired. She said she understood she wasn't being fired. She told me that she couldn't come int he following day, due to her son's illnesses. I told her that I wished she would come in. She said would think about it. She called me the next day and said that she wasn't coming in. I told her that she is choosing to do this. In my book she voluntarily terminated herself. Can she collect unemployment?

  • #2
    See, the problem was that there was no quid pro quo given. "If you don't come in tomorrow, you are fired." or "If you call off tomorrow, you are resigning".

    Generally speaking, whether or not she will get UI benefits will depend upon whether the adjudicator determines that the warnings she was given constituted notice that if she didn't do XX, YY was going to occur, and she did XX anyway. Having said that, however, every state is different and you never know what is going to happen until it does.

    You're right though that the only difference here is whether it was voluntary or involuntary; a termination is literally any cessation of the employee/employer relationship.
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    • #3
      VERY good question. I'm in MA too and I've seen it go both ways. It's going to depend on what kind of documentation you have to indicate that she knew that her job was in jeopardy. I've had the state deny benefits when I didn't even contest because she had been given a written warning that if she missed any more time she would be fired. And I've had benefits granted because my predecessor didn't keep good records of the warnings.

      No way to tell which way it will go. All you can do is present your side of the story, along with copies of any documention you have, and see what happens.
      The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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