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Lost job by a lie...what now! New York

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  • Lost job by a lie...what now! New York

    I will try to keep this short.
    I was hired by a construction company 2 1/2 years ago that is run by 3 brothers. One of the brothers gave me an interview at my house. The first thing I stated was that I wouldn't travel to work where I had to stay away from home. I was told that it wasn't a problem. My wife was witness to this statement. The person that referred me to this company also told him that I wouldn't stay away from home and he still hired me.
    A month into employment I was asked by one of the other brothers to travel 3 1/2 hours from home to work. I told him I hired on to not travel and he said "oh that's right".
    On Wednesday I was told I was going to work at a location 4 hours from home and I reminded him the agreement with his brother about not traveling. He called his brother and he denied ever having agreed to me not traveling. After a few more words on the phone I was told to quit if I didn't want to travel. I told him I wasn't quitting that there was plenty of work for me where I was at the present time. He informed me he didn't have work for me anymore if I didn't want to travel and let me go.
    NOW the third brother informed me they may deny my unemployment benefits.

    I wonder if they can deny my unemployment even though they let me go and said they haven't any work for me. If I have to travel one way 4 hours to work. If there is any course of action I can take, such as breech of contract, even though it was a verbal contract. They don't have a "company handbook". They kind of "make up the rules" as they go.
    They haven't denied my unemployment yet as I can't apply until Monday. What should I do??
    Thanks in advance for any information.

  • #2
    Just so you know, the employer doesn't deny UI benefits; the state makes the decision. You file, the employer can protest the claim and, if they do, there will be a hearing (probably by phone) for the hearing officer to get both sides of the story.

    Having said that, the employer can change his mind and, unless you have a bona fide employment contract that states you will not be required to travel XX miles/YY period of time, you may have an uphill battle. The employer is not required to work with your personal situation.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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    • #3
      I quit a job to go to work for them. It wasn't a personal problem that came up. If he had told me travel was required, I would have never started working for them. I guess it is just a matter of "your word doesn't mean anything" because he told me NOT traveling was NOT a problem.
      I do know it will never happen again because I will get it in writing the next time. If there is a next time. At 57 yrs. old, it isn't as easy to get work anymore.

      Thanks for your input.

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      • #4
        By the way. Is there a limit on how far you have to travel and still qualify for UI? I have heard there is a 75 mile limit. Is that so?

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        • #5
          If it's a permanent relocation, it depends on the circumstances, but that's not what this is.

          So, what IS your reason for not wanting to travel XX miles to a job location? Seriously, it slightly possible the reason MAY make a difference?
          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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          • #6
            The reason to not travel for this job is that I told them I wouldn't when I hired on. I would have stayed where I was. I was NOT required to travel on that job.
            The cost of staying in a motel, buying meals, etc. is not worth the travel. I did it for years and don't want to do it anymore. Again that is why I told them before being hired that I wouldn't travel.

            I was lied to!

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            • #7
              Or, there's another possibility -

              In the 2 1/2 years since you had your conversation with the one brother, he's forgotten about it.
              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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              • #8
                Possible but not likely. He didn't say he don't remember he said he would never tell me that. The thing is that another employee is being threaten termination is he doesn't travel and 2 more to follow and the 3 of them had the same agreement.

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                • #9
                  Well, regardless of whether someone "lied" to you or not, changing the terms of your employment two and a half years later is legal, and so is firing you for not complying with the new rules.

                  So you need to decide what's more important to you - the principle, or having a job. Because if you get fired for not complying with a lawful and reasonable order from your employer, your chances of unemployment are not great.
                  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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                  • #10
                    Well then it looks like a waiting game to see if they protest UI or not because I am not traveling and end up with 200 dollars after expenses for working 10 hour days. In the meantime I am getting in touch with some old contacts looking for another job. Thanks for all the input. It is appreciated.

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                    • #11
                      Just as an FYI, the employer does not have to protest UI for it to be denied. I've had employees who were denied unemployment when I did not contest, if they lost their job for a disqualifying reason.
                      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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                      • #12
                        I know. We will see. The reason he told me I was being let go was he didn't have any work for me.

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                        • #13
                          It seems per your first post that he said he had no work for you if you didn't want to travel.
                          Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                          Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Betty3 View Post
                            It seems per your first post that he said he had no work for you if you didn't want to travel.
                            And if that's true, unless you have a VERY good reason for not being ABLE to travel for work (not wanting to is not a very good reason), you've probably shot yourself in the foot as far as unemployment benefits are concerned.

                            If you've been in construction for any length of time, you know that out-of-town travel is common in the industry.
                            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                            • #15
                              Agree that your chances of getting UI are not good but it is up to the state
                              to decide.
                              Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                              Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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