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Do I have a case against them? Do I qualify for unemployment? Texas

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  • Do I have a case against them? Do I qualify for unemployment? Texas

    I had been with this company for over 5 years; promoted 5 times. My file is flawless and I have won a couple of awards for outstanding performance. All my performance reviews had high ratings. In June of 2010, I was promoted/transferred to Texas.

    In December, my manager stated that he was not satisfied with my performance and I needed to show results. I disagreed explaining that we were short staffed and under the circumstances, we had been doing well (went up in ranking by 3 positions). I was placed on a 60 day action plan. Within 35 days, my manager said I was not going to make through the action plan; therefore, she proposed a demotion. I declined the demotion. She then asked if I wanted to resign or be terminated. I told her that I was not resigning as I felt that I was doing a good job under the circumstances (total of 9 employees and we had 3 vacancies).

    Later that day, I met with the Human Resources Manager who tried to get me to sign a "voluntary separation form", which I declined because I was not resigning. HRM kept saying that they were not terminating my employment and that I was the one quitting because they had given me an option of demotion. I replied that I was not accepting the demotion, but was not quitting; should my salary remain the same, I would stay. HRM then asked if I needed help retrieving my personal items as that would be my last day. And you can picture the rest...

    Do I have a case against them? Can I file for unemployment?
    Thank you in advance for your assistance and feedback.
    Annie

  • #2
    Can I file for unemployment?

    You can apply for UI benefits. The state makes the decision on whether you not you get benefits. Not accepting the demotion may work against you, but no one here can tell you what the state will decide.

    You should have applied for unemployment immediately. If you haven't applied already, I don't think Texas will let you earn retroactive benefits for the weeks you have not worked so far. This booklet has a lot of information about unemployment that you should read:

    http://www.twc.state.tx.us/ui/bnfts/bi-99.pdf

    Do I have a case against them?

    You were not wrongfully or illegally terminated, if that's what you are asking. Those terms are actually legal terms that refer to a termination based on membership in a protected class (race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, etc.)

    Comment


    • #3
      Absent a contract or CBA it was legal for the employer to simply demote you on a go forward basis. It would be have legal for them to say (in writing) that you were the best employee they ever had and they still are going to demote you. There is no legal action you could have taken which stops the employer from demoting you if that is what they want to do. Based on what you have said, there is no wrongful termination or job action here.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/At-will
      http://employeeissues.com/wrongful_termination.htm

      The fire vs. quit issue for UI is entirely up to the state. You can argue that you did not quit. The employer can argue that you refused employment at the rate of pay they were willing to pay you. The state can make pretty much any decision they want to with those facts.

      In hind sight it probably would have made more sense to keep the job at the reduced rate, but start looking for the next job immediately. If the old employer fires you for looking for a new job, THAT would likely qualify for UI. Plus it is a lot easier to find the next job if you still have the old job.
      "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
      Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

      Comment


      • #4
        Agree, this was not a wrongful termination. There is no case to file against your
        employer.

        http://employeeissues.com/wrongful_termination.htm

        Do apply for UI benefits immediately if you have not already done so. The state
        will decide if you receive them or not.

        Good luck.
        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.

        Comment


        • #5
          Do you understand that you do not have the option of accepting or declining a demotion? That if the employer wants to demote you, you are demoted, regardless of what you think of it?

          It is not your opinion of the job you're doing that counts; it's the employer's.

          No, you have no case against them. You may or may not qualify for unemployment; there is no downside to filing.
          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.

          Comment


          • #6
            When you declined the demotion, you quit.
            I am not an attorney, and don't play one on TV. Any information given is a description only and should be verified by your attorney.

            Comment


            • #7
              However, in regard to UI, the state will decide if you were fired or quit. It's
              the state's decision. No one here can say what they will 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.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thank you everyone for your responses.
                The termination vs quitting is more clear. And I just thought that they didn't give a fair chance since the 60 days were not up. But I understand now.
                Thank you and have a great evening.

                Comment


                • #9
                  You're welcome & good luck to you.
                  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.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The HR manager brags about how no employee has ever gotten unemployment while she has worked there. I know that she will allege neglect or mismanagement of my position because she has done the same for former employees.
                    She was quite upset that I didn't want to sign the voluntary separation form. But I don't understand why she would.
                    A co-worker informed me that she has stated that I was terminated and signed the papers (never happened). It is very unprofessional of her part to disclose this type of information.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      That may be so. But being unprofessional is not illegal and does not provide you with legal recourse.
                      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.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Agreed, although if the person makes the same claim at the UI hearing, politely ask the ALJ to see the document. Lying to other employees is one thing. Lying to the government is something rather different, especially if one gets caught.
                        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

                        Comment

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