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  #1  
Old 12-21-2006, 09:28 PM
Doberman Pinscher Doberman Pinscher is offline
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Unemployment: Definition of "unemployed through no fault of your own"

I live in NC. I got terminated from my job. I work in call center and was terminated because of performance, basically I got 5 write ups for different errors I made and the 5th resulted in termination. I met alot of other expectations in other metrics and received certificates and stuff for other areas of performance and kept some of these for records. Does it sound like I would be eligible?
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  #2  
Old 12-21-2006, 09:35 PM
Duckster Duckster is offline
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Quote:
Potentially eligible claimants must have become unemployed through no fault of their own. All claimants, except those who are still attached to an employer's payroll, must (a) register for work with ESC; (b) file a claim for each calendar week of benefits they request, and (c) actively seek work during any week for which unemployment benefits are claimed. Actively seeking work means doing those things that an unemployed person who wants to work would normally do. Unless otherwise instructed, a claimant must seek work in person on two different days with at least two different employers and must keep a written record of all work search contacts for periodic review by ESC.
Source: https://www.ncesc.com/individual/web...applyBegin.asp

You won't know for sure until you apply for it. Having said that, and IANAEP, my take on it is you better find another job right away.
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Old 12-21-2006, 11:06 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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Generally, "through no fault of your own" would indicate Reductions In Force (where you happened to have too little seniority or whatever to survive a general layoff), the company going out of business, seasonal layoffs, and, (perhaps), incapacitating disease or injury not incurred on the job.

You would need an actual legal determination (as in, see a lawyer) to know for sure, but as an unlicensed and not legally trained observer, I would rate "let go for reasons of job performance" to be pretty much "your own fault." (Even if you incurred the write-ups because you were reporting to an ogre who was deliberately gigging you falsely, the fact that the company let you go as a result of a performance standard would seem to preclude a "not your fault" defense.)
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Old 12-22-2006, 08:45 AM
Flipshod Flipshod is offline
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Not your lawyer etc.. and it varies by state, but where I am, the standard is very pro-employee. The employee has to do (or not do) a specific thing with the explicit knowledge that he will be fired if he does it. You wouldn't know that by reading the statute by itself--gotta read the cases and see how it works on the ground.

I represent employers and lose cases like yours regularly.

You should talk to a local unemployment attorney, or at least legal aid. One visit might be all you need, just to figure out if you even need an atty to represent you through the process. In my state, employees generally don't have lawyers unless the case is appealed up into the court system (out of the administrative realm).

In other words, don't let the wording of that statute stop you from trying to collect.

Again, YMMV-not legal advice--not your atty
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  #5  
Old 12-22-2006, 09:19 AM
Poysyn Poysyn is online now
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Up here where I live "through no fault of your own" generally meant you did not steal or do anything illegal to get fired. We use the term "for cause".

Everyone else qualifies for EI benefits while unemployed if they worked the required amount of hours.
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  #6  
Old 12-22-2006, 10:45 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Again, you should consult a lawyer (or go ahead and apply for benefits -- they'll let you know quickly enough). But, very generally speaking, "though no fault of your own" for the purposes of unemployment benefits, means you didn't quit the job. If you were fired or dismissed against your will, you will generally be eligible.
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  #7  
Old 12-22-2006, 10:49 AM
Otto Otto is offline
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In the real world, "through no fault of your own" means that when you file for benefits your former employer does not contest the filing.
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  #8  
Old 12-22-2006, 10:55 AM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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Don't assume that the employers reasoning fits the legal definition. Apply, and start looking unless you didn't work the minimun number of day.
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  #9  
Old 12-22-2006, 11:06 AM
MLS MLS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acsenray
Again, you should consult a lawyer (or go ahead and apply for benefits -- they'll let you know quickly enough). But, very generally speaking, "though no fault of your own" for the purposes of unemployment benefits, means you didn't quit the job. If you were fired or dismissed against your will, you will generally be eligible.
IANAL, YMMV, etc.
Here is NJ, if you are fired for cause, such as documented job performance deficiencies, you are not eligible for unemployment, at least not right away.

According to the NJ Dept of Labor :

Quote:
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.
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  #10  
Old 12-22-2006, 11:08 AM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flipshod
Not your lawyer etc.. and it varies by state, but where I am, the standard is very pro-employee. The employee has to do (or not do) a specific thing with the explicit knowledge that he will be fired if he does it. You wouldn't know that by reading the statute by itself--gotta read the cases and see how it works on the ground.

I represent employers and lose cases like yours regularly.

You should talk to a local unemployment attorney, or at least legal aid. One visit might be all you need, just to figure out if you even need an atty to represent you through the process. In my state, employees generally don't have lawyers unless the case is appealed up into the court system (out of the administrative realm).

In other words, don't let the wording of that statute stop you from trying to collect.

Again, YMMV-not legal advice--not your atty
Flipshod's advice here is very much in accord with my own experience. In fact, don't even contact an attorney until you've filed for benefits and been denied; the ESC counselors are likely to approve you for benefits even on the terms you outline.

Having lost a North Carolina job with a series of I-believe-pretexts cited as reason for dismissal, the review of the case by ESC was farly cursory after asking for and obtaining explanation from my ex-employer, and resulted in an award of benefits not delayed past the SOP waiting period.

Essentially, NC policy appears to be that:
  • You were dismissed from the job rather than quitting on your own accord; and
  • The reason for your dismissal was not one single act that egregiously violated the law or the terms of your employment. (Theft from the business, selling company secrets to the competition, sleeping through your shift as night watchman, having sex with a fellow employee on company time, etc.) Unsatisfactory performance over a period of time does not constitute "fault of your own."

I am not your lawyer, or a lawyer of any sort, and I am especially not someone versed in the practice of North Carolina unemployment law. But I think I can state with 99% confidence that you're eligible to draw unemployment in this state while looking for work.
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  #11  
Old 12-22-2006, 05:09 PM
Kevbo Kevbo is offline
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IANAL, however, in my unfortunate experience, the opinions stated above are correct. If you didn't do anything illegal, and showed up when scheduled, you are probably eligible.

Otherwise it would be pretty easy for companies to rig "poor performance" anytime they wanted to conduct a de-facto layoff.

In fact, moving the goalposts is one tactic used by unscrupulous managers to try to force an employee to quit, or to force a "with cause" offence. If done subtly enough, the employee might even be manipulated into believing they are at fault.
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  #12  
Old 12-22-2006, 05:39 PM
boytyperanma boytyperanma is offline
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File and keep looking for a job. Alot of times even if you were fired for good reason employers don't bother to contest the unemployment or to show up for a required hearing.

If you end up working a job for less money you may still be able to collect. If you make more money you wouldn't need to and can glaot back to the company that fired you.
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  #13  
Old 12-22-2006, 05:53 PM
doreen doreen is online now
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Quote:
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.
When my employer contested my unemployment in NY, the judge specifically said that incompetence is not misconduct.He said misconduct would be stealing, repeated lateness, that sort of thing. The fact that I was short money in the till wasn't misconduct, it was incompetence, and I got my benefits.
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  #14  
Old 12-22-2006, 05:57 PM
fluiddruid fluiddruid is offline
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I worked in management for one of the big corporations that runs call centers (in NC as well, incidentally). You should file. Depending on your state, you may not win, but that's for a judge to decide. We kept a paper trail a mile long and would put off firing people nearly indefinitely because it was so difficult to win these cases. You were written up five times, so you know there's documentation against you. Be prepared to give your response as to what happened, how was the discipline presented to you, did you take corrective action, did they offer you training and so on. Those certificates that you have might be helpful in presenting you as a better employee than they will state.

Call centers are notoriously bad in their management. It doesn't hurt to file and hope for the best - they could easily lose their documentation, have a turnover in management, or whatever, and decide not even to contest it.

Here's how it worked basically went for me (from the employer side):
- We had to pay the unemployment until the trial -- so, at least, it's a free loan (in my state).
- The trial was set up by telephone with me, our company's lawyer, and the employee (who did not have a lawyer).
- It was largely not very formal. The judge went over the documents that we had provided. I faxed in copies of all of the written warnings to the court, who provided them to the judge and the employee.
- Both sides answered questions and basically presented their point of view.
- Some weeks later, we got notification of the outcome.

We won, but it was a different case - attendance, rather than the more nebulous "performance". Also, the employee didn't contest that she missed the time or that she had gotten a warning, but instead tried to say it wasn't fair because I didn't like her personally. The judge basically told her that didn't matter.
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  #15  
Old 12-22-2006, 06:46 PM
Gfactor Gfactor is offline
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Not legal advice. See a lawyer.

Definitely give it a shot. And go to Legal Aid. If you can afford a lawyer to represent you, fine, but it's actually pretty tough to find a lawyer who does employee-side unemployment outside of Legal Aid. There's just not a lot of money in it.

FWIW, as others have said, "no fault of your own" comes with its own technical gloss. In most cases (and jurisdictions) incompetence is not considered good cause for termination. But see, Tzangas, Plakas & Mannos v. Administrator (it can be in Ohio, in some cases).

My company just payed a couple of unemployment claims for incompetence-related terminations.

It doesn't cost you anything to file a claim. File it and see what happens. Good luck.
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None of this is legal advice. Ever. You aren't my client. I'm not your lawyer. Most of what I'm telling you is probably wrong. Give up.
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  #16  
Old 12-22-2006, 06:48 PM
Gfactor Gfactor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gfactor
My company just payed a couple of unemployment claims for incompetence-related terminations.
Yeah. Paid a couple, rather.
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