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Old 01-02-2013, 02:17 AM   #1
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Unemployment

I am currently unemployed! Huzzah!

So I got laid off today for the first time in my life. I've been working since I was 16 so I guess it was bound to happen someday.

My question is this, my employer (located in Virginia) cited "performance issues" as the reason they let me go. Which means getting anything from unemployment is probably out of the question. I haven't filed yet. I was also employed there for 6 months.

But I do have issues with this, and I was wondering if it would matter that 2 things happened:

1) They never approached me SAYING they had an issue with my performance. Not even in passing. Earlier, maybe 2-3 months into the job they pulled my aside and said hey work on this, work on this, you gotta do this better. Not long after that, they had mentioned that I was doing a lot better. Since then, they never said a word about me under performing.

2) Since THEY never approached me, I always approached THEM to ask about my performance. The last time I did approach them to ask how I was doing (which was early in December) and if there was anything I could do better, I was told "No, you're doing just fine." Unfortunately, I don't have any documentation that those meetings happened.

I wondered if any of this mattered if I ended up filing an appeal for unemployment. Or trying to file at all. I might not and just try to throw as many resumes out there as I can in a few days and see if anything sticks before the end of the month.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:54 AM   #2
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Re: Unemployment

i dont really think that matters, just how long you were employed and that you're now unemployeed.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:16 AM   #3
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Re: Unemployment

As long as you voluntarily didn't quit i believe they owe you unemployment.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:21 AM   #4
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Re: Unemployment

I've got hiring and firing responsibilities in my job, so maybe my perspective will be useful.

First off, it's important that we get clear on whether you got laid off or terminated. If you are being let go because of performance issues, then you're being terminated (aka fired). In that case, the job opens up for them to fill it with somebody else. And in that case you're not eligible for unemployment benefits.

If you were laid off, that means your job was cut from the organization and you were the casualty. In a lay off it does not have to be a performance issue driving the decision (it's most often a cost based decision). This means the job is gone, the company can not find someone else to take your place. And you will be eligible for unemployment benefits.

So I'm not totally clear on which of those you just experienced. My first piece of advice is that you get 100% clarity from your employer on that. My second piece of advice is that you contact an attorney.

Employers are required to perform annual documented performance reviews. I'm not sure if this applies to smaller employers, or if it's a federal rule or a state rule. All I know is that I am required by law to conduct formal performance reviews with each of my staff at least annually. There are rules in place at my firm (again, not sure if these rules are mandated by law or just by my organization) that say that if I have a performance problem with an employee, I have to notifiy them in writing and give them at least 90 days to turn it around, at which time I'll have another formal evaluation.

Sounds like none of the above happened with you. If you were terminated, then you may have a wrongful termination case on your hands. If you were laid off, then your manager is an idiot and should not have cited performance issues. Talk to your employer again and then to a lawyer. Or maybe even the lawyer first.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:47 AM   #5
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Great advice, Schneed.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:55 AM   #6
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Re: Unemployment

Schneed FTW. Right on post.

Dynamite keep your head up. Im facing some stress as well at work with uncertainties in my department.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:41 AM   #7
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Re: Unemployment

Not sure how it works in your area but in NY the first step is to file for unemployment and if your employer challenges it, you can have your case heard with a mediator and in most cases the employee comes out on top. Unless you were fired for well documented performance related issues you should be entitled to unemployment benefits.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:56 AM   #8
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Re: Unemployment

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Originally Posted by Mattyk View Post
Not sure how it works in your area but in NY the first step is to file for unemployment and if your employer challenges it, you can have your case heard with a mediator and in most cases the employee comes out on top. Unless you were fired for well documented performance related issues you should be entitled to unemployment benefits.

I think it goes state by state. So S10's advice was good but that maybe PA law. VA maybe different.

D-Rave if you live in DC/NOVA/MD you will find something pretty fast, plenty of jobs there.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:10 AM   #9
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Re: Unemployment

I would start the paper work but I would spend more time looking for a new job.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:43 AM   #10
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Re: Unemployment

Thanks for the advice. And to clear things up schneed, I was terminated. Not even by the owner of the business, which I thought was special.
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:07 PM   #11
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Re: Unemployment

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Originally Posted by DynamiteRave View Post
Thanks for the advice. And to clear things up schneed, I was terminated. Not even by the owner of the business, which I thought was special.

Screw them, they probably don't even deserve you!
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:20 PM   #12
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Thanks for the advice. And to clear things up schneed, I was terminated. Not even by the owner of the business, which I thought was special.
If you signed a contract upon hiring, your employer is bound by any rules for termination set forth in it. If there is an employee hand book, find it, read it and see what procedures (if any) it sets out for the termination process.

It is likely, however, that you were an "at will" employee which means you can be fired for any reason - other than something illegal or unconstitutional (think gender, race, religion, etc.).

And when I say "any reason" that's what I mean. In Maryland, as long as they didn't use the "performance related issues" to cover for something like race (which you would need to prove) and followed their own internal guidelines, an employer can fire you because he doesn't like you, thinks your jokes aren't funny or because he was in the mood to fire someone and you happened to be the first one through the door.

As to unemployment, file for benefits, but it sounds like a "for cause" firing, in which case, you are likely to be SOL.
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:22 PM   #13
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I would start the paper work but I would spend more time looking for a new job.
Yup. Best advice.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:24 PM   #14
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Re: Unemployment

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Originally Posted by JoeRedskin View Post
If you signed a contract upon hiring, your employer is bound by any rules for termination set forth in it. If there is an employee hand book, find it, read it and see what procedures (if any) it sets out for the termination process.

It is likely, however, that you were an "at will" employee which means you can be fired for any reason - other than something illegal or unconstitutional (think gender, race, religion, etc.).

And when I say "any reason" that's what I mean. In Maryland, as long as they didn't use the "performance related issues" to cover for something like race (which you would need to prove) and followed their own internal guidelines, an employer can fire you because he doesn't like you, thinks your jokes aren't funny or because he was in the mood to fire someone and you happened to be the first one through the door.

As to unemployment, file for benefits, but it sounds like a "for cause" firing, in which case, you are likely to be SOL.
Virginia is a right to work state and an employer can fire you for any reason.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:50 PM   #15
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Re: Unemployment

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Virginia is a right to work state and an employer can fire you for any reason.
Yup. There's my problem.

I am throwing applications out there and mred, I notice there are a lot of jobs, I just don't have the right experience for most of them. I'm hoping this is my chance to catch a break though.

I'm 26 with 2 college degrees and sick to death of retail.
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