How can I prevent my employer from blocking me from getting unemployment if he fires me?

I work for an environmental chemistry company. I work in a very hostile work environment in which my job has been wrongfully threatened numerous times. This past week i broke my hand and have a splint on. On Thursday I proved that I can still perform my job duties with the splint, then on Friday they took me out of my department and claimed that I cannot perform my duties. When I goo in on Monday I believe they are going to fire me and say that I am unable to perform my job duties with or without reasonable accommodation. They repeatedly used the reasonable accommodation phrase toward me on Friday. My employer is trying to fire me in a way that prevents me from being able to collect unemployment in order to keep his taxes down.

Asked on April 24, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Being fired because you cannot work due to an injury is NOT to be fired "for cause"--for cause firing, which is what can make you ineligible for unemployment, is for wrongdoing at work, such as insubordination, violating company policies, theft (including theft of time--i.e. falsying timesheets, etc.). There is no wrongdoing--no "cause"--in having suffered an injury. If they try to claim you were fired for cause because of your injury, you can appeal a negative unemployment determination (you initially appeal within the agency, but can escalate to the courts, if necessary) and should also contact the federal EEOC or your state equal/civil rights agency to see if this would constitute illegal discrimination or harassment due to a disability.


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