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


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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