What should we do? Should we assume he’s fired?

Back in December, my husband had an issue at work where he was not honest about
his time on the job. He spoke with the boss about it and thought it had been
worked out when he went back to work at the beginning of January but just
yesterday his boss sent him home and said he was still mad about it and had to
‘think things over’.
My husband reached out this morning to inquire about things but has not gotten a
response.
should we assume he’s fired? Should he try to continue to report to work?
Can he file for unemployment if he is indeed fired?

Asked on January 17, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

A company can set the terms of employment much as it sees fit in an "at will" employment relationship. This means that a worker can be terminated, suspended or otherwise disciplined for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice. Therefore, your husband could be off work indefinitely; his employer need not contact him. That having been said, if a worker is off work long enough, it may constitute what is known as "constructive termination", which means that they may be eligible for  unemployment benefits. Of course, this assumes that the employee's lay off was not "for cause". Since your husband was dishonest regarding the hours that he actually worked, that would be considered to be "cause", therefore he probably would be deemed ineligible to collect unemployment compensation.


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