Do I have a chance at gettingunemployment regarding willfull misconduct?

The employer gave the reason as willful misconduct after he told me to find a new job. I came into the office the next day and packed up my things and left. He told unemployment that I quit and there was work available but I received a letter from COBRA stating that the termination was involuntary. Do I have a chance at the appeal hearing to receive benefits?

Asked on August 26, 2011 Pennsylvania

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If there was job-related willful misconduct, you would be disqualified from receiving unemployment compensation.  If you voluntarily quit, you would not be eligible for unemployment compensation.

However, there seem to be contradictions in what your employer is claiming.  Your employer told unemployment that you voluntarily quit and evidently didn't mention willful misconduct.  You have a letter from COBRA that shows that your termination was involuntary.  You can use that letter at the hearing to rebut your employer's claim that you voluntarily quit.  If your employer mentions willful misconduct at the hearing, you can challenge your employer's credibility by asking why he didn't mention willful misconduct to unemployment instead of claiming that you voluntarily quit.

It is not possible to predict the outcome of a hearing, but if you raise the issue of your employer's credibility, you might prevail and obtain unemployment compensation.  If your employer doesn't mention willful misconduct, you don't want to raise that issue.  Your strategy then should be just to rebut his claim that you voluntarily quit with your letter from COBRA that your termination was involuntary.


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