CanI be fired for misconduct and then offered a part-time job in the same company?

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CanI be fired for misconduct and then offered a part-time job in the same company?

I was terminated from my full-time job. After 2 weeks I got letter from the unemployment insurance office that my dismissal was possibly for misconduct – which is a false allegation. I had an interview over the phone with the UI person. 2 weeks after that interview I still have no decision. However, I was recently offered a part-time job (no benefits/vacation) by the same company. Plus it is much longer commute for me. Do I have to accept the job? Is this the proof that I was fired for false misconduct?

Asked on February 21, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) There is no law preventing an employer from firing someone one day--for any reason--and offering them a job another day. So the company may offer you the part time work.

2) Whether you'd  have to take this job or lose unemployment compensation depends on the specific facts.  If it's a comparable--which is defined fairly broadly--job you would have to, but if it's not comparable enough (much longer commute; much lower pay or responsibilities) you would not. This is a fact-specific inquiry, so you might ask the question of the unemployment insurance office or an employment attorney, who can  evaluate the facts in detail.

3) If you're not receiving unemployment compensation, such as due to discharge for misconduct, then it's completely your choice whether to take the job or not--there's no leverage against you, since you don't have any UI at stake.

4) If you were denied UI due to alleged misconduct but want to challenge or appeal that denial, this could be evidence in your favor--how bad could your conduct have been if they're offering you a job?


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