Can I get unemployment after being fired for “not respecting” fellow employees?

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Can I get unemployment after being fired for “not respecting” fellow employees?

I was fired for complaining via email about not receiving a holiday bonus. It stated that other employees were stealing time or were not working to their ability. My boss said that I had crossed a line and insulted his friends. That he would not allow me on the property due to my lack of respect. Can I file for unemployment and be approved? I have never been reprimanded in my nearly 3 years of employment and I feel that the opinion I expressed would be protected under the first amendment.

Asked on December 25, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Here is the problem. This is speech you wrote in a company email to a company owner or supervisor using the company property to do so. While Freedom of Speech is a factor, corporate protection is a more predominant factor herein. Further, unless you have proof to back up your claims and unless you were under a very specific employment contract, your employer can fire you with or without cause and with or without notice. You should still apply for unemployment but explain that you were expressing your opinion and you have facts to support that people were stealing time. The second issue (not working to their ability) is not your concern, unless of course you were those individuals' supervisor.


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