How canI prove that I was fired for unemployment purposes?

UPDATED: Jan 28, 2011

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How canI prove that I was fired for unemployment purposes?

Approximately 6 months ago I was fired from my job for walking out due to verbal abuse from an employee. I left the owner a note that I was going to my mom’s work next door and to please call when she was in. She left a voice mail saying that I was fired. I went to unemployment and was eligible and have been receiving benefits since. I just given a notice that now the employer wants to appeal my claim “because I wasn’t fired”. The only thing I had as proof was the voice mail that I do not have anymore. How can I win this?

Asked on January 28, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, California


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You will have to prove that your leaving your work premises in the middle of your shift did  not constitute your "quitting" your job.  Certainly the voice mail would be evidence of this, however even withouyt it, you can still prove that you were fired.  Foe example, if another employee overheard your employer'smessage stating that you were fired, or if they saw a copy of the note that you left, or if they witnessed the verbal abuse that you were subjected to and heard ouy say, something along the lines of, "I need to take a break", etc.

However, just because a person is fired, that does not automatically make them eligible for unemployment.  In most states, if they are fired for "cause", which can be broadly defined, they are not entitled to receive such benefits.  However, in CA, you can only be denied unemployment benefits if you were fired for "gross misconduct".  And on the face of it, merely walking off the job without permission would not appear to rise to the level of such misconduct.  Gross misconduct means a willful act that either caused, or could have caused, an employer to suffer significant injury or harm.  An example of it would be an employer catching an employee operating a company vehicle while intoxicated.  

At this point, you should consult directly with an employment law attorney in your area.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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