If I submitted retirement letter to become effective in 3 monthsbut was fired 2 weeks later, can I collect unemployment?

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If I submitted retirement letter to become effective in 3 monthsbut was fired 2 weeks later, can I collect unemployment?

I was fired because the president of the company overheard me complaining to a fellow employee/friend about having to drive to work during a blizzard. I called the president a name in a low voice, but the president was standing outside my private office and heard me. My resignation was to be effective in 3 months (04/15/11)  Can I collect unemployment now, and if so, does it end on the effective date of my leaving (04/15/11)? Also, when am I entitled to collect my retirement benefits (401(k) and profit sharing?

Asked on January 29, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) When you can collect retirement benefits and profit sharing depends on the terms of the agreement(s) under which you would receive them; you need to check the documents.

2) You *may* be able to collect unemployment and should certainly apply for it. The issue is this: if fired, you can collect, but if you leave voluntarily, you can't. There is no law stating that companies have to allow employees to give notice; a company could theoretically treat your resignation as effective immediately, unpon your giving it, but if they did not do so and allowed you to continue working during that time--or better yet, confirming in email or other writing that you could work until then--in that case, you were still employed at the time of the firing and so could collect. So it may come down to whether the company chooses to contest your filing for unemployment; the exact timeline of events; and how they characterize the situation, which also leads to...

3) Even if fired, you can't collect unemployment if fired for cause, and insubordination may be possibly considered cause. Therefore, again, if the company chooses to contest your unemployment, they may try to do so on the grounds you were fired for cause.

Try applying; if contested or denied, appeal; it may come down to who is more persuasive or has better evidence.


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