I was denied unemployment benefits due attendance misconduct.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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I was denied unemployment benefits due attendance misconduct.

Is possible to win an appeal if I could prove that I took time off to to care for my my now deceased mother? I was in the process of going on FMLA when I was fired. I have an email from the Assistant director of human resources confirming that I requested to began the process and doctor’s note excusing some of my absences. My employee handbook says employees were not allowed to have more than 8 infractions per 12 months, but it doesn’t mention anything about excused absences. Also, I

would like to point out that my final infractions was a no-show. I was on a suspension pending investigation for 30 days of which I was found to be innocent of any wrong doing and when I returned I thought I was continuing my regularly scheduled days off but I didn’t realize my supervisor made changes for that particular week which was rare. My employee handbook states that a person has to 3 consecutive no calls no shows before termination and I only had one, but it was technically my 8th infraction once added to the time I took off for my mother’s care. At this moment I’m still looking for work so there’s no way I could afford a lawyer.

Asked on August 21, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, taking time off to care for your mother is not a valid reason to miss work unless you used paid time off you had earned for the absence or unless you were already on FMLA. Without using PTO or FMLA, unauthorized absence is grounds for termination for cause, and some of your other infractions may have also been, too. Note that that doctor's note does *not* excuse absences unless the employer chooses to let it be a valid excuse: the doctor has no legal authority over your employer.

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