If I filed a false statement to unemployment for being fired, what can happen?

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If I filed a false statement to unemployment for being fired, what can happen?

I got fired for getting caught on my cell phone. Also, I was not doing well performance wise either. However, I filed for unemployment and stated my reason for being terminated as not performing as well as others. Are there any legal consequences if they contact them and are told that I was fired for being on the phone and not performance issues?

Asked on January 30, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

From what you write, there are most likely no legal consequences. While arguably, you were not telling the full story, an argument can also be made that you simply interpreted events differently. For example, you write that you also were "not doing well performance wise"--therefore, saying that you were fired for performance issues is something that 1) was likely part of the picture and 2) is something you could understandably conclude.

Even if that characterization is inaccurate--i.e. the company would say you were fired for being on the phone--since it appears you could reasonably and with good faith say that you thought it was firing due to performance issues, you would not likely be held to have acted with the kind of deliberate bad motives that could lead to some sort of liability. You may be denied unemployment compensation, but that's the most that likely would occur.


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