Unemployment Eligibility in PA

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Unemployment Eligibility in PA

I live and work in PA i have worked with this company over 3 years and never had any type of right ups or verbal warnings prior. My mom fell and hurt her back so bad that she is unable to walk or stand due to arthritis and nerve damage. I am not covered under FMLA cause the company is under 50 employees in a 75 mile radius. I am the only person that is able to take care of her. We was having trouble with her insurance company getting a third party company that has caretakers that will care for her while I worked. So I had to take 2 weeks off in order to care for my mother. I had one warning via text message from the boss about the absence. I called and communicated every day about what was going on with everything. He texted me on Thursday an said turn in your keys you are fired. Will I be eligible for unemployment under these circumstances of me caring for my mother in PA?

Asked on August 10, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

As much as we sympathize--I had to take around 4 weeks off from my own law practice to take care of my parents, a few years back--you are not entitled to unemployment because you were fired for unauthorized absences, and absenteeism is grounds for termination "for cause"--i.e. for not getting unemployment benefits. As you write, you were not eligible for FMLA; if not eligible for FMLA and you did not have and use paid time off (PTO) to cover your absence, you have no right in American law to take time against your employer's wishes to care for a relative. Therefore, you were guilty of excessive absenteeism.

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