My question involves unemployment benefits for the state of: Ohio
I worked for a small nonprofit organization for nearly two years. I was given notice by the executive director on May 23rd, that my position of Administrative Assistant was being eliminated as of May 31st.
The letter stated: "The (name of organization) appreciates your time as an employee with us. However, we are re-organizing our office and finance functions and are eliminating the Administrative Assistant position starting June 1, 2011. I regret to inform you that we can no longer continue your employment with us after May 31, 2011. You will receive compensation for any vacation you have earned through May 31st, and a severance pay equal to compensation for the month of June".
The director also verbally stated what the letter said, and told me she needs someone with a finance background (which I don't have). She then said I can use her for a reference when I apply for other jobs. I asked her if I would be able to receive unemployment pay, and she said yes. Two of my coworkers were also laid off, about a month before me, due to the office restructuring.
On May 31st, I filed for unemployment, and today received a notice of eligibility issue from the unemployment bureau stating that my employer informed them that I was discharged for absenteeism/tardiness.
I was late and/or called off (due to my children's health problems) on a few occasions, but it was not excessive, I did not miss any more work than any other employee, and at no time did my employer give me a verbal or written reprimand, disciplinary action, or write up for missing work or being late. There was absolutely no mention of any supposed excessive absenteeism or lateness when I was informed I was being let go. I have also never received a single performance review in the nearly two years I was there, so if there was a problem with my attendance, I was never once made aware of it.
My employer has a history of fighting employees' unemployment claims. They have also recently lost some significant funding, as well as donations being flat for the past couple of years, so the organization is struggling financially.
Also, as they are a nonprofit, they do not pay any unemployment tax, but rather are a reimbursing employer, where they reimburse the state dollar for dollar for any unemployment pay collected by employees. I suspect that because of their financial situation, and having to reimburse for unemployment dollar for dollar, that they are trying to find any way to get my claim denied.
I am very upset, and stressed out worrying that I will not be able to collect unemployment. Is is legal for my employer to lie about the reason I was let go, to keep me from collecting unemployment benefits? Please help!