My question involves unemployment benefits for the state of: Virginia
The following is my appeal that I filed today with the Virginia Unemployment Appeals Commission
After a "Fact Finding" telephone interview was conducted, judgement went against me in my attempt to collect unemployment.
I just wanted to get some opinions from any of you that would care to read through my brief response to the appeals commission.
I submit this appeal, contesting Deputy P. Showalter's decision that I am disqualified for UI benefits due to Deliberately Violating a Known Company Rule.
In the Unemployment Compensation Commission Of Virginia's own words:
"There is more to carrying the burden of proof than merely making the charge."
"Were this not so an employer might only state that an employee was discharged for "misconduct" and the disqualification would be automatic."
What started out as an alcohol on the breath charge, somehow along the way, became a drinking on the job charge!
I fail to see how a three way conference call between myself, my former employer and a commission deputy can constitute proof, most especially when the former employer and myself deny each others charges?
Did a supervisor or another employee catch me at work with a drink in my hand?
Are there pictures that were taken of my alleged drinking on the job?
My point is that my former employer has no actual proof of these allegations or of Willful Misconduct other than my supervisor alledging that I had alcohol on my breath.
Another problem that I have with the decision against me is: Why is it that my supervisor did not have to sit in on the Fact Finding conference call since he was my accuser in the first place?
The General Manager, the person Who Was in on the conference call Never came within ten feet of me on the night he let me go!
I am claiming that Even if the alcohol on the breath accusations Were true,(they're not),in a Right to work state, alcohol on the breath may be a valid reason for termination But, I must argue: is Not a valid reason to deny UI benefits!
My former employer first claims that I was offered a drug/urine test but turned it down when I admitted my guilt.
The same employer, later on tells deputy Showalter that he Did Not offer me a a drug/urine test because .. of my admission of guilt.
Which was it?
I deny that I was given any opportunity to clear myself through testing and I also reject that this, in someway is proof of willful misconduct on my part.
If Ms Showalter picked up on this apparent contradiction, I have no way of knowing.
Ms Showalter Did surprise me when she asked IF I had gone and gotten a test on my own?
Of course not!
I knew that I hadn't been drinking on the job and I didn't believe it to be my responsibility to prove my innocence!
"To carry the burden of proof of his charge the employer must supply the facts - and not just his conclusions."
Since my employer claims that I was in such a Truthful state of mind the night that I was let go, admitting to everything, why was I not offered a waiver on the drug/urine testing?
Why is there no document signed by me admitting guilt?
Surely that would have established proof in everyone's mind!?
Everything else is just .. "I said, he said".
Another piece of evidence being held up as misconduct on my part, according to my former employer is a beer can.
From the very little amount of information that I have been able to uncover, this beer can was found in an area that I have no access to and is in fact the old locker room area that is locked when our 3:00 pm shift starts.
Beer cans as well as other assorted liquor bottles have been found in many areas inside and around the company plant .. That in itself Does Not make them mine!
No one ever made the charge that I was under the influence of anything!
I was never charged with being under the influence to the extent that my job performance was affected.
That last sentence, dealing with influence and job performance is in our handbook and is given as a reason for alcohol/drug testing
It was only claimed that my supervisor, "smelled alcohol" on my breath which, again, I submit is not a reason to with-hold UI benefits.
"Where drinking on the job cannot be established, the employer must show reasonable evidence either that the worker was under the influence of alcohol during working hours, or else that the worker’s ability to work was impaired by alcohol."
One of my former employers last statements in the Fact finding interview was: "He did not and has Never had any problems with my work or my work ethics!"
I submit to you: My work nor my work ethics were any different the night I was let go.