My question involves unemployment benefits for the state of: Virginia
I am aware that Virginia is one of the toughest states with regard to employee benefits and is extremely partial to the rights of the employer over the employee.
I was relieved of my position earlier this week for a consulting engineering firm. No reason was given at the time of termination and I decided not to ask, they do not have to give a reason in Virginia.
I was going to apply for unemployment but I decided to check through the rules and regulations in the state to see if they would try to get around having to pay me the benefits.
In Virginia, chronic tardiness and absenteeism is considered a reason to not qualify for benefits because it is a legitimate reason for termination. However, I currently do not know what my reason for termination was right now.
The employee handbook states that core office hours are from 9am-4pm every day. I have been working outside this schedule for over a year now. I usually arrived at work between 9:30 and 10:30 every single day. However, in the case of a meeting with a client I would always be on time if it fell earlier than my normal schedule.
The office manager would mention to me every once in a while that core hours were from X to Y and I really needed to be there during that time. However, during my most recent review about 3-4 months ago with the owner of the company, he verbally stated to me that he asked the office manager to relax when it came to telling me about the office hours and that the time I came in was acceptable because I was doing very good work and was meeting all my deadlines without an issue.
Within the past few weeks before being let go, the office manager was again on my case about the time. I reminded her that during my review I was told that the time I arrived was not a problem with the owner of the company. The office manager, by the way, is not in any way a supervisor to me. My direct supervisors are the vice presidents and owner of the company.
During the time since my review, the office manager was the only one who would from time to time mention that I was not meeting the office hours. I did not pay much attention to her since I was told specifically that my hours were fine. Further, there were other employees that worked outside of the 9am-4pm schedule and came to work after 9am fairly regularly.
At no time was I given any written warning or told that I would be relieved of my duty if I did not begin complying with the office hours. Further, for at least 1 month or more prior to me being relieved, neither the office manager nor anyone else in the company said anything to me at all about my work arrival time.
Despite performing all of my duties to the best of my ability and meeting all of my deadlines, I fear that this employer will attempt to use this as a way to avoid paying unemployment benefits should I need to receive them. Is it likely that I could be denied if I did need to appeal based on this information?