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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Default Was I Wrongfully Denied Unemployment Benefits

    My question involves unemployment benefits for the state of: Washington


    "State law says you may be denied unemployment benefits if you are fired or suspended for misconduct connected with your work. See RCW 50.20.066."

    ""Misconduct" includes acts that show willful or wanton disregard for your employer or co-workers. This included insubordination, repeated inexcusable absences or tardiness, dishonestly, deliberate acts that are illegal or provoke violence, violation of reasonable company rules, or violation of the law while acting within the scope of your employment. See RCW 50.04.294(1)(a) and (2) and WAC 192-150-210."

    "Your employer reported you were discharged. They said that you were arrested in their shop for possession of stolen property that you allegedly took from a previous employer. Your employer stated that you were dishonest to the police and to the employer about who a piece of the equipment belongs to."

    "Based on the preponderance of evidence, your dishonesty to your employer showed a willful and wanton disregard to the employer's best interest and the final incident caused disruption in the workplace. Therefore, misconduct has been established."

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~

    I was wrongfully accused of theft and possession of stolen property.

    I worked for my previous employer from '06-'09. It was a small automotive shop and I was the lead tech and 1 of 3 employees. They had a burglary in Dec '10.

    In the middle of April this year, the police came to my current employment and looked through my tools and equipment. They ended up arresting me for the possession of stolen property. A lot of my tools/equipment were on their "evidence" list, and therefore taken for evidence.

    The only thing that I can make sense of is the fact that when I had worked for my previous employer, I was the main tech and majority of the tools/equipment in the shop were mine. When I left that job and took all my stuff, I imagine the other two techs had to start building up their tools/equipment and probably got similar stuff to mine since they had been using practically all my stuff their entire employment up until i left.

    At any rate, I am innocent. I have an alibi for time in question, i also had a broken wrist at the time, and receipts for all my stuff. It's hard enough being charged with a crime I didn't commit, but losing my job over it and having to worry about a source of income now is very stressful. I'm doing my best to make ends meet and scrounging up the money to hire great legal representation. In the meantime, it's a little hard for me to get work, with a lot of my tools in evidence. And I'm stuck having to go through the whole court system process. I can't just wave all my proofs of purchase for my tools in front of a judge and have them given back to me. I have to get a $5K lawyer to do so.

    My biggest thing is that I don't understand how we're all supposed to be innocent until proven guilty - which I have yet to be found guilty of such crimes. And yet both unemployment and my most recent employer are treating me like I am guilty when all they have is "probable cause" and I have to pay for the Police’s wrong accusations. How is it that they can do this?

    It doesn't make matters better, that my recent employer who owned a small automotive shop, i believed used my arrest as an excuse to terminate my employment and get out of having any negative effects with unemployment for firing me. When I started working there he stepped down from being 1 of the 2 techs employees there, and focused on doing all the clerical work which he wanted, thus offering me a tech job. Just the week prior to my arrest my boss/the owner's wife was fired from her job and she was going to come work in the shop and do the clerical work which put my boss back in a tech position. He said this wasn't going to affect me, having us 3 techs. But the very next week, the three days prior to my arrest I noticed it dramatically, there wasn't enough work for 3 techs. 2 techs was more than enough, it always has been since I've been employed there. So after my arrest, he said I couldn't have my job back because he didn't want to deal with any legal problems, mostly the fact that I could have a court date 1-2 times for this matter and he didn't want to accommodate time off if they were during my normal work schedule hours.

    Sorry this is like a novel, but does anyone see where I'm very upset about all of this. I would kindly take any advice anyone had to give me at this point. I'm about a week away from being able to have enough money to hire an attorney, and until then I'm just at a loss. Thank you for your time!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Was I Wrongfully Denied Unemployment Benefits

    The fact that you may ultimately be able to prevail in your criminal trial does not mean that your employer cannot fire you for being arrested at work and making false or misleading statements to the police or to your employer. Your employer doesn't have to ignore your misconduct while awaiting the outcome of your criminal case. While it would be a shame if your arrest and associated statements gave your employer grounds to terminate you for cause when they already planned to terminate you due to economic circumstances, even if you are ultimately acquitted that doesn't mean you weren't in fact fired for cause. When your employer is looking to terminate you, you don't want to hand your employer an excuse on a silver platter.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Somewhere near Canada

    Default Re: Was I Wrongfully Denied Unemployment Benefits

    And OP, even if you are acquitted you won't have a case for wrongful termination.

    (Before we go down that route)
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

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