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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2015

    Angry Can My Wife's Old Boss Keep Her from Getting Paid

    My question involves unemployment benefits for the state of: Virginia

    My wife was let go last month and has her unemployment hearing this month. Her boss did not give her a reason for letting her go, but put on the U/I form that she was laid off for not having structure at the childcare center she was running. She was not ever told anything, written up, or anything negative. She was actually praised by him on FB for doing a great job. Can he let her go for this legally and can he keep her from getting benefits?

    Thanks, R.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: Can My Wife's Old Boss Keep Her from Getting Paid

    Yes, she can legally be let go "... for not having structure."

    That does not sound like a reason for which benefits would be denied.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2015

    Default Re: Can My Wife's Old Boss Keep Her from Getting Paid

    When your wife filed for benefits, they took her reason for her not having a job. This, you say is that they didn't tell her why she was being terminated. Then they contacted the employer. If as it happens in this case, he says he terminated her for cause, there would be an initial decision made. Is your wife getting benefits right now? If so, she was approved in the initial decision.

    After the initial decision, either party, either your wife, or the employer has the right to appeal the decision. In this appeal, both parties are present, either in person or on line, and will appear before a hearing officer. Your wife will tell her side of the story, which is that she was not given any write ups or warnings, was never told that her performance was not pleasing to the employer. She should say she did the job to the best of her ability and that she had no idea she was in danger of being terminated.

    She should not need an attorney to do this for her. She should be able to tell what happened and answer questions perfectly well to get across her side of the story.

    The employer will be allowed to present evidence that he had a valid job related misconduct reason to terminate your wife. There are two types of misconduct. If it was something so awful that any reasonable person would have known it was misconduct, that's gross misconduct. For example, if he came in and the children were having a food fight and in screaming chaos while your wife was smoking in the break room, that would be gross misconduct. Smacking a child under her care in the face, that's gross misconduct. No warnings required. He probably has a good misconduct reason to terminate, by decision, and her benefits would be denied.

    But in less dramatic instances, say just because he thought she should manage the center a little better, (have a little more structure) there'd need to be warnings involved. In other words, it has to be something she knew about, she was given the opportunity to do better, she was capable of doing better, and she deliberately chose not to change the behavior and keep her job. He'd need to show a pattern of progressive discipline, where he gave her warnings and write ups and chances to improve her performance which she chose not to take. If he didn't have these, she'd likely be approved.

    If a person gets unemployment insurance, their former employer's tax rate goes up, so it costs them money. They do not get to decide if anyone gets approved, else no one would ever be approved. But they have the right to tell their side of the situation and to appeal the decision to grant benefits according to the unemployment laws of your state.

    The appeals hearing officer listens to both sides, and then decides which of the two parties is the 'more believable' of the two. Then a decision is made after the hearing. If the employer or the claimant doesn't like this decision, they have the right to one more appeal, which is to the board of review for another screening. There's no hearing this time. And then, unless the unhappy party wants to spend the time and money to take the whole issue to civil court, which rarely happens, the appeals process is over.

    Your wife needs to keep making the weekly certifications for benefits, even if she is not receiving weekly benefits at this time. If she is, and the hearing decision went against her, she'd be overpaid, and have to give back any weeks of benefits she has received so far. So be sure she does not, under any circumstances, fail to show up for the hearing, either on the phone or in person.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Default Re: Can My Wife's Old Boss Keep Her from Getting Paid

    I just want to clarify one point here.

    He can LEGALLY let her go for this reason whether he'd ever said word one to her about it. He can legally let her go for a great many reasons that will not stop her from getting unemployment. The majority of people collecting unemployment were let go legally.

    He would have to have provided warnings or notices or opportunities if he wanted to fire her and stop her from getting unemployment. But receiving unemployment does not equal an illegal termination.

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