My question involves unemployment benefits for the state of: Wisconsin
I know the title question is stupid, but maybe it will prompt you to read the rest of this tale of woe and offer any insight and opinion.
At 63, with no degree and mostly retail experience, I'm not in high demand in the current economy. I worked for a payday loan company. My boss gets told by her boss to "really turn up the heat" on past due customers. She calls on a Monday morning and tells me to collect $2000 by the end of the week or there will be "serious consequences." Ten people from another section were fired the week before, so the warning is loud and clear. Two weeks earlier, she posted "great job, keep it up" in our district chat room after I collected $800 in one week.
It's now four o'clock on Friday and I've collected $1850, with two hours to go. Stressed out and scrambling to save my job, I come up with a real half-baked idea. John Doe, a long-time borrower, is two weeks behind on a $167 payment. I could buy a money order with my own money, make it out to the company, and use that to make his loan payment. It's not a plan, it's more like a knee-jerk reaction at the eleventh hour.
Customers are supposed to sign paperwork when they make a partial payment, but managers can OK an exception for regular customers. Uncle Doe brings in the payment, John signs the forms the next day. Not that big a deal. My boss must be getting pressure from her boss, so I'm pretty sure she will tell me to just process John's payment today and get his signature on Monday.
I decide to call and tell my boss that a money order came in the mail from John. She tells me to fax her a copy of it right away. Murphy's Law strikes with a vengeance. My heart rate soars. I'm grabbing at straws now, desperately trying to think of anything that will get me out of this mess I have created. When all else fails, why not try honesty? The jig is up anyway. There was the concept of a money order, there was a potential money order, but it will take almost half an hour for me to get back from the nearest bank with an real money order.
I call my boss back and 'fess up. I say that in a moment of desperation and near panic with time running out, I thought about buying the money order myself. It was my last-ditch attempt to reach the $2000 target and keep from getting fired. I put some of the blame on the pressure, which did cause a lot of sleeping and eating problems all week, but I do take full responsibility for my actions and I apologize to her.
On Monday I am "grilled" for two hours by a corporate fraud investigator and then terminated.
My determination from Unemployment Insurance reads:
"The employee was discharged for misconduct. The employee was discharged for violating a reasonable, known work rule and dishonesty. The employee's actions showed a willful and substantial disregard of the employer's interest." Applicable Wisconsin Law: 108.04(5)
1. Are misconduct, violating a work rule, dishonesty, and willful and substantial disregard separate allegations, or is misconduct the blanket term and the others are the specific instances which are the misconduct?
2. If one of the charges can be successfully challenged, i.e. substantial, does that make any overall difference in winning an appeal?
3. Do I only get one chance to refute everything, or does it go back for some kind of re-determination?
4. Does my apology prove or substantiate any of these allegations to such an extent that an appeal would be automatically denied?
5. Do I have even a slim chance of winning an appeal on this?
6. Can you suggest anything else to use in an appeal?
7. Do you see any reason to think I would have a better chance if I retain a lawyer?
8. Am I just completely spinning my wheels?
My thanks to anyone who reads this and responds.