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  • Writer's pictureDavid Manes

What if my unemployment claim was denied?

If your unemployment claim was denied it could be for a variety of reasons. Unemployment benefits are generally granted to employees who lose their job through no fault of their own. So if you are fired for a legitimate reason, like misconduct or if you quit without a proper reason, your benefits can be denied by the state. However, if you were fired through no fault of your own, you will probably be eligible for benefits. Here are a few situations where the state may deny your unemployment claim:

You quit your job

If you voluntarily quit your job your unemployment claim will probably be denied. But, if you quit for “good cause” you may be able to collect on your claim. For example, if you quit your job because of a family emergency, such as having to take care of a terminally ill parent, this may be deemed “good cause.” Also, if you quit because you were experiencing harassment or a hostile work environment, this may be deemed “good cause.” Keep in mind, however, that whether or not the situation warranted “good cause” will be determined by the judge at an unemployment hearing. Sometimes the lines can be blurry, so if you think you had good cause to quit it is prudent to have an attorney on hand to argue in your favor.

You were fired for misconduct

An unemployment claim can still be granted if you were fired, unless it was for misconduct. Some common forms of misconduct are as follows:

  1. Absent or tardy from work without a good reason

  2. Intentional violation of an employer rule

  3. Insubordination or failure to follow an employer’s instructions

  4. Failure to meet normal expectations of behavior (stealing, sleeping on the job, fighting)

Another important area that can sometimes fall under misconduct and lead to the denial of an unemployment claims is poor job performance.

You were fired for poor job performance

Generally, if you were fired for poor job performance the state will still grant your unemployment claim because they will assume that your poor performance happened for a good reason or due to circumstances beyond your control. However, if your employer shows that your poor work performance was so bad as to rise to the level of misconduct, your unemployment claim may be denied. The employer can generally prove this if there was a pattern of poor work performance and the poor work occurred intentionally. So although it is difficult to prove, the employer can get your unemployment claim denied on this ground.

Conclusion: what to do if your unemployment claim is denied

In sum, your unemployment claim can be denied because you voluntarily quit your job, committed misconduct, your poor work performance was continuous and intentional, or for a variety of other reasons. However, different sets of circumstances can lead to different results, so even if your denial falls into one of these categories, it is possible to convince the state that your unemployment claim is valid. Therefore, it is important to seek the counsel of an experienced attorney who can help ensure that your unemployment claim is considered carefully and fairly.

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