Skip to main content

Can unemployment compensation decision be presented to EEOC and/or court in support of a discrimination argument?

Philadelphia, PA |

I was fired from my job allegedly for "Poor Academic Performance". UC sent me the following decision notice:

In situations where the Claimant is discharged for unsatisfactory work performance, the burden of proof is on the Employer to show that the Claimant had been warned about the unsatisfactory work performance and was not working to the best of his ability. In order to qualify for benefits once this is established, the burden shifts to the Claimant to show good cause for the unsatisfactory work performance. In this case, the Claimant worked to the best of his ability. As a result, the Employer has not sustained its burden of proof. Benefits must therefore be allowed under Section 402(e).

Is it of any legal value as a supportive document?

The reason that was mentioned in my employer's decision notice and my request for UC was "Poor Performance". So discrimination is not mentioned in their decision. I was wondering if I could present the fact that "they were not able to prove my poor performance to UC" as a supportive document to EEOC when they make a similar argument during EEOC investigation.

Attorney Answers 2

  1. Not much. An unemployment decision is (1) almost never binding on a case of discrimination and (2) decides different issues than raised in a discrrimination case. It does not seem clear to me that this particular UC decision even speaks to issues of discrimination. More information is necessary.

  2. A UC decision could potentially be used to prove a relevant factual issue, but in this case, no. The issue in the UC case was whether your performance was so poor that it rose to the level of willful misconduct. The fact that it did not does not mean that your performance was not, in fact, poor. Nor does it mean that your employer could not have honestly believed your performance was poor. It proves only a legal conclusion specific to the UC law.

    This answer to your legal inquiry is based upon the limited facts stated in your question. Accurate legal advice is based upon an exchange between a lawyer and a client. The lawyer can then ask about other facts that may change or confirm the answer. Without that exchange, this reply should be considered limited in value. You should rely on this answer only at your own risk. Direct consultation with a lawyer is always recommended. Answering your question does not create an attorney-client relationship. The answering attorney is licensed in Pennsylvania and all answers are given pursuant to Pennsylvania law, unless otherwise indicated.