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Possibly eligible for unemployment benefits when company goes against their firing policy?

Grottoes, VA |

I live in Virginia (right to work state) and recently have been fired for shortages on my register that violate the company policy. According to the paperwork I have (my write-ups) my employer skipped the step of "suspension" and went automatically to termination. When I asked about this they said that the suspension step is something that the company no longer does. I was told that I would get a suspension for my next violation, instead I was terminated. My question is: can I still be eligible for unemployment benefits since my employer went against their written policy (my write ups) and let me go? Many thanks in advance.

Attorney Answers 3


You may still be eligible for unemployment benefits. Your employer may challenge your eligibility for benefits - one possible basis they may argue is employee misconduct. If they do challenge your eligibility for benefits, the employer will have the burden of proving misconduct. You will have the opportunity to present your position as well. Their failure to follow company policy will not automatically qualify you for benefits, but it is a factor the VEC may consider when determining your eligibility.

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I agree with my colleague. The issue will not be whether they followed their policy, but rather why they fired you.

If they can show that you have committed misconduct or that you violated a company policy relating to public safety (or a few other things, but those are the big ones), then you can be denied. If not, you are likely to prevail.

If you think it's a close call, there are attorneys who handle unemployment appeals. You might want to seek counsel.

Joshua Erlich is an attorney in Arlington, Virginia. His response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an experienced attorney to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Erlich's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.

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1 lawyer agrees


As my colleagues indicated, a deviation from policy will be a factor considered by the VEC. If your employer challenges your request for unemployment, they will have to show misconduct on your part. Good luck!

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