My friend has had a doctors note for everytime she missed work. She had phemonia and was gone for almost a week. Then she requested off a couple of times and they want her to sign a paper saying she can't miss any day of work or she will get fired and won't get unemployment benefits. She is lesbian and feels she is being discriminated against but there isn't real proof.
You have two different issues, unemployment and discrimination. The employer cannot force someone to waive unemployment benefits. In fact, only the state unemployment office can decide whether someone is eligible for unemployment benefits. In order not to qualify and individual either has to have quit work or been terminated for misconduct. Misconduct under unemployment law is a substantial and willful disregard of the employer's interest. In my view, a person who has a medical condition and has doctor's notes and is terminated for missing work for that reason is not guilty of misconduct and I believe unemployment would find as such. As for discrimination, if the person feels they are being discriminated against because they are being treated differently from other employees because of their sexual orientation, they can file a discrimination complaint with the Equal Rights Division. It would be advisable to have some evidence such as comments that were made, etc.
I agree with the previous attorney and it's worrisome that an employer out there is having an employee sign such a document. This puts your friend in an awkward position and she may want to consult with counsel in the event the employment relationship turns south even if she signs the "contract" and continues working for this employer.
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