I worked as a General Manager in a restaurant for the same employers I had worked for for about 8 years. About 6 of the years I worked at their other business and basically ran it without the title or the pay increase. After about 61/2 years they approached me about becoming the manager of a new restaurant they were opening. In all the time I've worked for them I've never once been written up, I don't call off, in fact I pick up people's shifts when they call off all the time. I've never been in trouble for anything. This came out of the blue yesterday. I was never given a meeting, a chance to prove my innocence, nothing. I want to know what my odds are at receiving unemployment. I've never received unemployment and I've been working since I was 16. I'm now 39.
Like a lot of employees, you're overlooking a very important fact: "your" job isn't really "yours" at all -- it belongs to your EMPLOYER, and the employer gets to make the rules. Moreover, West Virginia, like nearly every other state, is an "at-will" employment state. That means, unless you have an employment contract that says otherwise, you can be terminated at any time, for any reason (or even no reason at all), and without notice. Unless you can show that the real reason for your termination is BECAUSE OF your race, sex, religion, national origin, age, or disability, or that you were terminated in retaliation for exercising some legal right, the termination is legal.
I'm licensed to practice law only in Indiana, and we've never met, so I can't give you "legal" advice. My answer is simply "friendly" advice based on my experience as an attorney in Indiana, my knowledge of federal and common law, and common sense. Even if you are in Indiana, employment law questions are very fact specific, and based on the limited information you provided in your post, I can't give you legal advice, and my answer is intended as general information only. It doesn't create an attorney-client relationship.
Unless you have a written Employment Contract stating otherwise, you are most likely considered an " at-will " employee and can be terminated for "no reason, "good reason" but not bad cause or reason (termination based on race, religion, age, gender, etc. )
It sounds like you have significant experience in your profession. Go find an employer that appreciates you.
And if you discover employees doing illegal drugs, terminate them.
I agree with my colleagues on how they can fire you. When an at-will employee, you can be fired for any reason or no reason, as long as not an act of discrimination against a protected class.
As for unemployment, since I don't practice there day-to-day I can't tell you the exact standard applied to applications. If similar to my state, it does matter if a termination of employment is voluntary or involuntary and it matters if for cause of not. You need to file to know what will happen one way or the other. You should consult with a local attorney who handles unemployment claims as to whether you can collect and how their claim and your claimed innocence of it will play out in the unemployment process.
TO ALL QUESTIONERS: I provide this answer in an effort to assist and guide only. The answers are qualified further by you providing the full and complete facts and background or not, and by the space limitations of this forum. The answer does not serve as a substitute for a live sit-down with an attorney. In no way is any answer to be construed as a formal giving of legal advice nor is an attorney-client relationship formed. You are not permitted to quote or refer to answers given in any court pleading or hearing. TO QUESTIONERS FROM WV & NY: Although I am licensed to practice in your state, be advised that I practice on a day-to-day basis in Massachusetts. I answer questions in your state in areas of the law in which I practice, and in which I feel comfortable trying to offer you assistance based on my knowledge of specific statutes in your state and/or general principles applicable in all states. Being licensed to practice there, however, does not provide me with the detailed knowledge of local procedures and practices that comes from day-to-day work. It is always best to work with attorneys and court personnel in your own area to deal with specific problems and factual situations.
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