I was fired, so I cannot get unemployment benefits. This is a common misperception I often hear from clients.

It is too bad, because many of these workers may be unwittingly failing to claim thousands of dollars of unemployment benefits & lost job security compensation.

Certainly layoffs are the traditional means by which terminated employees qualify for this money. However, the determining factor is whether or not the employee has lost the job due to “intentional misconduct.”

This does not include negligence or performing poorly. The offense has to be intentional and rise to the level of actual misconduct. There is a high burden of proof for the employer who seeks to deny unemployment benefits.

If the employer can show it warned an employee about a certain action and the employee subsequently violated that policy, the employer might win the battle. Otherwise, victory and its financial rewards go to the employee.

So claim those benefits waiting for you. You’ve earned them.

Don D. Sessions, an Orange County Employee Rights Lawyer, author and law school professor, helps employees enforce their rights. For questions, call (800) 774-7494 or visit our contact page. © Don D. Sessions

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