Good evening and thank you so much for your question. I am very sorry to hear that you were let go from your job under these circumstances and further that you have now been denied unemployment benefits.
In general, an individual will be eligible to receive UI benefits in the state of California provided that they have received enough wages during the base period to establish a claim (either $1300 in one quarter of their "base period," or at least $900 in their highest quarter and total base period earnings of 1.25 times their high quarter earnings), they are physically able and available to immediately accept work, actively seeking work, and unemployed through no fault of their own.
At issue in your circumstance will be the final criteria. This is because individuals who are terminated for "misconduct" are considered unemployed "through fault," since their misconduct was presumably within their control to prevent.
The Unemployment Insurance Code specifically classifies absenteeism as "misconduct" if it results in a substantial breach and disregard of the duty owed to the employer and shows a willful or wanton disregard of and injures or tends to injure the employer's interests.
In evaluating whether this has occurred, the EDD will consider the following questions:
- Did the claimant have permission to be absent? If not,
- Was there a compelling reason for the absence?
- Was the absence an isolated instance?
- Were there prior warnings or reprimands for unexcused absences or other infractions?
See here for more information from the EDD on when an absence qualifies as misconduct: http://www.edd.ca.gov/uibdg/Misconduct_MC_15.htm#Absence
In your circumstance, it would seem the strongest argument would be that your absences were always called in and you always received confirmation from a supervisor in advance of missing work. Thus, your absences were always "excused" notwithstanding the fact you may have received a warning about having too many of them.
With regard to not mentioning the absence issue as the reason you were let go, that can be attributable simply to the fact that you did not believe that was the reason. After all, other reasons, such as restructuring, were given to you and it would appear that the separation of employment took place on reasonably amicable terms.
With these arguments in mind, I would think an individual in your circumstance has a reasonable chance of overturning the preliminary decision to deny you benefits and winning your claim on appeal.
Please do not hesitate
to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.
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