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Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19776
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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Can I collect unemployment if I was fired for attendance in

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Can I collect unemployment if I was fired for attendance in the state of New Jersey? I have missed alot of work due to a child custody battle. My child couldn't attend school for two weeks due to both parents signatures being required on the transfer card for which his father would not sign. I retained an attorney, was granted sole custody and then of course, I had to take more time off to have him enrolled in school. My company is now dissatisfied with my attendance record and I am on the verge of being fired.
Hello,

It is unlikely that the State will find you eligible for unemployment benefits if you are terminated for violation of the attendance policy based on the information that you have provided. In order to be eligible for benefits you must either be terminated without cause or quit for "good cause." This circumstance does not fit the requirement since this would be a "cause" termination. The only way that I can see that you might be able to successfully appeal a denial is if you can establish that the employer was not consistent with their attendance policy. In other words, that other employees who violated the attendance policy in a similar way as you, without a valid reason like FMLA or a disability, were not terminated. In that case, you could rebut that you violated an existing policy.


I, like the other Experts on this site, am here to assist customers like you. However, we do so in anticipation of being paid for our efforts, just like other professionals do, since this is our livelihood and not a hobby. To that end, I am more than happy to clarify my answer to you and answer any related follow up questions that you might have for the value that you have offered for the question. In return, I ask that you show good faith in compliance with the TOS by accepting my answer, whether the news is good or bad, so that I will be paid for my efforts.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Marsha,

 

I would have thought that because these were circumstances beyond my control, obviously my child needs to be cared for, and I did not intend on missing time from work, I obviously need my job as I am a single mother who provides for a minor, that these circumstances would allow me to collect if my employer terminates me.

Hello again,

Normally no, those circumstances would not qualify you if your employer has a neutral attendance policy and you have not complied. If you or your child were sick and you were out under FMLA or, if not eligible for FMLA, perhaps had requested a reasonable accommodation for a disability under the ADA, then the answer would be different.

Having said that, you have an absolute right to present your case, my job is just to let you know what the law is. As mentioned, personal circumstances rarely play a role in eligibility when you are terminated unless there is statutory exception. You might have a fighting chance if you could show that you have no possible alternative day care or option for the care of your child. But even that is not a guaranteed argument.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you very much for your time. We are not qualified for FMLA in New Jersey since it would have to be a "SERIOUS" medical condition that allows me to stay home. It was a custody issue and my son's health is good.

 

Hopefully, my employer isn't at "wit's end" and I will have the opportunity to prove myself since all has settled down and my son is back in school with proper before and after childcare.

Hopefully you are right. Best of luck to you.