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On these facts, I see no basis for blocking your unemployment. They laid you off and didn't terminate you based on any sort of misconduct.
They'd have to show that you actually took school property rather than simply retaining your own personal work product.
I am more concerned about the issue with the lesson plans. Could they use the fact that after they laid me off I didn't turn them in as a reason to try and fight my unemployment?
Ok. They can certainly try. They can try almost anything they like, in terms of trying to establish some reason that you shouldn't get unemployment.
That being said, it is their burden to prove that you do not get benefits because you have engaged in some sort of misconduct. Not naming a "misconduct" based reason for your termination and documenting that with you really harms their position from the beginning.
Furthermore, they have to establish that this is something that they requested from you, as part of your job then, but you refused to do AND they have to explain why it would be necessary for you to establish your own lesson plans for classes that you were not brought back to teach.
Ultimately, the point is that they have the burden to prove a lot of things that I don't see that they can prove.
So basically, unless they can prove in writing that I was let go for misconduct I am ok? They laid me off by calling me to discuss meetings they wanted me to go do for them (that they were not paying me for) and then said "oh by the way" and then went on for about 20 minutes about how it was not my fault. A week before that they even gave me a gift card for "taking a job that no one else would touch." They never let me go in writing. I am just really intimidated by them because their reputation in the community is horrible. I have seen them call the employers of people who left over a year before to try and get them fired just because they are mad. I want to protect myself. What should I do to ensure I am ok?
No, that's not the standard, but yes they have an uphill battle.
These are facts that they won't have in their favor.
1. They didn't indicate that they fired you for misconduct.
2. They don't have documentation warning you about not doing to integral task to your job.
These are two facts that really would make a misconduct claim work. You begin with the right to unemployment and for it to be taken away, sufficient proof of misconduct has to be put forward.
Now, there isn't anything that you can do to protect yourself at this point. The facts are already in place. Anything you do at this point is happening after the fact and will not have any legal bearing on the question of misconduct at termination. It's not like there is any sort of form or letter that you can send to cut off their right to claim misconduct. You can't now send lesson plans and somehow change the fact that you didn't send them in the first place.
It is either misconduct or it is not. Based on the things that you've told me, I'm inclined to believe that they can't establish that it is misconduct, but there simply is nothing that you can do at this point about the issue. Wait to see if they fight your unemployment and if they do, THEN you'll be entitled to send some explanation of the facts to the unemployment office specifically in response to their allegations (because you'll actually have them rather than trying to guess what they might be).
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