Hello again and thank you for the additional information and your question. First and foremost is that your employer can't tell you that you can't apply or qualify for unemployment benefits
, only the State does that. You can, of course, apply, and they can try to dispute your eligibility, but if they are alleging that you are being let go for "cause," then they will have the burden of proof to show that you intentionally, or through gross negligence, violated a workplace rule, standard, procedure, etc., that they would otherwise terminate an employee for. Unless they can carry that burden of proof, you would be eligible for UI benefits. It might be that you are initially denied benefits based on their initial statement, but upon appeal, they would have to prove what I stated. Not giving them a package or file that you created yourself and was not required by the employer, would not be "cause" or misconduct for termination
As for the pension benefits, those are governed either by a bargaining agreement, if you are in a union, or ERISA
, which is the Federal law that covers employer provided fringe benefits
, including pensions. Under the law, the employer must follow their pension plan
rules to a tee. In other words, there is no flexibility. You either qualify per the terms or you don't. So, you will want to get a hold of the Summary Plan Description (SPD) for the Plan and read it carefully to see if you qualify. If you have difficulty with the employer and your pension rights, then you have a couple of options. You can file an complaint with the Employee Benefits
Security Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor
, the agency that enforces ERISA, or you can find a local attorney to file suit for you. I would recommend the first option be tried first, since it is free.
Please let me know if you have any follow up questions, I may have missed some of your concerns. I would be glad to answer them if I can.