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Ray
Ray, Employment lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 38223
Experience:  30 years in Employment law
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We had an employee that did not show up days and did not

Customer Question

We had an employee that did not show up for three days and did not call. Now she is wanting unemployment for a hostile work environment.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.
Hi and welcome to JA. I am Ray and will be the expert helping you today.
Here you need to do an employer response stating she was terminated for cause, no call,no show.The UI folks will likely rule in your favor and deny her benefits.See if you can document the schedule that she was set to work and the days she no called, no showed here.
That should suffice to deny her benefits.If she appeals the denial you have to attend a phone hearing and again present your side.
Oklahoma is an at-will employment state, which means that either the employer or the employee can terminate the employment relationship for any reason at any time.
The employee is hoping you fail to respond.If you will do so you likely prevail.You deny the hostile work environment claims, you would be able testify at any appeal hearing.
From the UI folks..
Can you protest payment of a claim?
Yes, you should file a protest upon receiving a "Notice of Application for Unemployment Compensation" when you know of any reason why the claimant should not receive Unemployment Benefits. Your reply in writing must be postmarked within ten (10) days of the date the notice was mailed. If you do not reply within ten days, you may be contacted by telephone for job separation or other information. Telephone contact does not mean you are an interested party.
If the individual voluntarily left work or was discharged by you, your protest should include full and complete facts. In the case of a voluntary quit, include the reason the individual gave you for leaving and explain why you do or do not think the reason was justified. In the case of a discharge for misconduct explain in detail the nature of the misconduct. If you fail to provide specific facts required by Section 2-503 of the Oklahoma Employment Security Act, your protest will be considered insufficient and you will not be considered an interested party to any determination made on the separation. As a result, you will lose appeal rights to the determination.
So get your response in as soon as you can and likely UI folks deny benefits.This is real common don't let it bother you just make sure you respond and contest it.You have great facts here to do so.
I am so sorry you are having to go through all of this.Thanks again.
Reference here..
https://www.ok.gov/oesc_web/Services/Unemployment_Insurance/Employer_FAQs.html#What%20reply%20do%20you%20receive%20in%20response%20to%20a%20protest?
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your post. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns. I appreciate you requesting me to assist you.

I do agree with the information provided above by the other professional but I need to add a bit more information first.

I do agree that denying and challenging the claim is proper, and that if she files for unemployment, you have the basis to challenge and request a hearing. But I must ask as to why the person is claiming 'hostile work environment'. What happened exactly? I ask because I need to figure out if she has a basis to challenge and potentially prevail, or if her claim with the state would go nowhere as the previous professional provided. I am not able to presume from your facts that you have great facts, but it would help if you can explain a bit more to see if the position is as strong as it appears or if the employee may have a successful basis to challenge.

Sincerely,

Dimitry, Esq.

Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.
Thanks again for the chance to help you today.If you have more follow up please just ask.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
One of the employees was left to to her job and by the third day of taking unpleasant phonecalls from customers based on work the missing employee was supposed to have completed, she sent her a text that contained language that they used with each other. We investigated and found that the missing employee (office manager) used that language repeatedly with this employee. When i required a doctor's statement for her absences she quit. But not before she passed on the text messages and saying she doesn't have to put up with it.
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your follow-up.

Having an 'unpleasant' phone call is not sufficient to prove and show that someone is being exposed to a 'hostile work environment'. Typically the environment has to be so unreasonably stifling and harassory that any reasonable person in a similar position would likewise end up quitting, and as you can imagine this is a fairly high standard. And likewise the 'hostile work environment' has to come from the employer, not clients (not always, but generally the employer is responsible as they can potentially control how clients speak with employees). Further, as this is a situation where the person herself used offensive or at least colorful language, that takes away the responsibility of the employer (you). Finally, requesting medical information if the person did not appear is reasonable, as quitting otherwise is seen as 'abandonment', which creates a 'for cause' grounds for termination and likewise keeps the employee from claiming unemployment through the state agency. Therefore, challenging the claim is very much in your best interest and you stand a very strong chance of having the state side with you.

Sincerely,

Dimitry, Esq.

Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

Thanks again.

Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

I agree here that you terminated for cause and have some good facts to respond and have UI deny here.You appear to have great justification for termination here.So make sure you get your response in on time.Thanks.

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