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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 30168
Experience:  Criminal Justice Degree, JD with Criminal Law Concentration. Worked for the DA and U.S. Attorney.
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If you declare that you were laid-off when completing the unemployment

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If you declare that you were laid-off when completing the unemployment insurance claim, but you're employer says you were discharged, what are the consequences?

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

If the employer states that a person was discharged for cause, then the employee may not be eligible for unemployment insurance compensation. If the employee has already been receiving benefits while the state decided whether to allow the claim, he may be ordered to repay them. If the person was terminated without cause, a difference in semantics between "laid off" and "discharged" shouldn't be the determining factor in whether unemployment is allowed.

Also, if an employer contests unemployment and the state rules in their favor, the employee can usually appeal and seek a hearing on the reason that the employment ended.

If you have any questions at all about what I've written, please reply so that I may address them. It's important to me that you are 100% satisfied with the service I provide. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so that I get credit for helping you today. Thank you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So this does not constitute misrepresentation or fraud?

It depends. If a person was fired for stealing, assaulting another employee, or other gross misconduct, calling it a lay off would probably be considered to be a misrepresentation. If no reason was given for a termination, unless the person said that the company was doing lay-offs across the board when they weren't, that shouldn't be considered fraud. Fraud requires knowingly making an untrue statement of fact with the intent to receive an economic benefit.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks. My employer said I was discharged, but not due to misconduct. I said on my unemployment claim form that I was laid off. My employer confirmed that I was let go because I was on a performance plan and not a good fit for the role. In addition, I was told by my manager that the role would not be replaced which is why I said I was laid off.

That doesn't sound like it would rise to the level of fraud. Fraud requires specific intent.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So, I don't really have to much to worry about?

If you got payments that the state is saying that you shouldn't have received, you may have to repay them. But it doesn't sound as if you would be prosecuted for fraud, based on what you've said.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks. So far I received $413 and have an interview next week to determine whether I would be eligible for further benefits.

You're welcome. Good luck with the hearing.
Lucy, Esq. and 2 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

another problem has occurred. At the end of employment I received a document entitled as separation pay. However, my employer has described it as payment in lieu of notice. The document makes no reference to lieu of notice or notice period. It states that the payment is a gesture to help me in my 'employment transition'. Could this be interpreted as a lieu of notice payment.

Wages in lieu of notice require either an employment agreement or a company policy of providing them. If there is no established, stated company policy or an employment agreement that requires notice, that money would be considered severance, which does not affect unemployment eligibility. The amount given also would have to be equal to your actual wages for the pre-determined notice period (such as two weeks salary).

If you have a contract that guarantees you a certain amount of notice, and they let you go with no notice but that exact amount of pay, yes, that money probably would be considered wages in lieu of notice. Otherwise, they don't meet the requirements for making that claim.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi. Thanks. Does the fact that I have a signed agreement for severance pay that does not include words to the effect that the payment is for lieu of notice or comments on any company policy. Also, it states that the company has no obligation to provide me with any kind of separation pay. Would that be an indication that payment documented in the agreement is not payment in lieu of notices. I got four weeks pays having worked for them for 11 months.

If the agreement was signed at the time of termination, and it says severance, that is not the same as wages in lieu of notice. It's only wages in lieu of notice if there is an established policy or contract that guaranteed you four weeks notice prior to termination, and they let you go with no notice.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The document uses the term separation as opposed to severance. Does that matter?

It only matters in that they've created a situation that potentially could have been avoided if they'd used either "severance" or "wages in lieu of notice." But a judge would look at all of the facts to determine what the payment really was, using the standard that I described above. If a payment really is severance, calling it wages in lieu of notice doesn't neessarily change what it is.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Is an email from the employer stating that it is severance as opposed to wages in lieu of notice sufficient proof?

Yes. A person's statement can be used against him in court.