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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 116711
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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I was fired from my job, and denied unemployment under

Customer Question

I was fired from my job, and denied unemployment under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 151A, §25(e)(2). I was fired for inappropriate texting. The person I was texting was also sending inappropriate texts, but is allowed to keep her job? She also told my boss, and his boss that she didn't want me fired, and she told me herself she didn't want me fired. Her boyfriend found the message on her phone, wrote a letter to my company, forced her to sign it, and I was fired. I was not given a chance to explain what happened, was just fired, and handed what I had for vacation pay in cash. Am I not entitled to have my side of things heard or an Exit Interview? I have filed an appeal with unemployment. What's the best way to appeal this unemployment decision?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

Unfortunately, under MA law, unemployment benefits are available to someone who loses their job "through no fault of their own." Thus, if you were fired for cause of violating the employer's rule about texting, that is a fault of your own. Even though some other employee was involved and was not fired, that does not mean that you did not violate the rule. Now, if you and the other employee was not fired but also sent such messages, then you have grounds for an appeal in unemployment to argue that the misconduct was not severe enough to warrant termination, since obviously the other employee was not terminated, and as such it is not sufficient good cause to deny you benefits. However, hiring and firing and discipline is up to the discretion of the employer and if they show you violated the rule even if they did not fire the other party, you can still be denied those benefits, especially if they prove you initiated the inappropriate text messages.

You are not entitled to an exit interview under MA law I am afraid. As an at will employee you can be fired for no reason or any reason that is not based only on your age/race/sex/disability/national origin and your only recourse is appealing to unemployment arguing that the misconduct was not severe enough for termination based on the other employee who participated in the texting with you was not terminated.