How To Get Unemployment After Being Fired From Your Job In California

Need to know how to get unemployment after being fired from your job in California? In this dog-eat-dog economy, where it is not uncommon anymore for an employer to outright fire an employee to avoid paying unemployment insurance taxes, it could serve you very well to know how to get unemployment after being fired from your job. Since employers have to pay increased unemployment insurance premiums for letting go of workers, they have a strong incentive to find ways to keep you from being paid benefits. This creates a game of predator versus prey, in which your ability to make ends meet is pitted against an employer's desire to cut costs. However, it is a popular misconception that if you're fired from your job, you cannot get unemployment in California; in fact, it is more difficult not to qualify than it is to qualify.

  1. File to get unemployment benefits regardless. "Terminated with cause," the dreadful phrase that employers use (sometimes legitimately) to discourage poor performance or laziness on the job, is not enough to prevent you from getting unemployment. If you are fired from your job and your employer uses this phrase against you, don't despair; you still have legal options to get unemployment in California.
  2. Know your rights. To prevent you from collecting unemployment after being fired from your job, your boss must show that you were fired for what is called "gross misconduct." If your employer fires you for alleged incompetence or accuses you of being lazy, these allegations are not cause for you to lose your unemployment benefits. The employer must accuse you of an act that could have caused, or did cause. significant harm, such as being intoxicated while operating equipment, or stealing money from the till.
  3. Stand your ground. Even if, after being fired from your job, your ex-employer has accused you of gross misconduct, if you know you did nothing of the sort, file anyway and prepare to force your ex-employer's hand in a telephone hearing.

Be warned: if you quit your job, it may be difficult or impossible to get unemployment in California unless you can show you were forced to quit by such things as dangerous working conditions.


California Employment Development Department

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