Hello everyone. Been a while since I have been here.
A situation developed this week where a former employer of mine is appealing unemployment benefits I received for about 3 weeks in August.
That's right, this is money I already received and now the nasty woman who I used to be an employee of is trying to get it back. It amounts to about 700-800 dollars only.
I was let go in August after a series of events, the main issue being her denying me a vacation I had earned, but when I asked for the time off, she said I do not get a paid vacation until I am there for 2 years.
Up until this point there had been other issues with anything from out right verbal abuse, to favoritism of other employees, to her treating me like gold the first 6 months of my tenure there, etc. You know how some employers can be.
When my vacation was refused, I showed her the memo that stated employees get 1-week vacation after being there for 1 year. My 1 year anniversary was March 13, 2009. I asked for the vacation in June 2009. She said she never signed it and fired the person (former manager) who wrote and approved it. I also expected the current manager to back me up, but she acted dumb and used the same excuse the owner did and blamed the former manager, thus stabbing me in the back, the 1st time.
So, after the vacation request was denied, the owner asked to keep the memo. I said no. She wondered why, and I said I want to keep it, and I did.
Later that day, the manager pulled me aside and said she was sorry and that there was nothing she could do and that the owner was told by her husband that the vacations would not be honored, even after the memo was sent out on April 30, 2008. This is highly illegal, but Florida does not have fair employee standards. The manager asked that I not tell anyone what she told me.
Soon after, my hours began top be cut. I asked why and the owner said it's because the store was $12,000 short from last year and other people's hours would be cut. This did not happen.
My hours were then cut to about 20 hours a week from the usual 38-40.
Finally, I was fired on August 10, since she knew I would not quit until I found something else and she also knew I had been looking elsewhere. So I filed my unemployment claim and started receiving money (small amounts, of course)
I found a new job and started it August 28. This was helped by receiving a good reference from the current manager (yes, the one who stabbed me in the back)
I thought everything was over and I could leave this behind me. But then came the letter last week where the owner filed an appeal of the funds I had received. A phone hearing was set up for Oct 12 at 1:45 p.m. I tried to get it rescheduled to later in the day so I would not be at work. They would not help.
The hearing happened and I was under the impression that it was a dispute over dates of termination. But it was about trying to get my money back. I bombed during the hearing. I was shocked that the same manager who gave me a good reference was on the phone with the owner and the moderator/referee. I was in total shock. She stabbed me in the back again. I guess money is more important to her than morals and decency.
The lies started and I just got stuck and had trouble saying anything, and the moderator was not acting fairly. The call ended and I had to get to my next customer. When I got home, I faxed a letter stating my dispute to the moderator and how it was unfair why I could not have the hearing scheduled when I was not at work. I was informed in the letter I received before the hearing that if I did not answer the call, a decision would be made without my testimony.
I don't fully understand why I acted like a deer in the headlights, but I did. I choked.
Now I await the decision, and if I lose, I have already started my appeal, which I do get, because I called a lawyer today and he said I do get an appeal. I have a lot of information on this nasty business owner.
This whole charade is nothing more than the owner holding a grudge against me for standing up for myself.
It has caused me a great deal of stress. Stress that I don't need. My OCD is running high right now and it feels like I have a black cloud above my head a lot of the time.
Anyway, I have vented and it feels better. I don't want to have to keep stressing my wife out about this. Once I told her what they did, she got really upset and wanted to go down to the woman's place of business and let her have it. But I would not let her. She has behave because she's a teacher.
I must say though that I have a very good job now. It's one where I get home the same time as my wife and we have FULL weekends together. The other place I worked, weekends were made for working.
Thanks to those who read.