I managed a barber shop for a year and a half by myself averaging 20 haircuts a day. The owner then made her sister a manager of the shop, with no one other than me at the shop.

One evening her sister wanted to have a hair class at the shop at 6:00. I then texted them that I became very busy and would not be able to participate because the shop where they wanted to have it was very busy. Also, the shop hours that day were until 7:00.

They got mad, and then they made more excuses to fire me within a week. When I asked why, they then said that there were complaints of a few bad hair cuts and that would make their salon (which was a subsidiary of the barbershop in a different location) look bad.

I went to work that Wednesday to find the locks changed, and the owner then made untrue reasons to fire me. Now they have 3 girls from the salon working at the barbershop, taking over what I have built. In the meantime, she keep my personal data of people, which I left at the shop, saying she threw it out.

I have to now wait for unemployment to call for a claim; meanwhile, I can't contact these people because I do not want her to deny my unemployment and lie again. Today is Saturday, and all that goes through my mind is the people I miss cutting. The new girls in the beginning were saying I was sick. I corrected that to her and now they say I am no longer there. I do not want to get denied with unemployment If I reach out to these people and her knowing.

Is this wrongful firing? How can I make sure that I get my unemployment benefits?

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    Lisa, welcome to Workplace SE! Stack Exchange denizens rarely can give you legal advice and you should be actually wary of listening to advice given by total strangers. – Deer Hunter Mar 9 '13 at 18:03
  • Hi Lisa, welcome to the Workplace SE, a Questions and answer site. Because we're not a discussion forum, I edited your post to focus more on a single question that can get answers. – jmort253 Mar 9 '13 at 18:03
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    There is no possibility of getting a good answer about this here, and if anybody tries to answer you should ignore them. Only a lawyer can give a good answer, and you should talk to one right away. It will also depend very much on what country/state you are in. – DJClayworth Mar 9 '13 at 18:33
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    I assume you're in the U.S., otherwise stop reading now. I can't really answer your question, since I only know about Texas unemployment. Here our Workforce commission is pretty sympathetic to employees who contest the reasons for their termination. I'd suggest you go see whatever state agency manages unemployment insurance in your state and ask them about your status, and if required, the procedure for contesting the employer's assertions. Talk to the agency before you retain a lawyer, you may not need one. – Jim In Texas Mar 9 '13 at 23:01
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    FOR EVERYBODY -- remember a couple of things. (1) ALWAYS keep your own copy of your client list and/or address book away from the office. It is perfectly legal to do so just about everywhere. (2) Keep ongoing documentation about work in your own files and away from the office. When something out of the ordinary happens, record it. If you had a log book describing the various shenanigans, a photocopy of it to the owner would get your case settled tomorrow. Just make sure it is not public .. don't use Facebook. – tomjedrz Mar 11 '13 at 3:31

At face value, it definitely seems like an arbitrary firing, but it's difficult to say if they had just cause because we don't know the specifics about the complaints.

  • If you're an "at-will" employee, then your employer will likely have the ability to fire you at any time for any reason.
  • If you're not an at-will employee, then it's borderline impossible for anyone on Workplace.SE to advise you on the legality of your firing.

To improve your chances for unemployment benefit eligibility, I recommend that you document everything and have it ready for submission.

  • @Lisa: File your UI (Unemployment Insurance) claim. If your former employer contests it, your employer will have to cite a reason for contesting it. Debunk your former employer's argument and you'll get your UI. At least, that's the way it works in New York State. – Vietnhi Phuvan Apr 4 '14 at 17:32
  • Actually in many cases you still get the payments regardless of what the employer said. It's an insurance program that you paid for! – Jasmine May 23 '14 at 21:30

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