I Think I May be Fired

Under Pennsylvania law, a worker who is fired is presumed eligible for unemployment benefits.

“Fired” means your employer is choosing to end your employment for a reason other than a lack of work or business closure. Sometimes, instead of saying you are fired, an employer or the government might say you are: 

  • Discharged 
  • Terminated
  • Let go (when not due to lack or work or funding)

“Presumed eligible” means that in order for the government to deny you benefits, your employer must prove you were fired because of work-related willful misconduct.

If you were fired and apply for unemployment, this is what will happen: 

  • 1
    Unemployment will contact your employer.
    The government will ask your employer why you were fired.
  • 2
    Your employer will need to prove that you were fired because of work related misconduct.
    This means that an employer must prove that you were fired for misconduct that was: 
  • Intentional
  • Related to your job
  • Recent in time

Most often, an employer will try to establish that you intentionally violated a known rule or policy of the workplace.

  • 3
    Unemployment will make a determination about your separation eligibility.

    If the government says you are eligible and you are already financially eligible, you should be able to get unemployment payments. But, there is a chance that your employer may appeal that decision.

    If the government says you are ineligible, you can appeal that decision.

If you appeal the decision, you will be scheduled for a hearing with a UC referee. 

To prepare for that hearing, you will want to gather evidence that shows you had good cause for your actions or to disprove your employers argument.