New York Unemployment If You Get Fired

Generally, in New York you have to have lost your job through no fault of your own in order to collect unemployment.

In most cases, this means that if you get fired, you cannot collect unemployment benefits.

If you get fired from your job, you should go ahead and apply for unemployment benefits, because there are some cases where you can be fired from your job and still get benefits.

If you feel like you were fired unfairly, or there were extenuating circumstances, be sure to tell you unemployment counselor about them. If your unemployment application is denied because you were fired, you also have the right to appeal the decision.

Still Have Questions?

To go back to the New York Unemployment FAQ Page, click here: New York Unemployment FAQ

To go the main New York Unemployment page, click here: New York Unemployment

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# Rosa Santiago 2011-07-11 12:17
I work for a NY company for 22 1/2 years. November, 2010 I moved to NJ to care for my mentally disabled son. The commute to work is 6 1/2 hrs daily. I need to find a job closer to home so that I can be closer to my disabled son. If i resign from my NY job will I be eligible for unemployment?
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# Stephen 2011-08-19 12:41
If I was hired as provisional by a school district in buffalo ny, and don't plass the exam can I get unemployment bennefits? I worked for 2.5 years before failing the exam and facing being fired soon. Please help!
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# Mary 2011-11-23 18:52
Well sadly I was fired today. I am slightly confused on why they fired me.
To begin with I was promised 40 hours no matter what. Unfortuenly I do not have anything in documentation of what they promised me or have said to me.
For the past couple of months they have no been giving me 40 hours or I wouldnt be working for a couple of days. So therefore I claimed unemployment for the days they did not have me work.
Today I recieved a phone call from my work stating that they recieved my unemployment paperwork. I said okay. Then I was told I have to bring in my uniform and that I was fired.
This is all the information I was given. What can I do? I have no idea in the world on what to do with this
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# Ed 2011-11-24 20:27
Mary, it sounds like you were fired for simply filing an unemployment claim. This is probably an illegal reason to fire you.
If you want to confront your employer, you will either need to hire (or otherwise get) an attorney, or educate yourself on the laws in your state and appear very scary to your employer. Even then, being rehired won't be comfortable, and you may want to ask for a cash settlement form your employer and then look for a new job.
If you're in NY, you would not qualify for unemployment insurance benefits if you earn >$405 in a week, or if you work (even for just a minute) on more than 3 days in a week. But it was okay to file a claim -- even if it would have been denied.
The paperwork your employer received is part of the standard procedure for the Dept of Labor. Your employer should have simply filled it out and sent it back, providing information that would have made the Labor Dept deny your claim. It's not illegal to file a claim that gets denied, as long as you're honest in filing it.
Your employer probably has to pay unemployment insurance for all its employees. The cost of that insurance goes up with each valid unemployment claim. So your claim, if it was approved, would have cost them money. But it is probably illegal for them to fire you, just as it would be illegal to fire you if you claimed sexual harassment or unsafe working conditions.
Your situation stinks, Mary. I feel for you. Employers are taking ridiculous liberties because of the tight job market. I hope you are able to hold your employer accountable.
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# Victor 2012-09-20 16:17
Well the same thing basically happened to me a few weeks ago, my hours were cut twice and when I applied for unemployment I was let go. Let me know how it goes for you and I will try to keep you abreast of what happens to me. Im in NYC and I dont know where you are but labor laws vary from state to state.
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# Bob S. 2012-01-05 15:28
I was speaking with a coworker- we were talking about the food that was brought to the Xmas office party.She stated these people dont know BBQ. I pointed out to her- that she is the only African American that works in the office- and that only she (and I) know this- and she agreed. A coworker at the next desk over-overheard us- took what I said out of context- and later goaded her into hyping up my comment- into a racial statement. after a secret 1 week "investigation"- I was called to another outer office- and fired. Escorted to the door- a cab had been already called- and was booted. I am totally bewildered by this. The H.R. Dept warned me not to have any contact with this woman- before their decision. Why? To apologize? I thought this woman was friendly towards me!! I FELT AWFUL about this allegation. I AM NOT RACIST. No defense. No money for lawyer. No car. At least my rent for January is paid. Thank goodness no children. With a charge such as this- am I able to collect any benefits?
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# GlennB 2012-01-29 18:20
After a full year of running my own department with no complaints what so ever I was fired. Part of my job was to drive. I forgot to pay a ticket I got for a non moving violation. When my company notified me of the suspension I went directly to DMV and paid the ticket and my license was reinstated immediately. I was fired anyway.
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# M 2012-03-23 00:44
I'm getting threatened to be fired because I am talking about me pregnancy at work which includes a co worker. Is this legal?
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# Robin H 2012-12-10 13:41
NY has anti bullying laws. Call your local labor board and file a complaint
The fact that you are pregnant is another form of discrimination you can fight. Use it to your fullish. I am coming home. TN has no rights!
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# Sally 2012-08-13 21:41
I was recently fired for using the internet at work. I had to use the internet to perform my job. Will I be able to collect unemployment?
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# Aaron 2012-08-22 10:23
Greetings. I live in New York State. Recently, I had taken a job that is very physically demanding. Prior to working this job, I had started experiencing minor nerve pain in my left arm. It was nothing that I didn't think wasn't manageable, so I continued to work. One Tuesday morning, the pain had become so unbearable that I could not go to work and had to call in sick.

The next day, the pain was even worse, and I am without health insurance, so I went to the ER to see a doctor. The doctor treated the nerve pain with a cortisone shot and gave me a medical report with two possible diagnoses (HNP or Carpal Tunnel, which would have to be followed up by a specialist) as well as orders to take the rest of the week off.

The following Monday, I reported back to work with a copy of my report and Doctor's excuse; however, the HR manager was out on vacation for the week. My supervisor told me that he would have to clear it with upper management before I could return to work and it would only be another day or two. The rest of the week, I played phone tag with my supervisor and couldn't get an answer.

The following Monday, the HR manager was back from vacation so I called her first thing in the morning. She told me I would need a doctor's note allowing me to return to work. That morning I saw a doctor, who had reason to believe I was suffering from Carpal Tunnel and not HNP, and got a note stating that I could return to work with no restrictions.

That afternoon, however, the president of the company called me and told me that he had read the report from my initial ER visit and that it stated that I had HNP (which was untrue as the report stated that I had "possible HNP" or "possible Carpal Tunnel"). Because of the risk of me possibly injuring myself, my employment with the company would be terminated and in the event I receive treatment I could reapply and he would recommend me being rehired.

I explained to him I had the original copy of that report and he was mistaken about the HNP. I also told him I had seen a doctor that day who had written a note for me to return to work without restrictions. His response was that was a risk he was unwilling to take and my employment would be terminated. I asked if this was technically a "lay off". He said, "No, this is technically a termination." So I asked "Will this affect my ability to collect unemployment benefits?" His response was, "No. We would not do anything to jeopardize your ability to collect unemployment benefits."

That day I filed for benefits because I had already missed a week of work. When I was asked why I had lost my job, I checked the tab that I was let go due to performance as I was not technically "laid off" and that the company had reason to believe that because of my injury I could not safely work. When asked to explain it, I was very straight and to the point that the company had let me go due to "possible HNP and possible carpal tunnel" as my medical report had stated, as being a cause for concern for my health and safety.

So far two weeks have passed and I have continued to certify weekly benefits. I have not any received benefits or anything in the mail from the Department of Labor stating whether or not I would receive benefits.

My question is, in this circumstance, am I eligible for benefits? My second question is, does it usually take the Department of Labor this long to follow up on an investigation of this nature? Thank you for any consideration you give me.
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# Keats 2012-08-27 14:38
I was Family Medical Leave, but punched out 30 minute lunches when I was taking 40 minute lunches to go home to give my parents med. I was fired for this today. I am a single female caring for my two elderly parents in my home. Can I get unemployment?
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# Tom 2012-09-20 09:55
I got let go because I could not perform electrical work that needed to be done with the employer knowing I was on light duty and could not use my right hand. Am I able to get unemployment?
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# Sid 2012-12-03 23:15
I was called to my boss's office one day after work where the human rescource person told me I had been insubordantate and altered medical records. I was shocked. I had trouble with a report card at the school and when I asked my supervisor what to do she could not give me a clear answer. She told me to talk to my co-workers. I did and upon their advice I made a change to the report card. My boss became aware of the change and told me to change it back. I did. At no point was i rude, or challange her. I had asked her 2 times to explain what needed to be done and it was not clear to me. I asked if I could be put on probation and was told no. I asked for something in writing that demonstrated that I purposely meant to change the report card behind her back. I was told no. Do I have a shot at unemployment.
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# D.S. 2013-01-17 18:59
Hi.. I have been with my company just over a year. The woman who hired me retired. My new boss is very mean to me. He yells, belittles me, and threatens my job in front of the other employees. He has never given me any specific reason why he is doing this. He only cites small things, like a typo, which is rare, or blames me for other employee mistakes which I have no control over. He is often unclear about what he wants and frequently changes his mind. I believe I am doing a very good job. I received no training whatsoever for this position and have learned it all on my own. I do what he asks on time and correctly, as far as I can tell. Now he is telling me that I have to go back to school or he will fire me. I believe he is trying to make me quit. I am always on time, very hard working, no unexplained absences, everyone else there likes me, very accurate, just to give you a bit more background on me. I have never had a bad review in my past work experience, which is extensive, so I am at a loss what to do. People have spoken up on my behalf, both to him and others, but nothing changes. He regularly calls people on the phone, like cell phone employees or store employees, and yells, swears, and threatens them and then hangs up on them. Then will throw his phone and stomp on it. People in my office overhear this, like I do. The stress is very bad. My question to you is, if he fires me can I claim unemployment benefits until I find a new position? Thank you very much.
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# Peggy 2013-01-30 15:08
I took a job 5 months ago. I have 20 years' experience, however, in each new work environment, each new supervisor there is a period of time of adjustment. I contacted HR less than 90 days into the job and said there were problems arising and my supervisors were not doing anything to make things work better. I have a disability that makes it difficult for me to work for anyone intimidating - and even though I got a doctor's note stating this, it was ignored. I also believe that I am being discriminated against because of my age - in their "investigation" they talked to the person who was the offender and that was dismissed, also. Now, they are making this matter all about me - I'm supposed to know what they want, how they want to do it without having taken the time to be explicit. I have made suggestions, including asking them to let me take another 30 seconds to be sure I've properly understood them, and we'll see if that helps. They micromanage, want emails if I leave the desk for 5-10 minutes, want me to ask if I can go to the doctor if I need to (not just let them know I have to go) and want me to go outside of work hours, which is not always possible. I feel as though they are pushing me out of the job and since I haven't been here that long, they state that they have no obligations to do a firing process according to their handbook or the laws. If I get fired all of a sudden, I'm afraid without unemployment insurance, I'll end up bankrupt and homeless in this economy. Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated.
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# MSV 2013-04-19 11:19
I was on workers comp for 10 months and paid full wages by my nys school employer. Now I have been terminated because I can no longer work my job. I was denied my state disibilty and so now do not have any income. Can I get unemployment benefits?
Please help!
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# Maddy 2013-06-06 06:22
I was verbally terminatate, effective immediately seven weeks ago. I never received written notice of termination as required under NY Law. What if anything should I/could I do?
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