Can I Collect Unemployment Benefits If I Was Wrongfully Terminated?
In order to collect unemployment, you must meet two basic requirements. First, you must have earned at least a minimum amount, set by state law, in the time before you lost your job. Second, you must be out of work through no fault of your own. For more information about these requirements, see Who is Eligible for Unemployment Benefits in Ohio?
If you lose your job in a layoff, reduction-in-force (RIF), or downsizing, you will be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. But, these are not the only ways that employees lose their jobs. Your eligibility for benefits depends upon the reason you become unemployed.
If You Were Fired for Just Cause
If you were fired from your job for just cause, you may not be entitled to receive unemployment benefits in Ohio.
If you were fired from your job for just cause, you may not be eligible for benefits. For example, if you were discharged for neglecting your job duties or violating known company policies, you could be disqualified under Ohio law.
Ohio gives a definition of just cause. Check that definition to see if the reason given for your termination may disqualify you from receiving unemployment insurance benefits. If you were fired for a reason that does not fall within that definition, you may be eligible to collect unemployment insurance benefits in Ohio.
You may be disqualified either for a set number of weeks or until you get another job and earn a minimum amount, depending on state law. In some states, the length of the disqualification period depends on why you were fired. Contact the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services: Office of Unemployment Insurance Operations for more information.
If You Were Wrongfully Terminated
Sometimes employers fire employees for reasons that are illegal, such as an employee’s refusal to submit to sexual harassment. If you were fired for reasons other than just cause, you may have been wrongfully terminated. The definition of “wrongful termination” varies from state to state. If your employer fired you for no reason or for a reason that violates the law Ohio, you may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits in Ohio. If your employer fired you for a reason that you believe violates Ohio law, or if you believe your employer fired you for a reason other than the reason it has given, you may want to speak to an employment lawyer. See Do I Need a Lawyer to Get Unemployment Benefits in Ohio? for information on finding a lawyer.
If you were denied unemployment benefits and you believe you were wrongfully terminated, you may want to appeal the denial by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services: Office of Unemployment Insurance Operations. See Can I Appeal a Denial of Unemployment Benefits in Ohio? for information on filing an appeal.