Can I get unemployment after being fired for “not respecting” fellow employees?

UPDATED: Dec 25, 2011

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Can I get unemployment after being fired for “not respecting” fellow employees?

I was fired for complaining via email about not receiving a holiday bonus. It stated that other employees were stealing time or were not working to their ability. My boss said that I had crossed a line and insulted his friends. That he would not allow me on the property due to my lack of respect. Can I file for unemployment and be approved? I have never been reprimanded in my nearly 3 years of employment and I feel that the opinion I expressed would be protected under the first amendment.

Asked on December 25, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Here is the problem. This is speech you wrote in a company email to a company owner or supervisor using the company property to do so. While Freedom of Speech is a factor, corporate protection is a more predominant factor herein. Further, unless you have proof to back up your claims and unless you were under a very specific employment contract, your employer can fire you with or without cause and with or without notice. You should still apply for unemployment but explain that you were expressing your opinion and you have facts to support that people were stealing time. The second issue (not working to their ability) is not your concern, unless of course you were those individuals' supervisor.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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