What are my rights to unemployment if it was my manager who failed to deposit company funds?

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What are my rights to unemployment if it was my manager who failed to deposit company funds?

I was a bookkeeper for 19 years and was fired due a manager not making deposits. I recorded these deposits outstanding on the bank reconciliation. This manager was basically on vacation the entire summer with the owner of the company. The manager said that he would straighten out his deposits when he got back from vacation, but he did not. The owner of the company told me that if I file for unemployment he would prosecute me. I did not steal from the company. I was a loyal employee for many years.

Asked on October 15, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Nevada

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You sound like you were stuck in the middle of something and have been the scapegoat for someone.  How did the manager reconcile the loss?  Were you actually accused of stealing?  I would seek help from an employment attorney in your area.  I would definitely file for unemployment.  You were fired.  What he is going to say is that you were let go because of misconduct and that is why you need to get your ducks in a row with an attorney before you file and be ready for a fight.  you may even have a wrongful discharge claim here so you need to get moving as the time frame to file such an action is very limited.  Good luck.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

1) You cannot be prosecuted for filing for unemployment. Certainly, if the owner believes you stole from him, he could contact the police and look to press charges (at which point you'd have your chance to defend yourself); however, there is no prosecution for filing for unemployment--only for having committed crimes.

2) People are not supposed to threaten to contact the police to make someone else do or not do something. Again, if someone legitimately thinks there was a crime, they can--and should--call the police; but using the threat of police to force someone to act in a certain way might be considered extortion.

3) You can be fired do to another's negligence or even malfeasance, since--if you did not have an employment contract, you were an employee at will and could be fired for any reason. However, if the wrongdoing was not yours, you should not have been fired for cause; and if not fired for cause, you should be eligible for unemployment. If the owner thinks you were either negligent (careless) or stole, he may have fired you for cause nonethelsss; if you disagree, if you unemployment is turned down because you were fired for cause, you would have a chance to appeal that determination.


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