View Full Version : Question about appealing unemployment

03-28-04, 12:06 PM
I hope I'm posting this in the right place. In January, I was fired from my job due to being late too many times. The week before I was fired, I had recently been diagnosed with ADD, and the weekend before I was fired, my dog was killed and I had a domestic violence situation happen. I was late Monday, probably because I didn't sleep Sunday after all that, and then my next day in was Thursday. Wed. is when I went in to my appt. and was prescribed Adderall XR, which I didn't start that day, but was to start the next day. The next day, Thur., I slept through the alarm, so I called my boss, and was honest about what happened and he fired me.

He did not know about my ADD because it was so recently diagnosed and that day that I was fired was to be my first day on medication. I had been written up months before for being late and improved my behavior, as I wasn't late for many months until all this happened to me in just a couple of weeks. I was with the company for a little over a year.

I immediately filed for unemployment when I was fired. It was denied due to 'misconduct' at work, which they consider also not following employer policies, etc. I appealed it after looking on the Internet, because the employer has to prove the misconduct was willful, wanton or deliberate, etc. This is in Florida and some cases taken to the Unemployment Appeals commission are very leniet towards awarding benefits to the claimant. My appeal was also denied, and they stated that the behavior rose to the level of misconduct when after I had been written up, it happened again. I guess it doesn't matter if you have a dog die and a bruise on your face, etc.

Again, I had not mentioned anything about my ADD to my boss there because I had just found out and I didn't know what my rights were, etc. Now I did mention it to him AFTER I was fired, but he did not respond.

My question is this: I have one last appeal I can try, and that is to the State Unemployment Appeals Commission. Is it worth trying to do this? And if so, should I make mention of being newly diagnosed with ADD or anything like that? I know that me having ADD is probably one of the major reasons I tend to be late to work. I feel medication has helped me in this regard, but my boss would never know, as he fired me the day I was to begin taking it. And I also feel that the fact I did improve my behavior for many months after the write up shows that I did in fact WANT to do my best to follow employer policies and keep my job. It's just that I had 2 tardies in one week and alot of it was the stress I was under and also about me discovering about having the ADD and going to start medication for it.

It won't cost me anything to pursue the last appeal. I'm just wondering if I'm wasting my time doing this since the employer did not know about my ADD before firing me? Well, I really didn't know either, until a week before, and the day I was fired was going to be my first day trying the medication. If I have a shot, I want to try doing this, but if it's a waste of time and I'm beating a dead horse, I will leave it alone. It IS money if I get the decision reversed, though, which I could use. I found another job which I start Monday, thankfully.

Anyhow, any advice would be appreciated on how to approach this, if at all, with the whole ADD thing.


03-28-04, 03:32 PM
Hi, sorry I don't have any good advice for you. But if it were me I would go through the appeals proccess, if it won't cost you anything, its probably worth a shot.

I hope everything works out for you.


06-24-04, 07:21 PM
Hello. I'm going to recommend that you try the appeals process, as it is free. I wouldn't consider it wasting your time as there is always the possibility that things will turn out in your favor. I went through something very similar recently, and I was also fired. I am not being denied unemployment (at least at this point, I just finished my one week unpaid waiting period), I actually recieved a mailing of how much I will be getting per week, so I assume it turned out in my case. But then again I live in NY state, and you said you lived in Florida, so I'm assuming there are different laws in different states.

Just trying to say that I understand some of what you may be going through, at least at the being fired because of ADHD end of it.

I say try the appeal, you have nothing to lose by trying and everything to gain. Good luck!

06-25-04, 09:08 AM
Hi, sorry I haven't been on here in a while. Been busy with the new job, which is a good thing, I suppose. I'm happy to say I haven't been late once to my new job, and I think the meds helped a lot with that.

On the unemployment appeal, I did not pursue the last one. I started this job and got involved with work, so I just let it go. At this point, I think it's way past the time to pursue it anymore, and I'm making more money and have much better benefits than I did at that other job anyway, so maybe getting fired was for the best. That was still the worst week of my life, even though I've been fired from other jobs before. But at least I feel I'm making some progress as far as the being late problem and that's the main reason I haven't kept a job in the past.

Jetta, I wish you luck in your unemployment. I think a lot of the laws on that are federal, but states also can have certain requirements. You can always search for how they consider being late in your state. I got the mailing in the beginning on how much I would be getting, but then I never got it because they denied it. So I hope they don't do that to you. They denied me under 'misconduct' for not following employer policies. I never mentioned the ADD diagnosis, even at the appeal, but if I had it to do over again, I would mention it. And I would've been prepared to have my doctor put something in writing as well, because then I might have had a better chance. A lot of employers don't want to even come close to having violated the disability laws, even though I might not have been covered under ADA since my employer didn't know beforehand. But a letter from the doctor and dates showing when I started meds, etc. could have possibly swayed the decision in my favor, since my 'misconduct' wouldn't seem as willful or deliberate with me being ADD, even though I dislike using ADD as an excuse. But as my counselor told me, it's more of an explanation, not an excuse.

Hope things turn out well for you. Are you newly diagnosed too? Have you started any meds or counseling? I'm doing both and so far it's helped. Good luck.

06-25-04, 05:50 PM
Hello again! To answear your questions, I am not actually newly diagnosed. I was officially diagnosed four years ago. What I am new to is the symptoms of my ADHD having such serious consequences. When I was in high school and in college, people (mainly teachers and professors) seemed to just understand my tardiness and let me off the hook as it was obvious whenever I showed up late it was not because I didn't care (I always hustled in in a panic and was always very upset, often visably, with myself for being late). On the few occasions that I did tell a professor in college, it was usually because they had a very strict tardiness policy or they directly asked me if something was wrong. In each case, I was then forgiven completely once I explained that I had ADHD. I didn't even have to get into much of an explaination, just had to let them know I had it really. That one sentence "I have ADHD" was enough.

In the work world, however, I found out the hard way that things can be much different. I was switched to a full time position last fall, and was doing well for awhile. Then I began to be late. This was brought to my attention by my supervisor, and so I began trying really hard to rectify the problem myself (at the time I was on meds but without coaching or therapy). I did really well, in my opinion, and it became a situation in which I was only late one day a week by 15 minutes (by the way, that one day a week I was late was when my day started at 7am. My normal schedule other than that one day started at 3:30pm, and schedule shifts often mess with me, so you can see the difficulty). Anyways, this went on for months, and me being stubborn and still taking my 15 minutes late as a personal weakness despite my diagnosis, I kept not seeking additional support. Anyways, it finally got to a point where I saw the light, and I set up an appointment to begin seeing my therapist and one to see my MD about possible med changes (one of my challenges was my meds wearing off before my shift was over, however this was not effecting my job performance). Unfortunately I did not tell my supervisor or her boss (who had the power to hire or fire) about this fact, and I was suspended for one week.

Or, I should say, that I was only supposed to be suspended for one week. My bosses supervisor (who I should also mention, disliked me for personal non job related reasons AND let it affect the way she treated me as opposed to me co-workers) kept putting off the meeting we were supposed to have until almost three weeks (my suspicion is that she hoped I would quit as I was not getting paid those three weeks. Thus I would be voluntarily unemployed and without any benefits to speak of). Anyways, during that first week of suspension I went to see my therapist, and then wrote a letter to my boss, her supervisor, and her supervisor's supervisor (they were all to be involved in the decision as to what to do about my tardiness) basically expmaining that I had a disabilty (ADHD) for which the symptoms often led to tardiness in my daily life. I further explained that I had sought out professional assistance and was working on rectifying the problem so that I could be a better employee. As soon as she recieved the letter my boss contacted me and said that the three of them could not meet with me unless they got a letter from my doctor.

I provided this letter two days later (my doctor is an hour away, and he was backed up with other letters/paperwork people needed for their own conditions. But he did put a rush on my letter for me). The letter explained my diagnosis, the symptoms, and how these symptoms could lead to a disruption in my ability to perform simple everyday tasks, even leading to tardiness. He also explained that through treatment we were looking at helping me work through these issues.

I met with the three early the next week. They informed me that the had met again and decided to continue with a termination as they "had already reached this decision before I informed them of my condition". They said this several times throughout the meeting, and if to cover their butts (why else would they say it. But the questions remain such as why ask me for a letter from my doctor (they claimed they made their decision before my letter, which came almost a week before the doctor's note)? Why did it take almost three weeks to fire me, I should have known almost immediatly in my opinion, as these three meet regularly and could quite easily have decided "if she does this again, she's fired". They claimed they had to do an investigation as to my tardiness, but what investigation? I was always honest on my timesheets, if I was late, I wrote that down, all they needed to do was look at my time sheets, which does not take three weeks. The whole thing was fishy in my case, in fact I'm looking in to who I should talk to about whether or not my termination was just and if it was handled correctly.

Unemployment, I hope I'm not denied, but I guess at this point i have no reason to think I am. I just claimed my first week and was not informed that I was denied in any way. When I was reading through the forms, it said I could be denied if I was fired for commiting a crime etc. But as my issue was explained to me by my boss's boss, I was unable to meet the job requirements, which according to the unemployment office I can collect benefits for. I am hopeful. I have been honest about my dismissal in all recnt interviews and people seem to think either that my dismissal was crazy or they don't care because I have a lot of experiance behind me.

I am glad you found work and that you are doing so wonderfully. I have recently changed meds, and continue to see my therapist. I feel I am doing much better, I have not been late to one appointment or interview since upping my treatment. Best of luck to you! :)

Coral Rhedd
11-08-04, 06:27 PM
Do consider an appeal if you are denied benefits. Also call around until you can find someone professional who will be with you at the appeal. Legal Aide is a possibility. Keep all your paperwork and understand that you can ask your former employers for relevant paperwork on you firing.

If you had not previously asked for an accomodation, I think you may have a good case. Employers are required to work to accomodate people with ADD just like they are also required to accomodate people in wheelchairs or with guide dogs.

12-18-04, 12:13 AM
Here we have legal clinics, also helpful would be a doctor's note supporting your level of stress. That may go a long way. If you were denied reg EIB in Canada due to firing, you may still qualify for medical benefits too. Hope this helps.

shawn H
08-03-07, 11:16 AM
My son has ADD. He is going into his Junior year in HS and wants to be a commercial pilot.
After much searching we finally found an aviation school that he wants to attend after senior year. I asked the question about him having ADD and have been told, ADD disqualifes him from becoming a pilot!

Is there anyway around this? He functions very well at school and at home.
I am so upset I now have to tell him he can forget his dream.

He is more careful driving a car than most people and when he flies with our friend, he does great and is very concentrated.

Is the FAA discriminating people with ADD? My husband suffers from mild depression, takes Cymbalta for depression. His depression also prohibits him from becoming a pilot.

Can someone please help us find a way to help my son realize his dreams?

08-03-07, 02:26 PM
Isn't it just the medication (stimulants) that would be the problem, not the diagnosis itself?

08-03-07, 03:15 PM
No, it's the diagnosis itself that is the problem.

I agree that it's discriminatory, but discrimination sometimes serves a purpose. Personally, I wouldn't want someone with a mental disorder piloting my plane (I include myself here). The problem is that there isn't a magic test that would clearly indicate that the disorder would never affect the consistency of their piloting skills. So as a precaution they just blanket out an entire category.

It isn't fair, that's for sure. Thing is, there are thousands of things that current pilots can do and experience that would be much worse than having an ADD pilot. Like, your wife just left you cause she found out you've been sleeping with the hostess. Or you have the Vegas route and the only thing on your mind is that you've got one last chance to be lucky so you can reimburse your bookie on time so you don't get your legs broken. I mean, piloting (or driving for that matter) under the influence of emotions can be very dangerous. And there's no test or diagnosis for whether you're too emotional to drive or fly. Is it then reasonable for the FAA to do this? If I were a safety manager responsible for decisions that could mean life instead of death, I think it would be reasonable for me to create policies that would reduce as many known risk factors as I could. Now the question is, is ADD really a risk factor? I mean, you've done the same training, you've put the same thousands of hours as any other pilot. Why wouldn't he be just as good? Or maybe even BETTER? And then you'd have to think -- would an ADDer react well to an emergency life-or-death situation? i.e. engines die at 50,000 feet and you're 100 miles away from the nearest airport. What do you do? (this happened a few years ago and the pilot saved the day). The problem is that something unknown is a risk in itself. So, yes it is reasonable for someone to create policies to reduce risk.

Here are possible options:
- ADD may not prevent him from flying a fedex jumbo jet; the restriction may be only for passenger planes. But you'd have to look into that.
- ADD may not prevent him from flying non-US routes, or becoming a licensed pilot in another country (say, Canada)
- ADD may not prevent him from flying a different class of planes, say, personal jets, or small cargo planes.

You'd have to look into all of those options I present because they are just guesses, but I wanted to send some ideas your way.

I'm sorry about the crushed dreams. That's a very sad story. I really hope you guys come up with a solution!

08-03-07, 10:01 PM
Chronic lateness can be a sign of severe Executive Dysfunction. (Frontal lobe problems in the brain).

If you are so bad at timekeeping, (neurologically-based planning and monitoring impairments) that you have chronic and severe problems keeping employed, you should likely see a Doctor about doing some Neuropsych Testing.

Some people's brains are so compromised that they need to apply for disability, or appeal decisions (like your Unemployment Claim rejection).

It sounds like your life has a lot of distressing Chaos going on.

This isn't just ADHD. (Or, your ADHD is affecting your ability to get the Chaos out of your life.)