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Employment Law/obtaining unemployment insurance


Hello, I have a question about obtaining unemployment insurance. So, some background; my fiance has been working for a care giving outfit here in Arizona for 3 years. Last week she was terminated for violating article 9 of DDD code. Her employer did an investigation that lasted about 1 week and came to the conclusion that they will terminate her rather than re-train her on article 9. In her discharge documents it states the reasons for termination, which basically she is charged with throwing water in a clients face, rubbing spit in a clients face and physically placed a client in her bedroom, and throwing a towel over the clients face to keep from getting spat on. She has denied all the allegations from her employer and said she did however put a towel around the clients face in order from being spat on. My fiance claims that she used the towel because the client has mrsa and was spitting on her, and to keep from getting infected with mrsa she did what her group home manager had taught her and all employees to do with this particular client. Now, I fear she will be denied unemployment insurance because her ex employer claims that she was terminated due to misconduct. Any advice on this would greatly be appreciated. Thank you so much, sincerely, Jared C.


You are right to be concerned.  Like most states, Arizona's unemployment insurance eligibility rules require that a recipient be unemployed through no fault of their own, as determined under applicable state law.

If there is any sort of grievance or appeal process available to her, your fiancée should take advantage of it and make the best case she can, in hopes of having the dismissal reversed or changed to a lesser penalty.  If she has no union to represent her, she may want to contact a local attorney who specializes in employment law to handle that, and to assist with her UI application if there is no way to challenge the employer's decision or the challenge fails.

If the employer protests her UI application she will have the right to a hearing to present her case again.  The state is not bound by the determination of the employer, and will make its own ruling on whether the dismissal was truly her fault.  They cannot give her job back to her, but if she gets a favorable ruling she would be eligible for UI benefits if she meets the other requirements, which can be found here:

If she needs a referral to an attorney with the right experience, the local county or city Bar Association will have a referral service accessible through its web site.  For example, here is the site for Maricopa County:

There are also legal aid services available at no cost if she meets certain financial requirements.  Here is one example, which provides services in different areas of the state:

I hope you find this helpful.  

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Frank C. Magill


I can answer questions about any U.S. labor or employment law question. I cannot answer questions about non-US law. I am not a specialist in employee benefit law (ERISA and HIPAA) or Workers' Compensation law, but will do my best to point questioners toward good resources availabe online. Expertise includes, without limitation, EEO/Affirmative Action/Employment discrimination (Title VII, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans With Disabilities Act, GINA, Fair Credit Reporting Act as applied to employment); Fair Labor Standards Act; Texas labor code; Family Medical Leave Act; employee compensation; discipline and dismissal; force reductions, severance pay programs and administration; collective bargaining, union representation, grievances and arbitration, National Labor Relations Act and National Labor Relations Board; employee handbooks; staffing; dispute resolution outside of traditional labor agreements; employee communications; employment policies and compliance programs; codes of ethics; employment or labor litigation.


30+ years experience as corporate counsel for a Fortune 100 telecom company, specializing in labor and employment law issues. In addition to providing day-to-day advice to my company's internal HR leadership and staff, I've represented the company in numerous labor arbitration cases and at the bargaining table.

Texas, Illinois and Missouri state bars

J.D. 1979, Harvard Law School. B.A., Summa Cum Laude, 1976, Illinois Wesleyan University.

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