Can I collect unemployment if I have been fired for not meeting my quota?

Updated : July 26th, 2022

Failed To Meet Quota

Question from Nicole

Can I collect unemployment if I have been fired for not meeting my quota?

I have been employed with a for-profit University for the last year as an admissions advisor. Every admissions advisor is expected to have a certain number of student enrollments per start of each new school session. I did quite well for many months meeting my quota but for the last few months, I have struggled to enroll the number of students expected of me. I have done everything the same in terms of my representation of the university, work ethic, and effort, but despite all my efforts, I have fallen short of the quota. I have been on corrective action since March; I have received a verbal, written, and most recently, a final warning in regards to this matter. Each time, I have taken the steps necessary to bring up my numbers, have kept good attendance, and have gone through many training sessions to improve my performance. Still, along with many other advisors currently, I am finding it increasingly difficult to enroll the students that the University expects. I anticipate I will be let go within a matter of days, to weeks at best. Would I be eligible to receive unemployment benefits in this situation?

Hi Nicole,

Your situation is a common situation nowadays. In the past if a person was discharged for failing to meet quotas, the employer may expect good results if they could show the failure to meet quotas was due to a “neglect of duties” by using your good performance reviews to show that you were capable of meeting the requirements of the job.

But now, we are in an economic downturn which makes this argument much less effective due to the fact that nobody has money .. loans are hard to come by .. yadah, yadah.

If you are fired, you will simply counter any argument about neglect with the things that are putting attaining the goals out of your reach and stressing that the “things” are “out of your control” and despite doing your job to the “best of your ability” the things that were out of your control kept you from attaining the goals.

Remember that for an employer to prove misconduct, they have to prove the act or failure which they believe to be misconduct was within your control. This could be as blatant as an act that a 3 year old would know is wrong or it could be a simple misjudgment for which you had some control over at some point and at the point of control you made a volitional decision to do the wrong thing.

I always advise counter documenting for employees on the written warnings. There is usually a space for the employee’s comment and too few make use of that space. In it should be the reasons you believe the warning are for something other than misconduct or specifically the things out of your control and your assertions that you are doing your job to the best of your ability.

Does this make sense?


Comments for Can I collect unemployment if I have been fired for not meeting my quota?
Collecting Unemployed if You’re Fired

by: Nanlisa


Whatever you do, don’t quit. Let them fire you. Find out what the unemployment laws are in the state of Oregon. If they fire you, then go file for it. If they turn you down, then appeal it. What have you got to lose. You may not be cut out for that type of work. Anytime you work in sales, you have to meet a certain quota, and that’s the bottom line.

Here in Pennsylvania, where I live, if you’re fired for willful misconduct, or quit your job without a necessary and compelling reason, you can’t collect unemployment. But if you went in there and did the best that you could, you should be able to get it. They would have to call there and verify it anyway. And like I said, if they turn you down, then go file an appeal.

Good luck to you.


Getting Unemployment for Being Fired

by: Nanlisa

From my own personal experience, I’ve been let go from several telemarketing and market research jobs for not meeting the company’s (and their clients’) production goals. It was not my fault. I went in there. I had very good attendance. I made the calls to the very best of my ability. Since there was no misconduct involved, I was able to get unemployment.

I don’t know what the unemployment laws are in your state, but here in Pennsylvania, you cannot collect unemployment if you quit your job without a necessary and compelling reason and for willful misconduct. If you went in there every day, you did the very best that you could, but you didn’t perform up to the university’s standards, you should be able to get it. Go ahead and file for unemployment. If they turn you down, you can always appeal it. As long as you weren’t fired for willful misconduct, you should be OK.


Thank you

by: Nicole

Yes, that does make sense. I believe something was written to the effect that I was not meeting their expectations on core principles of measured risk taking, and expertise, etc., something to that nature. I did not agree with this, as I have been doing everything the same, but nonetheless was told to sign. I hope by signing I did not attest to saying I was the source of the problem and that this was in fact misconduct on my part. I am a little worried now.

Hi Nicole,

Why don’t you try writing a response to the write-up and ask that it be added to your personnel file and associated with the write-up. I’d think this would be best to do via email. If they refuse to add it and just for your own records, you’ll be able to show it was sent and what their response is.


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