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Former Employer Filed an Appeal

Discussion in 'Unemployment Insurance & Benefits' started by DC77, Jan 5, 2022.

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  1. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    My "Welcome!" above was for her - it just got out of order in the thread because of a post deletion.
     
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  2. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    I figured it probably was. But since I'm the one who invited her to add to the thread, I thought I should add my own.
     
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  3. DC77

    DC77 Law Topic Starter Member

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    Thank you all for taking the time to reply. I had difficulty understanding the letters the way they were written. This has been very helpful and very much appreciated!
     
  4. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    Please do let us know how it worked out.
     
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  5. DC77

    DC77 Law Topic Starter Member

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    Hi All, I've sat down again with fresh eyes to reread this. Like I mentioned, the letters have been difficult to understand. I had previously quoted the email the employer had sent to DES last year, but I now believe it was included as an attachment for my information. Unfortunately, I think this is about me. @Zigner @commentator @PayrollHRGuy et al... The notice of hearing issue states

    "whether the claimant: left work without good cause attributable to the employer GS 96-14(a); was discharged for misconduct GS 96-14.6; is unemployed within the meaning of the law GS 96-15.01."

    I'm not even sure what timeframe we're talking here. The former employer wrote his appeal early April of last year stating I resigned late April. I verified with DES at the time that I was eligible during my employment there. And I actually worked into May so I'm not sure where he got his information. I've been going through past correspondences, and I actually didn't formally resign. I notified them I would have to leave for the internship, but I was kept on as a fill in/on call. I received correspondences into July. I suppose we eventually went our separate ways while I was in the internship but there wasn't a formal termination.

    I wouldn't have returned anyways after the internship due to the lack of covid measures, safety concerns, and ethical healthcare issues that could have put my future career at risk. I also had health issues/injury that were making it very difficult for me to perform the job without pain, and I was sick a lot. During my time there, I did keep searching for something full-time and more suitable for my situation.

    Also, in the employers appeal, he says my hours weren't cut, and they were. He says I was offered full time employment, and I wasn't. And he says I made 3x more than I actually made weekly. I was hired to work one day a week with random fill-in and never actually had any correspondences with him about my employment. And he is being a real prick. I was able to get my paystubs, but I need my timesheets to see the weekly breakdown. I'm trying to recreate a timeline from a year ago. I can't seem to get them from him.

    I'm also trying to find some legal aid to sit down with this with me and go over all of this.

    Anybody have any further input??
     
  6. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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  7. commentator

    commentator Member

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    Yes, I have a further input. A legal aid does not know any more about unemployment insurance that anybody else. So don't waste seeking someone who is actually a lawyer, thinking they're going to know any more about the unemployment system than a layman. This is not something they study in law school. Especially a layman who has worked in the system. You do not need someone to go over this with you point by point. Lawyers are smart people, they know where to look, and they can read the unemployment laws, but there is no use in trying ahead of time to figure out exactly what you need to say when you are not sure what exactly the person doing the hearing is looking for.

    People who work within the unemployment system do not expect you to come in and brilliantly refute their points and make your pleas as if you were trying your own case in a court situation. This is more of a "fact finding" situation, in which they will have certain things they wish to find out, and they do not expect either you or the employer to be fluent in the legal aspects of unemployment insurance. There will be things they will want to know, and they will ask, and you will be asked those things, and the employer will be asked those things, and you do not need a lot of home preparation. What has happened has already happened. Just answer the questions. Skip the arguments and the rhetoric.

    You need to wait and see what they are asking. Instead I hear a great deal of input about " "I wouldn't have returned...." and "the employer did not make it clear if I was terminated" etc. Which is NOT going to be the least bit relevent to anything that is going to come up in the hearing. They are not interested in your future career aspirations, your employer's efforts to make you feel safe, why you decided not to return, etc. They are deciding to charge his account or not charge his account. If they decide to get your unemployment money back because you've turned out to be ineligible for benefits, that will be a whole other kettle of fish. And it will not deal solely with this employer. And believe me, if it gets into your eligibility overall for unemployment benefits, it will NOT be a good idea for you to start expounding on your health issues, your emotional situation, your pets' health problems, or your availability to work. I repeat, do not answer any question they do not ask you, do not give them extra information. Do not try to "recreate a timeline." It will not help you.

    Yes, this employer is saying that your unemployment should not be charged to them, for this reason and that reason.

    If your eligiblity for benefits altogether was what it was about, they'd be sending you letters saying that you are possibly overpaid and that you are having an appeal and that you might possibly be overpaid in the amount of xxxxxx. Either way, all you do is go into the hearing, answer any questions you are asked, do not talk any more than necessary, and do not try to out argue them when you do not really know for sure what you are arguing about. Hearing officers are human. If you are quiet, polite and professional, do not make too many unnecessary dramatic statements or provide too many unsought details, you are going to come out far better. They will be looking for the "more believable" of the two parties, you or your employer. The way to be perceived as more believable is to stick with the facts, briefly, when asked.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2022
  8. DC77

    DC77 Law Topic Starter Member

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    Thank you thank you and thank you. I really appreciate you taking the time and the effort to write all that out, explain a lot of this, and give me guidance. This is is all new to me and the former employer is already being confrontational when I reached out for paystubs. So I’ve been a little rattled and defensive. This is so incredibly helpful!
     
  9. commentator

    commentator Member

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    It is never a good idea to try to get things related to unemployment insurance from a former employer. Remember, they are not trying to help YOU a bit, they are trying to say they either had a valid reason to terminate you (no charge to their account) or that you voluntarily quit their employment (no charge to their account.) How they treated you, what you were planning to do instead of returning to work, etc. are totally irrelevant subjects at this point.

    If you worked for them in the quarters that were used to compute your unemployment claim, their account was charged for part of the money used to set up your claim unless they can show that you left them for a reason that would've disqualified you for unemployment. This may or may not have anything to do with whether you were approved for benefits. But you were approved for benefits, it is irrelevant to that.

    In normal times, that's the way it works, supposedly. But in the Pandemic mess that got dumped on the unemployment system a fantastic number of people who would not otherwise have qualified for unemployment benefits got approved and paid. Now, in the rubble of "how it used to be" the employers are just now receiving notices that their accounts are being charged for people who have drawn unemployment during the past two years. They are being given the option of having a hearing to decide whether or not their account is to be charged for some or all of the claim. Some employers actually hire consulting firms to deal with their unemployment tax issues. These firms question every single charge to their account.

    You received unemployment at some point during the last two years. I do not, from your posts, believe that the unemployment system people are trying to say you did not qualify for benefits. They are trying to determine if the employer in question is liable for the part of your benefits that were charged to their account. This is not something you are supposed to know about, understand, be able to argue about, etc. This is pretty much between the employer, who has been, ever since they have been in business, paying in quarterly taxes on every employee they have, and sending in detailed reports about who worked for them and how long and the system that has been receiving those reports and charging their account according to the information they had.

    Unless you are very sure they have made a serious mistake in the amount of time they said you worked for them and were paid wages, I question the merit of trying to argue that you actually worked more or less for them. To tell the truth, what they have is probably correct, as most employers do have the bookkeeping system to keep this in detail and they are required to submit these reports to the DOL every quarter. And really it doesn't make any difference regarding your former claim, which you have already received and moved on from.

    Hope this is helpful, as I said, not much prep on your part is going to be helpful, the less you worry about it the better. The facts of the situation are what they are. That they never contacted you to come back to work for them..... for whatever reason. You told them you didn't want to work there anymore (for whatever reason, no extra facts or discussion or how you FELT about it) Or they fired you ...again for whatever reason, no extra details, just what was said to you. but either way, it is what it is. Brief, no extra detail, no excuse, no discussion.
     
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  10. DC77

    DC77 Law Topic Starter Member

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    Hi All. I had the hearing today. As expected, he turned ugly. He blew up at me and at the referee multiple times and threatened to hang-up. I answered the questions I was asked politely, yes m'am, and did not lose my calm. I struggled with the format. The referee asked her questions and I answered. And then we had testimony. In my testimony I took advice and kept it brief and factual. I'm not sure if that was the best though because my words were misconstrued by the employer during questioning. I struggled with the format of phrasing everything as a question to defend myself. I'm not a lawyer. I felt helpless... I feel like the referee stepped in multiple times to help me out. The employer hung on the email that I had resigned and refused to acknowledge this was negated and I continued working there. Then he changed his story that I was changed to a temp. And he refused to answer if he had notified me that my status as an employee was changed to temp or if I was made to understand this... I don't know. I feel beat up. I was told by unemployment that I was eligible and those were the guidelines I followed for unemployment. I will receive determination in about a week by mail.
     
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  11. DC77

    DC77 Law Topic Starter Member

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    Hi All, I know some were interested in the results of the appeals hearing filed by my former employer. And thank you again to all that replied! I can’t say with confidence how it went. I stayed calm but I did struggle with the questioning format. He blew up numerous times on me and the mitigator/referee. She was gracious and helpful, and I’m really hoping she is fair.

    He kept focusing on the email I sent giving notice. He kept yelling she quit she quit she quit. However, an arrangement was made with my supervisor and I continued to work there for 2 more months because the first internship fell through. He basically said no take backs like a child. He might be able to get me for after May when I left for the second internship, but I think my time there from Jan to May was valid. No?? I was part time and collecting partial benefits. I know nobody can predict the outcome, but thoughts? And will his behavior and attacks be taken into consideration? Thanks again everyone for helping me through this.
     
  12. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    My thought is that it really doesn't matter what any of us think at this point. You will have to wait to hear the outcome.
     
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  13. commentator

    commentator Member

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    Very good point, zig. Yes, what has happened has happened, I do not, still yet, think this is about YOUR eligibility for benefits, this is about the employer not wanting to be charged for your benefits. Therefore, whether or not the appeals hearing referee decides to give them a non-charge or not, it's not going to have anything to do with your being declared ineligible for benefits. No he probably did not help himself by being argumentative.

    But I come back to my original contention, this is not your eligibility for your claim that is being investigated, it is his being charged for at least some of your claim. He does not get to say whether or not you are allowed to get benefits. Write us back immediately if you receive correspondence saying you have been determined ineligible for benefits, you will have a full appeal process for that matter, you're not just going to be determined ineligible for your claim based on what you have described here.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2022
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  14. commentator

    commentator Member

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  15. Redemptionman

    Redemptionman Active Member

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    If they deny your benefit eligibility then I would find a local labor lawyer who handles these cases on the side. Several of them out there and they can help you with an appeal of determination letter. It will cost you a little bit but it is nominal for the advantages that you did not have at the hearing and not bringing up points of law that you did not in defending your right to benefits.

    I am not trying to step on any forum members expert knowledge in such areas and am just providing some advice that has been known to work.
     
  16. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    I answered thousands of UI claims during the 20 years I was in HR and not once in that 20 years was a lawyer of any use to a former employee. The next step of the appeal process would be to the board of review that unless something is very wrong doesn't even hear new testimony. If it goes to the next step after that it is judicial review and in most cases, they don't hear new testimony either. Not to mention the fact that a lawyer is likely to cost more than a former employee would receive from UI.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2022
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  17. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Eligibility Criteria for UI in NC

    There are FOUR criteria that individuals must meet to be eligible for unemployment benefits in North Carolina:


    They must be unemployed due to no fault of their own (DES will make this determination based upon information provided by the individual and their last employer);


    They must be considered monetarily eligible (earned sufficient wages to establish a claim);

    They must be physically able, available and actively seeking work (they could start work tomorrow if offered a job); and

    They must register for work with the state's job service office, NCWorks Online!!!




    NCWorks Online




    DES: Unemployment Requirements
     
  18. Redemptionman

    Redemptionman Active Member

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    I don't doubt your experience, I said one that works it on the side and should not charge much to participate in a hearing. It is better than not having one, and I would be surprised if the OP wins their employer appealed hearing.
     
  19. DC77

    DC77 Law Topic Starter Member

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    Thank you army judge. Prior to working there I was eligible because of covid layoffs. This was my first job after the layoff. I was told by DES that since it was a part-time job making under such and such, I was still eligible for partial benefits.


    I left the job for many reasons, including safety concerns and ethics concerns working outside my licensing, but yes primarily for an internship. I was told by DES this was allowed as on the job training and full time work. I was also told that since it was unpaid to continue filing as normal. I consulted on the phone many times.


    Perhaps I was misinformed by DES?? Which if it comes to that I guess will have to accept. Then the question becomes, when was my separation date? I asked this during questioning and his answer was the resignation email. There was A LOT of focus on the email. That email was negated with the supervisor and I continued working for 2 more months, and was kept in correspondence for another month. He yelled you can’t just quit and take it back, even though that’s basically what happened, and it was allowed by the supervisor. My only proof were my paystubs that I continued working there. He later changed his story and said I was a temp...


    I know commentator said this is about him, but it really felt like it was being made about me. I think I should be eligible for at least the 5-6 months I was employed there? Anything afterwards I suppose is a different discussion.
     
  20. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    One more time: The employer is challenging the charge against their account. They could care less if you actually get unemployment, as long as it isn't assigned to them.
     
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