Previous employer attempting to revoke Unemployment Benefits

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New Member
Good evening!
This is kind of a yarn, so bear with me. I've never posted here before, or even thought about looking for legal help online, but I'm really at a loss and am not quite sure where else to go.
I worked for a call center for 15 months. During this period I had five team leads, two Operations Managers, and countless "peer helpers." The place is AKA "Revolving Door" because of the turnover there. Either way, after 15 months exactly, I was terminated for "call avoidance." They explained by saying my calls were too short and my breaks were too long. Because I had saved up a nice bit of money and was miserable at that job to begin with (I have bad stress/anxiety and often had to leave and throw up from the BS that came from not only customers but from peers and especially higher-ups.) I wasn't too worried about being terminated. I filed and was approved for UI, and have been collecting for appx. 5 weeks.
Last week, I received in the mail a notice for a hearing by phone because my previous employer is appealing the decision for my benefits and requesting that the money be paid back. In this letter they say "The claimant was observed to be hanging up on customers and intentionally misbehaving by taking up to 45-minute breaks at a time."

None of that was mentioned when I was fired, and they conveniently left out my termination paper from the packet they sent to me. They did, however, note that they did not give me warning. I had received one warning back in September about my break time being higher than desired, but it was a verbal warning and since then I had heard nothing to lead me to believe I was still above the normal level.

Now, here's the big kicker: Enclosed in this packet of my two verbal warnings and the pages of the orientation handbook I signed (with the rules I "broke" circled) is also a blog I used to keep detailing my distress and humorous stories about the job. It is fully anonymous, with a separate e-mail than any of my normal accounts, and I did not name myself, the company, or the client. (My call center was actually outsourced contracting for a major cell carrier, but we were not employees of the actual carrier.) Either way, I said nothing to give myself or the company away in the blog, but someone did tell my team lead about it. He had prior knowledge up to a month before my termination and did not ask me to take it down; rather, he gave me tips on how to get it published since the main reason I started it was for comedy reasons. Now, he is the "first-hand key witness" as stated in my appeal notice, in the former employer's favor. Lovely!

Anyways, I need to know what to expect and what I should go in prepared to say/ask, since I will be representing myself. What are my chances of winning? I have known several people to so much as quit this job and gain unemployment, and have not been taken to appeals, and I'm pretty sure that I am being summoned because of the blog--I said some mean stuff, even if it was anonymous. What can I say, I was bitter. :p

Thanks so much if you took the time to read this, and double thank you for helping!
...that blog may effectively ruin your chances of unemployment.

Seriously - that's a big no-no.

Outside of that, nobody can really guess as to what will or will not happen.

But on employment boards everywhere, there are similar tales of woe in which the applicant - you, in this case - loses.
Well, to be fair, again, the blog is completely anonymous and did not name anyone, including myself or the company. It was pretty much just a gripefest.
The burden of proof is with the employer to prove misconduct and if the blog was completely anonymous, the employer will have an difficult task of trying to convince the hearing officer that it was yours. Also if you don't have any other wirte-ups relating to your performance than again the employer's burden becomes heavier. Just be honest and tell your side of the story.
Always Think in there shoes

Remember alot of the times Managers don't have anything better to do then to run someone under the bus, its strokes there ego as well as I'm sure they got payed salary doing what they did so the motivational factor is better then your moral.

try to put yourself in their shoes and think what they would have to do to prove that you have caused damage...think damage...just because you voiced and opinion its nothing, they can fire you from their private company don't forget that the unemployment office is government they have stricter guidelines to work with plus you can always appeal if you don't like their decision.

the hard part is finding good moral through all this because you are not paid for doing what you're doing so defending is always harder then prosecuting.

Good Luck...stick it out and voice your opinion...This is how American people got their status... we are not England nor other countries...this is America for crying out loud.;)
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..scuse me?


Do you have any clue how things work in England?
Clearly he does not know that employment law in the UK is much more employee friendly than in the US, and that UK employees actually have more rights than those in the US.

Perhaps he should know whereof he speaks before he speaks it.

Gosh, I remember the days when your average admin. supervisor would start off with 4 weeks vacation and two years later had 6 weeks. That last year I was at my old job, I worked 3 day weeks all summer :D

And there's no such thing as "at will". ;) :D
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