My question involves unemployment benefits for the state of: Indiana
I was fired from my employer in mid January. The claim was sexual harassment towards a female customer (not another employee), although she participated willingly in conversation but decided to report me somehow. Anyways, to my issue. I applied for unemployment being that I never had a warning or any marks on my record prior to this situation. I stated the reasons why I was terminated when I submitted my claim online, I didn't hide anything. It took about 6 - 8 weeks before I got a notice from Indiana UE stating that my former employer failed to respond or contest within the required time frame so my request for benefits was approved. The letter stated that the former employer would get an additional 13 day time window to appeal. I waited until I got notice that the former employer failed to respond before I spent a single penny of the benefits because I didn't want to spend it and have to pay it back. Once the time period passed and I recieved notice, I began to use the money. And I have been on it for most of the last 4 months or so.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago ($6000 in benefits later), I get a notice from Indiana UE stating that my former employer has appealed. I call in and ask what they are appealing...they failed to respond in the time frame and I was awarded benefits. The lady tells me that they can appeal that they never recieved notice or that they did in fact send their response in time. Now it goes to circuit court or judge or something and if the ruling is in their favor then it will go back for hearing on my eligibility.
My question is, will I be required to pay the benefits back if the judge allows them to contest and I lose? And how is that fair? I get notice by the state saying I win because the employer didn't respond in the required time frame. I wait til the time frame is completely up before touching the money to make sure that I actually get qualified. Then billion dollar company challenges and I lose. How is that just?