I was fired from my job about 5 months ago. Even so, under California law, I qualify for unemployment benefits... no doubt about it. The decision of the 1st appeal was that I was ineligible because I had financially damaged my employer. Not only was this not true, it was a conclusion which was not supported by either me or my employer. Then, in the mail comes his decision... "that I had damaged my employer by creating bad will". So this judge basically threw out the decision of the 1st appeal and then reaffirmed the 1st appeal for a completely different reason. I should mention here that the "bad will" accusation is false. It was mentioned by my employer simply to win the case. I didn't feel I needed to respond to it since the first appeal had nothing to say about it, i.e., it was irrelevant to the 2nd appeal because it was never mentioned in the 1st appeal.
I was required to write an petition for the right to a 3rd appeal. Quite frankly, I'm scared. I should have easily won the 1st appeal and the 2nd appeal. This 3rd appeal should be coming up this month and I don't know what they might pull next. It is obvious to me that these judges are looking for reasons to deny my benefits. Everyone in my household is out of work. We have been living off early withdrawals from retirement funds. I have depleted two funds; I have one fund left.
Here are my questions:
1) The fellow who defends my employer understands the appeals system. This is what he does for a living. When he wins a case, the California EDD tells him why he won. When he looses, California EDD tells him why he lost. He knows what to say, when to say it and when to keep quiet. I have no such education. In essence, I feel I have been out-gamed by this system (regulatory capture?). Could I benefit from legal representation for my coming appeal? Is there any way to receive such representation that would be affordable?
2) What are my option if I loose this 3rd appeal? How many times are the California EDD going to allow me to petition? Assuming I will loose this 3rd appeal and assuming I am not allowed further appeals by the EDD, is there a course of action available within the proper court system? If it is possible to pursue this in the courts, is it ever actually done or is such pursual impractical? To give you an idea, the EDD owes me around $10K in benefits (and counting).
Walter, Palm Springs California