My question involves unemployment benefits for the state of: Arkansas.
I had an appeal hearing concerning denial of UI benefits, which went against me. Here is part of the Reasoning and Conclusions: "The claimant quit due to a change in his work schedule. The claimant testified he was hired to work part-time, three days per week. . .Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. . . . The claimant provided documentation that did not indicate a specific time or day of the week which the claimant was to work due to his medical condition. . . . [B]ut when the employer requested documentation from the claimant's physician it was not supplied. The claimant has not proven that the employer violated the terms of employment nor. . .proven that his medical condition was limited to the days of the week in which he wished to work. . . . The claimant voluntarily left last work without good cause connected with the work."
I did not do well at the hearing, but a few salient points were either bypassed or minimized. 1. At least two episodes of verbal abuse occurred, which I subsequently found out constitute violations of OSHA's Workplace Violence provisions. 2. To my knowledge, when I told my boss I could provide documentation from my doctor, I was not specifically asked to do so. 3. I was given an "either-or" ultimatum, to change my work schedule to what the boss wanted, or "don't bother coming back" (exact quote). 4. I had every intention of going to full-time work, but I did not know that the job tasks would aggravate a long-time back injury, for which I have had to apply for SSD, nor did I know that the mental stress would similarly aggravate my depression, affect my sleep, and leave me physically exhausted. 5. My doctor wanted me to keep my stress minimized; the proposed work schedule, while keeping me at the same number of hours per week, would have placed me in the stressful environment five days a week. 6. Though this could be disputed, my boss exhibited traits of narcissism, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder; at one point she required we keep a daily log of how long it took us to do any task, including visits to the restroom, smoking breaks, and the like. She wanted absolute, complete control over every employee in as many ways as possible. 7. I did take information concerning my health problems to the relevant people, and was given vague promises that the boss would take them into account.
8. I do know this person alienated several lawyers in her firm, prompting them to leave. Since I left, at least 4 or 5 other office workers have also left the firm.
At this point the burden of proof is on me, and I think the strongest arguments may hinge on my working in a hostile work environment--not directed at me alone, please note--and that I had genuine and legitimate concerns relating to my overall health. Arkansas policy mandates a worker must "make reasonable efforts to protect his job rights" before leaving a job, but there are few if any definite provisions to do so, as I understand it.
I welcome any and all input concerning how to best use these points, as well as any other recommendations, relevant state and federal court decisions, for this one last appeal. I have a fast-approaching deadline to file my appeal, and I would appreciate any responses as soon as possible.