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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    24

    Default What Are the Chances of Winning a UI Appeal to an ALJ

    My question involves unemployment benefits for the state of: California


    I had worked at a big retail corporation as a sales associate for 15 months. I was discharged this past late March by my assistant manager. At the time she said it was because i did not have enough appointments for triple rewards and not using the mobile check out systems enough and not giving enough attention to customers.

    I had my interview with unemployment over the phone and they asked me several questions and i have to admit I was a little nervous on the phone cause i didn't know what to expect and i basically was very shotty on the phone and couldn't get my words straight. Basically got a letter in the mail from unemployment stating that I didn't qualify for UI because I got let go due to "misconduct". I filed an appeal with a clear and concise reasoning why I thought I disagreed with their decision and I clearly stated my facts. A couple weeks later I was granted an Appeal and to go before the ALJ and tell them my case. I basically was waiting for the letter to tell me my date and time for the hearing and what I needed to bring.

    I was able to obtain my case file several days beforehand to have enough time to gather my evidence and prepare the documents and statements that I was going to argue. I looked at the case file and it stated "summary of material facts and reason for decision". basically says my performance isn't satisfactory, has not been open to feedback or constructive feedback, no attendance issues. claimant did not check out with assistant manager, did not do fair share of cleaning and did not reach out to customers for the day after final warning. clmt did work there over a year and tried to work with him but he did not follow the directions. has shown evidence of gross misconduct.

    Then the next page states that the employee's (my name) last opportunity check on Decemeber 31st 2011 states "we need to see employee(my name) immediately follow not only expectation 10, 11, 13 & 14 but all the expectations outlined in the coaching guide for sales person. this will be employee's (my name) last and final opportunity check. failure to show immediate and consistent improvement or failure to meet any of the expectations outlined in the coaching guide will result in separation from the company."

    Then on the top of that page it says March 15 that my assistant manager asked how many appointments I had created for the triple rewards event and apparently i told her i did not have any because none of my customers expressed interest in coming in and that i told her i called 100 customers (which was another lie).

    March 17th- manager and the other assistant manager coached me on the importance of checking out with a manager at the end of his shift. Employee (my name) said that he did not know he was supposed to check out with a manager. he said he thought he was supposed to check out with a fellow sales person. on that same day, employee(my name), did not contact customers and did not have an appointment.

    March 18th- employee (my name) failed to check out with assistant manager and also did not do his fair share of cleaning of the dept before leaving for the day. he also did not reach out to any customers for the day. (this is all they had in the case file with no other evidence or facts to back up their claims of me not cleaning the dept, contacting customers, or what the expectations were in the coaching guide)

    I argued the statements as following... i started out with saying "I did the best I could but the company was not satisfied with my work. My unsatisfactory performance was not intentional and i wanted to keep my job."

    For the March 15th incident I really told my Asst. manager at the time that I called 20 people but only two said they were going to come. I stated this to the ALJ and I actually got the two people to write me letters with their name and signatures on it stating that I did reach out to them for the event and that I performed great customer service to them etc. I turned in the two letters to the ALJ.

    For the March 17th I told the ALJ that my managers leave early on multiple occasions (which is true) and that I tried looking for them(which was true) and tried my best to reach out to them but I could not find them so I checked out with the closers(people who shut down the dept) and made sure I cleaned my section that I was told to clean (If you don't close the dept you are always supposed to check out with the closer to get a section and clean it before you leave, which I always do) then I stated that I did not intentionally not check out with a manager.

    March 18th- I told the ALJ that we all clean together and I have always put in 100% of my effort into cleaning and the end of my shift. I said that there was no proof or evidence in the case file that shows I did not clean up and I was never warned on March 19th about not cleaning up and I was never even aware of the write-up until I saw the case file.

    The last thing I argued was the "last opportunity check" on Dec. 31st 2011. I had realized that I had taken Dec. 30th 2011 off till Jan 2nd 2012 for new years and I was in Los Angeles when they supposedly gave my last opportunity check. I found my credit card statements from that time that clearly showed I had made purchases in Los Angeles during that time I was away from work. I highlighted the dates, location and purchases and turned in the piece of evidence to the ALJ and my proof that I was not in the town where I had worked. The judge then asked me if I was in town some time in Dec or Jan cause they still would've given it to me at some point (I couldn't lie to ALJ and i told him that they gave it to me some time in Jan.)

    Everything I have said on here are the only things that were in the case file which I don't think was a lot and they were just statements made by the company rather than evidence and proof behind them to back up what they were accusing me of doing for "misconduct". Also too the company did not show up to the ALJ hearing and it was just me and the judge. I ended the hearing by stating " In closing I would like to restate my belief that I should receive UI. Thank you for your consideration."

    Based on all that I have said here and the facts and evidence that I turned in to the ALJ do you think I have a good chance of getting my UI or?? any advice will help and I really appreciate taking the time to read this.

  2. #2

    Default Re: What Are the Chances of Winning a UI Appeal to an ALJ

    Wow. When is the hearing? I got denied too, for misconduct. I am appealing too. I also work in a retail environment.
    What was your feeling when you left? The fact that your company didn't show up goes in your favor. That was the opportunity they had to bring all the proof against you and they didn't.
    Please keep us all posted as to your ruling and good luck!!

    - - - Updated - - -

    I'm sorry that you are going through this. I read your story. I am pulling for you. Good luck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: What Are the Chances of Winning a UI Appeal to an ALJ

    Well I had it earlier this week, 7/23. if you mean what was my feeling when i left the company? that i would never work in retail again and the managers are only looking out for themselves and only find ways to move up in the chain by treating the sales people as their guinea pigs. or if you mean how did i feel after the ALJ, i felt good but still nervous about the outcome. even though i did have evidence in my favor and the company not showing up, it sounded a little like the judge was favoring what the managers had only written down even though they didn't back it up with anything really.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    437

    Default Re: What Are the Chances of Winning a UI Appeal to an ALJ

    The only thing anyone can specifically advise you is that if you don't file an appeal and request a hearing, your chances of the decision being reversed are 0%. File for a hearing (be sure you do it timely) and when it's your turn to testify, that's when you share your version of the events. After that, it's entirely up to the ALJ.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: What Are the Chances of Winning a UI Appeal to an ALJ

    yes I explained up top that I did go through the hearing with the ALJ and explained everything that happened. If you have any input on what I wrote down that would be greatly appreciated. thanks

  6. #6

    Default Re: What Are the Chances of Winning a UI Appeal to an ALJ

    How long did you have to wait from the time you got your ruling until the hearing?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Plea let us know the outcome

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: What Are the Chances of Winning a UI Appeal to an ALJ

    My appeal got processed on May 10th and I had my hearing on July 23rd, so it took a little time. This is the county gov't we're talking about now lol.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    100

    Default Re: What Are the Chances of Winning a UI Appeal to an ALJ

    It sounds to me like you stand a fairly good chance of being awarded the unemployment. For one thing, it looks really bad that no one from the company showed up to argue on their own behalf. It also looks like they were lying about giving you that "last chance" in December when you were actually on vacation. And if your signature isn't on that write up - and it wouldn't be if you had never seen it before your termination - I'd say that pretty well invalidates the write-up altogether.

    Good luck!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: What Are the Chances of Winning a UI Appeal to an ALJ

    Quote Quoting lawaholic
    View Post
    It sounds to me like you stand a fairly good chance of being awarded the unemployment. For one thing, it looks really bad that no one from the company showed up to argue on their own behalf. It also looks like they were lying about giving you that "last chance" in December when you were actually on vacation. And if your signature isn't on that write up - and it wouldn't be if you had never seen it before your termination - I'd say that pretty well invalidates the write-up altogether.

    Good luck!
    Well yes they didn't show up and they never gave it to me on Dec 31st because i wasn't even in town. But the judge asked me if i was in town Dec or some time in Jan and I couldn't lie to him and i said well at some point in Jan they gave it to me but I don't recall specifically when. It seemed like the judge wasn't going only by what was stated in the case file by the company even though I had my evidence turned in that proved I wasn't there on the 31st when the only thing in the case file says that they gave me my final warning on Dec 31st, no where else does it say they gave it to me sometime in Jan or another date and that was what the judge was trying to allude to, is that fair or right?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: What Are the Chances of Winning a UI Appeal to an ALJ

    I would like to think that when one party just doesnt show up, the other side should be awarded the judgement right there, but we are talking about a State Government entity, so...

    It sounds like the judge was just making sure someone didnt put the wrong date on the write up on accident, thus causing you to try to use this as a loophole. If you got a write up on December 28 - January 3, you should probably assume that this is what they were reffering to. Im not saying thats the case, but I see where the judge is going, because all too often people will think that just because something happened a day or two before or after they said it did, and not EXACTLY on the date given, it means that this claim is invalid. Its not. If you were written up within, say - from Dec. 24 - Jan 7, and the document was dated incorrectly, its still a valid claim on their part.

    I've seen very few UI claims where the employee was terminated for anything that didnt directly, and generally severely, break the law and then refused UI benefits. There are exceptions, but usually unless you were sexually harrasing someone or snorting blow off your desk (obvious 'deal breakers') youll get your UI. I guess I could look, but feel lazy - how many times were you written up, how long were you there, and what reason did they give for terminating you?

    Also, just a heads up - stay on this. Call often, check the status, etc, because Ive seen a LOT of complaints of companies intentionally dragging their feet, hoping that you'll get another job before this gets settled, and they wont have to pay. It happened to me, the company stalled, and kept making excuses, and when I was finally awarded benefits, its only prospective (going forward) not retroactive.

    Good luck.

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