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  1. #11
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Employer is Contesting Unemployment Claim After I Stopped Receiving Benefits

    Then don’t go. It’s up to you. Just don’t complain about the outcome if you fail to be there. The problem with youmsaying their case is fabricated is that unless you are there to dispute their claims, the ui folks have no reason to not believe the company. They aren’t going to simply call them liars if there is no objection to their statements.


    Whether your fear is warranted is not something that anybody that isn’t more familiar with the specific facts can answer


    i will say that it is highly unlikely your fears are warranted, unless there is a lot of pertinent info you haven’t disclosed here that would give you reason to have such fears.

  2. #12

    Default Re: Employer is Contesting Unemployment Claim After I Stopped Receiving Benefits

    Quote Quoting jk
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    Then don’t go. It’s up to you. Just don’t complain about the outcome if you fail to be there. The problem with youmsaying their case is fabricated is that unless you are there to dispute their claims, the ui folks have no reason to not believe the company. They aren’t going to simply call them liars if there is no objection to their statements.


    Whether your fear is warranted is not something that anybody that isn’t more familiar with the specific facts can answer


    i will say that it is highly unlikely your fears are warranted, unless there is a lot of pertinent info you haven’t disclosed here that would give you reason to have such fears.
    Part of me is afraid that if I go, I will just make things worse. The former employer was a very irrational person, and was known to make things up and truly believe that they were correct, and then would not hear any arguments against what he believed, or seem to be able to understand that arguments could be presented in the contrary.

    But he is also very tricky, and deceitful, and I am concerned that if they have a bunch of witnesses and lawyers there, and I am there alone with little knowledge of court cases or unemployment law, that I will possibly make things worse. Before you say it's unlikely they'll bring a bunch of witnesses or lawyers, it's something they would do.

    However, another part of me says I shouldn't be concerned, because about half of the things said are flat-out made up and I am confident that I can argue against them because they are very far from true.

    I just don't want to enrage the employer by fighting this further and then having them fight me under more serious circumstances (I don't want to go to court).

    No documentation I have received in the mail has said anything about repaying benefits I had already received. One letter only said I may be responsible to repay benefits issued after the date of that notice. Again, I received that notice >1 month after I got a new job and stopped claiming benefits.

    So it is very unclear what is at stake here. How do I know what the potential consequences are if the employer prevails? Is there no way to find that information?

  3. #13
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    Jan 2006
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    38,867

    Default Re: Employer is Contesting Unemployment Claim After I Stopped Receiving Benefits

    are You on medication for anxiety issues? Your statements her suggest that if you aren’t you probably should be.


    Unless there is something you havent disclosed here that gives you reason to believe the employer may sue you for something, fearing they will sue you for some unknown issue is irrational.

    Regardless od what the letter stated, without knowing why the employer waited this long to contest your benefits, I can’t say you wouldn’t be required to repay benefits already received. Even if not required to repay them, you could be denied future benefits as long as it takes to match what you have already received. Anything said here is a guess at best due to the minimal information provided. Proceed however you choose as the only party thst risks anything here is you.

  4. #14

    Default Re: Employer is Contesting Unemployment Claim After I Stopped Receiving Benefits

    Quote Quoting jk
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    are You on medication for anxiety issues? Your statements her suggest that if you aren’t you probably should be.


    Unless there is something you havent disclosed here that gives you reason to believe the employer may sue you for something, fearing they will sue you for some unknown issue is irrational.

    Regardless od what the letter stated, without knowing why the employer waited this long to contest your benefits, I can’t say you wouldn’t be required to repay benefits already received. Even if not required to repay them, you could be denied future benefits as long as it takes to match what you have already received. Anything said here is a guess at best due to the minimal information provided. Proceed however you choose as the only party thst risks anything here is you.
    The employer has threatened to sue me before but has not disclosed the reasoning for it.... that is why I am afraid of being sued I also believe the employer to be unstable emotionally or mentally, and entirely unpredictable. Believe me, the fear is more than warranted.

    Ironically I've always suffered from anxiety, and it was actually at its best point until that last job. Ironically I believe the employer actually suffers from anxiety and I feel has made it far worse in me from all the threats and verbal attacks.

    It is sounding like I have to go, in which case I will. I'm just a rather timid person and don't deal easily with things like this.

    I think most of it is definitely intimidation tactics from the employer, but it has worked and that is why I don't want to go.

    They are basically accusing me of negligence, accusing me of dealing with a customer wrong and using an isolated incident as their evidence. I really don't want to say more for fear of them going after me just for posting here. They have made so many empty threats against that don't make any sense to me that I have no idea what to believe anymore. English is not the first language. I find it a little troubling that employers are even allowed to contest claims this way when the purpose of unemployment is to help lowly paid people to get up off their feet after getting fired. Seems a very broken system to me.

  5. #15
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Employer is Contesting Unemployment Claim After I Stopped Receiving Benefits

    The purpose of unemployment is to give employees, through no fault of their own, find themselves terminated from their job. It is not meant to reward people who have been terminated for cause.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    Default Re: Employer is Contesting Unemployment Claim After I Stopped Receiving Benefits

    I have a friend who caught her employee red-handed stealing from the company. The employee admitted the theft. Should the employer in that case be forbidden to contest unemployment?

    If not, why not? And if so, where does the line get drawn?

    If there is nothing you have omitted, the employer can threaten you with a lawsuit all he wants but he has no grounds to sue you. Particularly not in criminal court.

  7. #17

    Default Re: Employer is Contesting Unemployment Claim After I Stopped Receiving Benefits

    Quote Quoting jk
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    The purpose of unemployment is to give employees, through no fault of their own, find themselves terminated from their job. It is not meant to reward people who have been terminated for cause.
    Fine. Then I would've gladly accepted a rejection of the request for unemployment and went about my business. I was accepted, and now they can go after me anyway and potentially make me pay everything back? None of this was disclosed to me at the time of application. It is a broken and predatory system.

    I have read that the employee has to have been particularly agregious in terms of negligence to be disqualified from the claim. The employer has even already contested the claim once with the same evidence, and lost. This is the 2nd appeal. So clearly there is more to it than "It has to be due to a lay off, no exception to this rule." Or else their first appeal would've won, but it didn't. I was overall a very dedicated and hard working employee. They didn't like some of the way I did things and that is where the disagreement stemmed. I merely exercised my rights and applied for unemployment, but for them to accept a lowly paid person, pay them for over a month and then tell them they may have to pay it all back months after the fact seems particularly egregious from a moral standpoint. Borderline sickening. To have such a predatory system in place that is masked as intended to help lowly paid people.

  8. #18
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Employer is Contesting Unemployment Claim After I Stopped Receiving Benefits

    Quote Quoting frontedstarling
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    Fine. Then I would've gladly accepted a rejection of the request for unemployment and went about my business. I was accepted, and now they can go after me anyway and potentially make me pay everything back? None of this was disclosed to me at the time of application. It is a broken and predatory system.

    I have read that the employee has to have been particularly agregious in terms of negligence to be disqualified from the claim. The employer has even already contested the claim once with the same evidence, and lost. This is the 2nd appeal. So clearly there is more to it than "It has to be due to a lay off, no exception to this rule." Or else their first appeal would've won, but it didn't. I was overall a very dedicated and hard working employee. They didn't like some of the way I did things and that is where the disagreement stemmed. I merely exercised my rights and applied for unemployment, but for them to accept a lowly paid person, pay them for over a month and then tell them they may have to pay it all back months after the fact seems particularly egregious from a moral standpoint. Borderline sickening. To have such a predatory system in place that is masked as intended to help lowly paid people.
    but for some reason your employer was allowed to contest your ui after what appears to be the normally allotted time period to do so.. why is one reason nobody can give you solid answers.


    Your case is not the norm

  9. #19

    Default Re: Employer is Contesting Unemployment Claim After I Stopped Receiving Benefits

    Quote Quoting jk
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    but for some reason your employer was allowed to contest your ui after what appears to be the normally allotted time period to do so.. why is one reason nobody can give you solid answers.


    Your case is not the norm
    The initial notice I received was dated in september, I filed for unemployment in June. I do not know how he is allowed to contest it so much later. I stopped receiving benefits in early august to my memory.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    1,142

    Default Re: Employer is Contesting Unemployment Claim After I Stopped Receiving Benefits

    Please do not stress out so. You really do not understand what the unemployment system is about or what it is doing. It is not a broken system, and it is designed to follow the law as it has been working for many years. It is set up so that both you and the employer have equal footing, and you should be able to represent yourself without an attorney. This is an agency, not the court system. Appeals hearings are clearly defined and operate as they are mandated, they are not arguments, or high drama or a situation where you'll be preyed upon.

    First of all, forget about your employer, no matter how crazy or vengeful they may be, "suing" you for filing for unemployment insurance benefits or for what you say within the closed system about them. That would be like suing you for insisting on minimum wage or a paycheck. Unemployment insurance is a federal system administered by the states. It is not done in the civil court system. The hearings are not public record. You are guaranteed the right to file for benefits in the unemployment system, and employers are required to post signage to inform you about those rights, just like they are supposed to post signs about minimum wage. They can't sue you for exercising your rights. Nor can they sue you for slander or libel if you tell the agency something negative about them.

    Unemployment insurance is just that, an insurance program paid for by the employers, which is designed to provide employees who are out of work through no fault of their own, with a small amount of money to get by on until business improves or until they have found another job. It is not an income based program. When you filed your claim, no one asked you if you needed the money, how poor you are or if you have another source of income. It is set by law that any person who has worked for a covered employer (one that pays in unemployment taxes) can file a claim for benefits, and the agency will determine if this person is out of work through no fault of their own. If they are, the employers tax account is charged, thus they are required to pay for your benefits indirectly. Their tax rate increases. So of course, employers are not real excited about people filing claims. It is not set up as a program to make employers happy, in fact, was started to give employers a little less control of who gets to work and who gets to starve.

    You qualify easily if a business closes or if they have a slowdown and are letting you go for that reason. And, if an employer decides to fire you, to terminate your employment, in order to keep you from drawing benefits, they must show the agency that they did indeed, have a good, work related cause to fire you. For example, if you set the building on fire, you stole money, or you deliberately caused them to lose business in some way. You will be asked if you had any awareness you were about to be terminated. you will be asked if you knowingly violated any rules. You will be asked if you were terminated immediately after a "precipitating incident." You'll be asked about prior warnings. Were you knowingly violating any policies or rules?

    When you file the claim for benefits, the agency makes what they call an "initial decision" either granting or denying benefits based on their inquiries and what you have told them. Then BOTH parties are informed. If you had been denied benefits, you would have had the right to an appeal hearing regarding the denial. You were approved, so of course you did not want to appeal this decision.

    Your employer will be notified either way, and they have the legal right to appeal the decision if they wish to do so. Either party can be present for such an appeal, or not. Since you were approved, you began to draw benefits. You then went to work somewhere else and stopped receiving them after a time. These appeals processes can take a long time, several months, to play out. But now this employer is contesting your claim, saying they appeal the decision to grant benefitsin the first place, that they had a valid misconduct reason to terminate you, and therefore you should never have been approved.

    Since they are appealing, they are the ones who have to show the burden of proof that they did, indeed, have a valid, misconduct reason to terminate you, that you knew what you were doing or not doing that displeased them, that you had been given clear warnings that your job was in danger, and yet you still continued to do what you were doing and not change your behavior. In other words, if you knew that your repeated misconduct such as rudeness to a customer was inappropriate, but continued to do it after warnings, that would be a pretty good reason to terminate you.

    But in a situation where they claimed that you did all these made up things, you don't have to argue your way through and prove you did not do all of them, you just tell the agency hearing officer what happened in your own words. They will want to know certain specific questions that you have already answered when you filed the original claim. What was the reason that the employer told you that you were being terminated? What happened the day you were actually let go? What warnings had you received? Did you.....(one of the made up stories)?

    Each party in a claim, both you and the employer have equal appeal rights. They have already lost the first round, because you were approved to draw benefits in the first decision. However, if you do not go to the hearing and present your side of the situation this time, the employer will have no one that contests his made up stories. And the appeals officer will very likely find the employers version of the facts 'more believable' than yours, since you aren't there. They may even insist that you lied to the unemployment system if you told them what you did tell them, thus you committed fraud. You're not there to say any different. And believe me, they WILL come after you for a fraud overpayment in any amount, regardless of when you got it.

    If the employer is allowed to do the appeal without your response, YES, you are quite likely to be determined to be overpaid for the whole claim, not just the part you would have drawn after the second decision. Because you were approved in the first place, if they don't determine fraud, you would not be likely to have a fraud overpayment for those weeks you drew, unless it could be shown definitively that you lied in order to obtain benefits. But it is very likely that you will have an overpayment charged against you for any benefits you have drawn, whether the agency pursues repayment actively or not.

    You have a pretty good case to be approved, since you have been approved in the initial decision, provided you didn't lie about the termination there. You'll do fine in this appeals hearing if you are clear and consistent about the reason you were terminated, and you present it believably. You won't have to worry about the wording of the appeal letter and whether this means yada yada ....or whether I will be denied in an appeal and does this mean I have to pay the money back that I got before...... Sure, going to the hearing is a little more stressful (for a little while) than ignoring the whole issue because you're away from those terrible people now and you're so afraid of the awful things they might do or say....

    But I wouldn't assume that you don't need to go to the appeals hearing because you "won't have to pay this money back." That's not a good or safe assumption to make. The system is set up so that you have as much of a chance to present your side of the situation as your employer, and the hearing officer will go with the party that is more believable. You will not be subjected to a trial, browbeaten or cross examined by anyone. But you very well might find yourself overpaid, possibly fraudulently overpaid if you do not contest, show up, defend your right to the benefits you've already gotten.

    Sometimes, people do hire attorneys to represent them in appeals hearings. Sometimes, if you feel unable to do this, and cannot afford an attorney, Legal Aid may help you. But you do not need to do this as long as you can tell your side of the situation clearly, answer the question about why you are no longer working there concisely and professionally and quietly, and be the more believable of the parties. Employers do not get to determine if you receive benefits, no matter if they threaten you, because if this was the way it worked, no one would ever get to draw benefits, would they?

    Show up for this hearing, tell the hearing officer what happened, stress that you always did your job to the best of your abilities, and don't get all whiney and scared just because this employer is trying to keep you from getting what you felt you were eligible to receive. The agency has heard many stories from employers and employees and they are very well prepared to determine whether or not you are out of work through no fault of your own, or whether this employer had a valid misconduct reason to terminate you. I hope it works out for you.

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