My question involves unemployment benefits for the state of: California
I was working a regular day job and in Oct '07 I picked up a couple night shifts at a newly opened restaurant (less that 20 hrs per week usually). At the time I was hired, the owner clearly stated he had probably over-hired because he wanted the opening & start-up to go smoothly.
In November I was laid-off from the day job. and got partial UIB - adjusted for the earned income on the PT gig. The restaurant owner promoted me and gave me some more hours, but after the holidays and with the WGA strike effecting business, it was time for the restaurant to cut hours.
In the end of January '08 they let me go specifically because I was able to collect UI, so they didn't feel as bad about letting me go as others who had nothing else. He even asked me to hug him. Payroll records will show a huge cut back in total hours for the business at this time. (and this is filmed w/o sound on security camera footage).
My extension ran out in Oct '08, but then Congress approved another extension and I began trying to apply. Finally in the end of December they approved me and sent me two checks. But then the checks stopped w/ no notice or explanation. I finally, in January '09, found that the restaurant owner was now alleging a couple things. EDD told me that the restaurant claimed first that I quit and then that they fired me for poor attendance. I had not been sick more than once or twice and was NEVER warned or repremanded as such.
He also stated that I quit after asking to be paid under the table and they refused. In actuality, the boss's father had asked if I would please stay working for them and I pointed out that there would never be an opportunity to get more that PT minimal pay and that I did need to look for a regular day job. Hopefully I could find one that didn't interfer w/ working for them and that until I did get a decent job I could even work more hours for them!!!
I have been trying to appeal the decision and am in real financial peril as trying to get anywhere with CA EDD or GR or Foodstamps takes a huge chunk of time away from looking for work. I don't know how to find a lawyer to help me subpoena the video tape and payroll records. I found one response suposedly from a trial attorney on another webside. He wants $1,500.00 up front, which I don't have. The best I stand to gain from this is about $4,000.00
Can I find a reputable lawyer to take this on its merit and then assuming we win, charge the former employer for his services?
To add insult to injury, EDD is demanding I repay the entire amount of UI received. General Releif & foodstamps cut me off as if I am getting the income from UI even though I have provided proof that they are NOT paying and that they want me to repay THEM!!!