Employer Appealing Unemployment Benefits Claim - Please Help

Previous | Next
 rated by 0 users
Latest post 10-18-2011 5:29 PM by Beth3. 10 replies.
  • 10-14-2011 5:40 PM

    • NFritz83
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 10-14-2011
    • PA
    • Posts 12

    Employer Appealing Unemployment Benefits Claim - Please Help

    My fiance' was let go from her job about six weeks ago. She was granted unemployment benefits, but the employer is now appealing it. We don't believe they have a case but are still worried she could lose and be without benefits. Here is a background of the story, let me know your thoughts or if you have any advice to help us prepare for the hearing.

    She applied for and was hired for an Admin Assistant position, and during the interview she also learned that she would have the option of moving to an Office Manager position in a year after the other woman at the office retired. So we was hired and learned the Admin Assistant position. After three months, she had her first review and all her scores were satisfactory. During the review, she was asked to start learning the Office Manager position.

    She agreed to this and started learning it, but realized it was really just an accounting position, which she isn't really qualified to do. She let her employer know that she can do the Office Manager position and is willing to cross train but would feel more comfortable if she could stay where she is as the Admin Assistant in the long run. A few weeks went by after this conversation and the employer fired her because they weren't happy with her progress learning the Office Manager position.

    The employer stated that the reason for the appeal was because my fiance was not performing to the best of her abilities and she was being paid for a job that she didn't want to do (which is false because she was hired as and being paid for Admin Assistant work).

    Is there any way the employer can win this case? My fiance' still has her 90 day review saying that everything was satisfactory, and she had no verbal or written warning before the firing.

     

  • 10-14-2011 6:02 PM In reply to

    Re: Employer Appealing Unemployment Benefits Claim - Please Help

    There's no "we" or "us" here in a legal sense -- just sayin'. 

    "So we was hired ...."

    Okay, at this point you *really* need to understand you're two separate folks.  :)

    Ultimately, the employer's free not to "request" anything but tell her flat-out that she'll be doing X.  It doesn't matter whether she thinks she's qualified, or she isn't interested.

    I don't see the employer having a legitimate issue, assuming she explains her side well.  If the employer couches it in terms of her refusing to do X-Y-Z or *deliberately* messing up, the unemployment commission staffer will have to decide who they believe.  I wouldn't go into the "she wasn't hired to do X" nonsense, because that's counterproductive.

    The employer's self-decided probationary period review isn't relevant to the issue as far as I can see, but she's definitely free to point out that they didn't express any problem with her performance before she was fired and it isn't as though they put her on an improvement plan.  I'd feel free to point out my belief that they fired her simply because she said she'd feel more comfy doing X/the job she was hired for and not doing Y.

  • 10-14-2011 6:30 PM In reply to

    • NFritz83
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 10-14-2011
    • PA
    • Posts 12

    Re: Employer Appealing Unemployment Benefits Claim - Please ...

    No, I understand "we" doesn't mean anything in a legal sense and that other phrase was a typo, haha.

    The problem with much of the information here is that neither side can really prove anything. My fiance' still learned the other position and said she was willing to do it, but didn't realize that she HAD to take it over and leave the Admin Assistant position or else she'd be fired. It's not that she was refusing to do the Office Manager job, but she was giving them a heads up that she would prefer stay as the Admin, so they would hire another replacement for the Office Manager who was retiring. I'm not sure how valid of an argument that is though, which is why I'm bringing it up.

    From what I read, benefits can only be denied if there's willful misconduct. Do you see any way the Employer could spin it to argue that there was?

     

     

     

     

  • 10-14-2011 7:39 PM In reply to

    Re: Employer Appealing Unemployment Benefits Claim - Please ...

    NFritz83:

    From what I read, benefits can only be denied if there's willful misconduct. Do you see any way the Employer could spin it to argue that there was?

    Doubtful.

    For one thing, the burden of proving (not just saying) misconduct is on the employer.

    The following article quotes the appeals case that established the required elements for misconduct in PA:

    http://employmentlaw101.blogspot.com/2010/03/pennsylvania-unemployment-hearings-what.html

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 10-15-2011 7:39 PM In reply to

    • NFritz83
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 10-14-2011
    • PA
    • Posts 12

    Re: Employer Appealing Unemployment Benefits Claim - Please ...

    Thanks for a link, very helpful!

    I'm wondering if it's worth getting a laywer involved, even if we have to pay for one, just to ensure it goes well.

  • 10-15-2011 8:02 PM In reply to

    Re: Employer Appealing Unemployment Benefits Claim - Please ...

    NFritz83:

    I'm wondering if it's worth getting a laywer involved, even if we have to pay for one, just to ensure it goes well.

    Well, there's no harm in trying to get a free consultation with a lawyer who specializes in unemployment appeals.

    But you'll probably find the cost prohibitive. And having a lawyer doesn't guarantee anything one way or the other.

    And since there are additional appeal levels, I don't think it would do much harm to go through the first level without a lawyer, but that's up to your fiance to decide.

    But check out this website. Looks like there might be free legal help available:

    http://www.philaup.org/jobs/unem_appeal.html

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 10-15-2011 8:30 PM In reply to

    • NFritz83
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 10-14-2011
    • PA
    • Posts 12

    Re: Employer Appealing Unemployment Benefits Claim - Please ...

    Yeah, we actually found that site yesterday but their office was closed for the weekend so we'll try back on Monday, thank you though! It seems like there are some law offices that do free consultations around here too so I'm sure she'll try those as well. Thanks again for your help and advice.

  • 10-17-2011 4:55 PM In reply to

    Re: Employer Appealing Unemployment Benefits Claim - Please ...

    I doubt your fiance has anything to worry about.  Seems like the employer really wanted to hire someone who could take on the Office Manager role down the road; that turned out not to be your fiance so it's understandable why they let her go, albeit unfortunate.

    I really can't imagine her ex-employer being able to prove she could work at a higher level and purposefully failed to do so.  The employer needs to be able to demonstrate that she engaged in willful misconduct; I just don't remotely see that happening.

  • 10-17-2011 5:26 PM In reply to

    • NFritz83
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 10-14-2011
    • PA
    • Posts 12

    Re: Employer Appealing Unemployment Benefits Claim - Please ...

    Yeah, absolutely. As someone coming from a strong business background, I completely understand why they did it, but they went about it in an undesirable way, as is the case sometimes.

    Not sure if it's also worth mentioning that it's a very small company - only two people in the office and a few blue collar workers to do the dirty work (they clean medical equipment). I wasn't sure if different laws apply for smaller companies, but I didn't find anything in my own research.

  • 10-17-2011 8:05 PM In reply to

    Re: Employer Appealing Unemployment Benefits Claim - Please ...

    NFritz83:
    I wasn't sure if different laws apply for smaller companies.

    Not when it comes to unemployment compensation.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 10-18-2011 5:29 PM In reply to

    Re: Employer Appealing Unemployment Benefits Claim - Please ...

    Small companies don't have different laws however they're often exempt from a variety of employment laws due to their small size.  When it comes to unemployment, size makes no difference whatsoever.

Page 1 of 1 (11 items) | RSS

My Community

Community Membership New Users: Search Community