This is most likely your first time in dealing with an unemployment benefits appeal, but it is almost certainly not the first time for your former employer.
Have you received a notification that your employer is appealing your unemployment benefits or do you wish to appeal the Notice of Determination which listed you as ineligible? Pittsburgh Unemployment Lawyers specializes in unemployment appeal hearings and all unemployment litigation.
If you lose your job, you may be eligible for unemployment compensation benefits. Visit the website of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry to find out more and to file an initial claim form. If your claim is denied, you can still appeal the denial, which will schedule an appeal hearing.
Prevailing at an unemployment hearing, an appeal, or on unemployment matters requires specific legal knowledge about how the Referee, the UCBR, and the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Courts make the final determination. In other words, an unemployment lawyer can give you the best chance at prevailing and can ensure that you do not undermine your case by arguing legally irrelevant points.
The primary three disqualification categories are :
1. Discharge for misconduct connected with the work;
2. Voluntary quit for personal reasons; or
3. Refusal of suitable work without good cause.
We have extensive experience in these categories of unemployment litigation and would be happy to offer a free consultation. It is our strong recommendation that you need a skilled unemployment attorney to properly represent you at your unemployment compensation appeal hearing. An experienced unemployment lawyer will give invaluable assistance by preparing the direct examination, cross examination, challenging the employer’s attorney and points of law, developing the hearing strategy, making timely evidentiary objections, opposing damaging evidence, guiding you through contentious questioning, and most importantly, focusing your case on the legally important concepts.
Lawyers who only occasionally practice unemployment law do not have the nuance and experienced ability to best serve your case. We have a highly specialized and experienced team to effectively represent you at the appeal hearing.
Why do employers contest and appeal your unemployment benefits?
Employers regularly appeal unemployment decisions for several reasons. If you are awarded unemployment benefits, your former employer is responsible to pay additional unemployment premiums. An employer may view these costs as an unnecessary additional expense to their business.
Employers also know that a unemployment decision can have a “limited” impact outside of your benefits. In addition to unemployment claims, many employees assert wrongful termination claims to agencies such as the EEOC or PHRC. Most people are surprised to find that these overworked organizations often ask about your unemployment hearing. Unfortunately, an unsuccessful unemployment appeal will have a negative impact on how they view, investigate, and resolve your claim. It is therefore prudent for employers to take unemployment appeals very seriously and to always contest you at the hearing. If you have potential legal claims against your employer, it is important that you prevail at the hearing. Why do employers fight unemployment compensation benefits?
How does the Pennsylvania unemployment appeal process begin?
The process begins when the unemployment compensation (UC) department makes an eligibility determination. Both you and your former employer will be sent a copy of the determination, and both parties have the right to appeal the determination. Pennsylvania unemployment appeals must be filed quickly after the unemployment eligibility determination has been made.
If you or your former employer has appealed the determination, you will have a contested hearing before an Unemployment Compensation Referee. You have the right, and are strongly advised, to have an attorney represent you before the Referee.
An unemployment determination lists the issues on the hearing notice that justifies the decision. However, these issues are sometimes confusing and can be a trap. Referees are not bound by the issues – you therefore need to be prepared for anything at the appeal hearing.
Our unemployment attorneys have the experience to interpret the notice, identify other potential issues, and prepare you for the hearing. Do you need help understanding the unemployment appeals process?
Why is an unemployment lawyer necessary at an unemployment hearing?
Businesses are aware of documentation and records they must keep for appeals, and they may even employ dedicated unemployment lawyers who are skilled at winning unemployment benefits appeals. Having your own unemployment lawyer will even the odds and provide you with strong defensive and offensive arguments. A skilled unemployment attorney will be able to assess the validity of the claims ruled against you and write a compelling argument for you based on Pennsylvania unemployment compensation law. Knowing how to properly appeal an unemployment decision and win can determine whether you and your family have an income during potentially hard times.
The hearing is adversarial in nature. A skilled attorney will review your circumstances and employ a strategy for the hearing that will enable you to make the best arguments and develop the strongest possible case. Your attorney will supply years of legal knowledge and experience to present evidence on your behalf and exclude unfavorable evidence presented by the employer.
Your attorney will challenge the employer’s factual and legal position and will cross-examine employer witnesses to weaken and discredit their statements under the applicable legal standard. Your attorney will also prepare and ask you questions so that it becomes much easier for you to articulate your case with clear and credible testimony, one simple question and answer at a time. This will spare you from having to make a speech to the referee to explain yourself, which can quickly put a you in predicament. Your attorney will handle the hearing in a way that is carefully designed to secure your right to benefits. Your attorney will also often be permitted to make a closing argument, torpedoing the employer’s evidence, summarizing your legal position, providing context for the evidence presented at the hearing, and reiterating why the Referee should rule in your favor.
Your unemployment benefits are important to you and to your family, especially in an uncertain economy. You owe it to yourself to have a thoughtful and aggressive Pennsylvania unemployment attorney present to fight for your rights and to assist you in preparing the best possible case to secure the benefits you may desperately need in the coming months. Please call the unemployment appeals division of Ruppert Manes Narahari LLC today at (412) 626-5626 for a free evaluation of your unemployment appeal. What if you didn’t have a lawyer at your unemployment compensation hearing?