Your 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 unemployment lawyer 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. Employers regularly appeal unemployment decisions. Although you have paid into the company’s unemployment fund from your paycheck, this does not entitle you to unemployment benefits. Also, if you are awarded Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation (UC) 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. Therefore, the process is inherently adversarial.
Your first step to prepare for a UC hearing is to address the issues listed on the hearing notice. The UC referee may first rule on the timeliness of the appeal before considering any other issue. Failure to take notice of this may jeopardize your opportunity to appeal before you had a chance to have your appeal decided on its merits. Additionally, Referees are not bound by the issues on the notice – you therefore need to be prepared for anything at the hearing.
The next step is very important. You must isolate the very small set of facts that has legal significance. While not always the case, hearings often depend on a very limited number of factors. A trained unemployment lawyer will vitally tell you what is important to focus on and what is not. Many claimants have ruined their case by focusing on irrelevant matters, even though they thought they were important.
It is important to remember that the hearing is a legal proceeding. This means that the rules of evidence apply. You should make a list of testimony, documents, employer’s evidence, and other evidence to submit on your behalf. If you need documents or a witness at the hearing, you will need to complete a subpoena.
In addition to bolstering your evidence, we ensure that the employer cannot exclude it or provide counter-evidence. We also object to inadmissible evidence. Frequently, unrepresented employers are left dumbfounded that all of their evidence has been barred in the first minutes of the hearing. However, if your employer submits similar evidence and you fail to make a timely and proper objection, the evidence will be allowed even though an unemployment lawyer could have stopped it.
So far, this discussion has laid out the requirements for a strong unemployment appeal. However, this next part may be just as important. Without an attorney, you must present a speech to the people at the hearing. While giving this speech, you must ensure you hit all the legally significant points, speak narrowly to only important matters, enter all the evidence you have compiled, and rebut the employer’s case. If are speaking second, after your employer presents their case, you must alter your case on the fly.
With an unemployment lawyer, this daunting performance is considerably easier. You do not need to make an overwhelming speech. We provide our clients with ample time to review the questions we intend to ask them during the presentation of our case. We do the work of identifying the legally relevant portions of your case and we focus on them. We make sure you do not digress from the message and inadvertently undermine your case. These questions are crafted with years of experience handling unemployment appeals. Interspersed with this “on-point” message is properly introduced evidence that will bolster your position at the unemployment hearing. At this point we have delivered a powerful and, more importantly, legally significant unemployment case.
It is important to understand that a vast number of variables can arise during the hearing. For example, cross examination tends to be acrimonious. To properly attack the credibility of the employer’s testimony, it requires a strong and quick knowledge of legal principles. After your testimony, the employee or their attorney will be able to cross examine you. As your representative, we can protect you by making objections before any improper statements create irreparable damage.
In conclusion, we hope that you understand that these hearings are very complex. If you wish to properly present your case you need a representative that specializes in the intricacies of unemployment hearings and appeals. Please call the unemployment appeals division of Kraemer, Manes & Associates LLC today at (412) 265-1090 for a free evaluation of your unemployment appeal.