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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 110443
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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I need to reply to a hearing by 7/5/16. I was accused of

Customer Question

I need to reply to a hearing by 7/5/16. I was accused of sleeping on the job last year. I was on my lunch break when I was resting, sick, and history of migraines. Arizona unemployment department found in the favor of employer. I need to appeal or pay back $2100
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Phoenix Arizona
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: Termination occurred after I complained about nurses improperly caring fôr inmates. I worked at Perryville State Prison as a Registered Nurse
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Employment Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 3 months ago.


Thank you for the information. Can you please tell me what your legal question is? Also, is this your first appeal level hearing? Are you saying you were on unpaid lunch break when you fell asleep? Did you violate any workplace policies by doing this?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I worked in a state prison. I was told I was observed sleeping on the job. I was not, I was laying my head on the desk. I was sick that day. I was on an unpaid lunch break. I am accused of violating policy of sleeping on the job. I turned in a paper time sheet which nobody in management can locate. This was over a year ago. I won my first case, company appealed and won. I can file an appeal against this case by July 5, 2016. All I'm asking is to keep my unemployment insurance that was provided to me at that time, $2100. This all began when I complained that I did not receive enough training for my position as a Chronic Care Nurse, and questioned the care inmates were receiving as it was sub par. The ACLU came in and went through confidential records and my charge nurse didn't question anything regarding HIPAA access. Next thing I know is that I was fired. I was told in the beginning my job was in jeopardy for getting injured at home and going to the hospital. I missed one day and came to work walking with a torn ligament. There was no way I could have called in sick. I need to know if there is any way to win an appeal due to this information.
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 3 months ago.

Thank you for your reply. The reality of your situation is that you need a local employment law attorney to assist you at this next level of your appeal stage, as it has to hinge on mistakes of law made by the initial hearing officer at the first appeal. That is not something some via this forum can do without access to your appeal record. However, on the chance that another Expert has had a case very similar to this in NY, I will go ahead a opt out and someone will let you know if they think they can be of assistance without all of the facts and your file.

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 3 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
I am a DIFFERENT CONTRIBUTOR as your previous contributor had to leave.
If you were on unpaid break, the employer cannot dictate your actions during that time, as an unpaid break means that you are not expected to perform any duties of your job. If they expected you to perform your duties, then you had to be paid or else it would be a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
You must use a local unemployment law attorney to appeal the unemployment benefit case to the court, they do not charge up front generally and will only take a small percentage of what they win for you in the case.
Also, you need to then explore your suit against the employer for wrongful termination, since you putting your head down when not being paid by the employer is not good cause to terminate your employment.
The FLSA says that an employee has to be PAID for all time they are doing work of the employer and if they are on an unpaid break they are not expected to do any work of the employer at all.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thank you for your response. I'm at work right now and won't be off until 8:00pm. My former charge nurse stated she witnessed me sleeping. I would like to speak with you as I need to reply to the State of Arizona by July 5, 2016. I can fax you the findings by the hearing judge should you be able and willing to assist in my case. Please let me know. Thank you. Respectfully ***** ***** Tiffany, BSN, RN I will pay as soon as I get home. Thank you.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

Thank you for your reply.

You really should be using a local attorney, being a good and intelligent nurse or doctor does not translate to being able to represent yourself any more than being a good attorney translates into me treating myself for my medical conditions.

I cannot by state law represent you or anyone else I am afraid as state laws forbid it. We can point you to the right direction and inform you based on the facts you present to us and the laws and then you need to use that information locally to get assistance and in this type of case, if you have to appeal to court, you are at your last step and need to use the local attorney as soon as you get your reply filed to stop the statute of limitations by filing July 5.

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

If you want to talk on the phone, I do not take calls in the evenings, so it would have to be a morning or early afternoon time call. If not we can just deal back and forth here.

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