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Questions about Unemployment Benefits Laws

Unemployment benefits may be claimed by a person who has lost his or her job through no fault of his or her own, or has quit his or her job citing a “good cause” for doing so.

Here are some unemployment benefits questions with answers provided by legal experts.

What should one do when he is unemployed but receives an “overpayment notice” but there are no funds to repay?

In such a case, it would be best retain a local attorney to draft a reply stating good reasons for difficulties in repaying. Also, a repayment plan should be crafted, which may make the authorities considerate and extend the deadline for repayment.

How may an unemployment benefits claimant who is falsely accused by an employer respond to the Department of Labor?

The claimant should hire an attorney who will be able to help in court ordering any witnesses and the employment file. A defamation lawsuit against the employer should also be considered.

In California, can “gross misconduct” lead to denying an employee unemployment benefits? What constitutes gross misconduct?

There is no set definition for "gross misconduct". In California gross misconduct generally means a willful act that either caused or could have caused the employer to suffer significant injury or harm. Examples of gross misconduct might be getting intoxicated at work, selling drugs at the workplace, stealing employer property or money, assaulting a co-worker or accidentally causing a building to burn down.

The EDD Unemployment Review Board would be the ones to determine whether the employee is guilty of gross misconduct. In California, an employee can be denied unemployment benefits only on the grounds of gross misconduct.

In Texas, can a teacher collect unemployment benefits if non-renewed?

A teacher may file for unemployment if the district chooses to not renew her contract. However, the district may deny the unemployment claim, in which case the teacher can file an appeal.

How long is an unemployment claim valid for? What happens if an employee gets a job within this period?

Assuming the employee meets all the other eligibility criteria, an unemployment claim is valid for one year, out of which an employee will be able to collect unemployment for 39 weeks. But if an employee gets a job during this period and loses it within a year of filing a claim, he can still get paid for the balance of the weeks he remained unemployed. However, it must be noted a fresh 39 weeks will not be granted for every job the employee takes/loses within the year of the first claim. Also, it is mandatory to declare any income gained from a job undertaken within this period as an independent contractor.

Following a misinterpretation of information provided by an employer in Iowa to the Appeals Board, the employee is denied unemployment benefits. What should the employee then do?

Once the first appeal hearing is conducted by the Appeals Board, a second appeal is generally decided on the basis of whether the first hearing officer correctly ruled on the record of evidence produced at the hearing. No new evidence is generally allowed except in extraordinary circumstances, where it could not have been discovered despite reasonable diligence prior to the first hearing.

The employee would need to explain to the Appeals Board the first hearings officer misinterpreted the events in the record, and the events had nothing to do with the termination event itself. The employee would show how the relevant evidence in time, place, and occurrence does not show there was any misconduct leading to termination. With this, it may be possible that the Appeals Board would rule in favor of the employee. It is also advisable for the employee to request a copy of the recording or transcript of the appeals hearing.

Can an person collecting unemployment benefits turn down an offer of a temporary job? Can he still apply for an extension after the completion of the term of the temporary job?

No job offer can be turned down by a person collecting unemployment benefits, whatever the type or term of job. Moreover, once the job offer is refused, the extension will not be allowed. If the employee takes up the temporary job, he may be able to submit a new application (not an extension) to collect unemployment benefits once the term of the job ends.

Can a person convicted of a felony apply for unemployment benefits?

Any person, provided he or she qualifies, can apply for and receive unemployment benefits even if he or she has been convicted of a felony in the past.

Can one receive severance pay and also claim unemployment benefits at the same time?

If the employer is paying the severance pay as though the employee were still working and at the regular pay date intervals, it would be considered “severance pay in lieu of wages”. As a result, unemployment benefits would not begin till after one week of the severance pay ending.

Going through a period of unemployment, especially for no fault of the employee, can be stressful in more ways than one. People in such a situation may also be unsure as to how to claim unemployment benefits, which is where the knowledge of a legal expert can be helpful.

Ask an Employment Lawyer

Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 8063
Experience:  JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
4460311
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
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5 Employment Lawyers are Online Now

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Recent Unemployment Benefits Questions

  • I am a retired Cleve. cop working at a factory (Lincoln Electric).

    I am a retired Cleve. cop working at a factory (Lincoln Electric). a year and a half ago I reported a co worker for talking about shooting fellow workers and sneaking guns past security. He is a Nra member and owns lots of weapons. After a few interviews he was given a verbal warning never knowing who complained. He just now got in trouble for changing hjs picture on the companys website. He put a silly cop puppet in place of his picture. This has nothing to do with me but, our supervisor asked him if when he was in trouble a year and a half ago if he was told not to say or do anything against ex cops? I am the only ex cop working there and now he is telling everyone that i was the person that complained! He is mad as hell and got suspended 5 days for changing hjs picture. I am very worried about him when he comes back. Do i have any action? If I quit could I get unemployment?
  • I own a commission hair salon and one if my employees want

    I own a commission hair salon and one if my employees want to booth rent. I do not offer booth renting so now she plans on leaving my salon and look for a salon that booth rents. She is also requesting her client lust which we build for her. She started 2 years ago with no client and now she has about 75 client that she sees on a regular basis. Am I obligated to give her a list and do I have to keep her employed until she finds a new place? If I fire her for wanting to move on what are my right?
  • This has two parts. I work for a trucking company in Arizona

    This has two parts.
    I work for a trucking company in Arizona for the past 20 years with a great record.
    For the the past 7 years I have had lower back problems which I have a 50/50 chance of having it fixed with surgery.
    3 Years ago I went from driving a truck to being an instructor. I teach students how get their commercial drivers license. From the training facility at the same company I work for.
    My job consist of teaching them the pretrip,backing skills and some driving.
    In the past 2 months, the director of the program has told me that I need to get my back fixed or I would loose my job. I told him what the doctor told me that it was a 50/50 chance that it would fix it and that I have fallen on hard times money wise. Because my fiance has had cancer last year and has a bipolar episode for 4 months this year. And has been in and out of the hospital. With her not working it ate up our savings.
    Part 2 is now I am told to get rid of my fiance by both the director of the training program and the director of H.R..Because she is a hindrance to me. Both of whom have not met my fiance.
    I have with this woman for 3 years and engaged to her for 2 years.
    The director of H.R. told me that my fiance's bipolar would only get worse with age and that I should get rid of her now so I can get my back fixed.
    I was also told I can't get rid of my insurance until my back is fixed. I can't afford what I have now.
    So how can people I work for tell me how to live?
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