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Three months ago I was at a job and was told my job was

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Hi Pearl - three...

Hi Pearl - three months ago I was at a job and was told my job was ending and the company was ending their relationship with me. So, I filed for unemployment, the employer objected, then based on a phone interview I was awarded unemployment benefits. My former employer appealed that decision and just yesterday I got a notice of a hearing where I have to go explain everything with my former employer in the room. My former employer is not a nice person and speaking from experience this will be an unpleasant experience. I have since then found a new job and will not be claiming any unemployment compensation from this point forward. Her appeal comments regarding my performance are not necessarily performance and are not necessarily true. I'm afraid the hearing is going to be a he-said, she-said and I would rather just move on. Thoughts?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

California, Los Angeles

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

Yes, at will

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I was a relatively highly paid employer, was only there for 2.5 months and once I was in place doing my job I think they felt that because of the realities of what they asked me to do, it was expensive, new to their understanding of the business and were unwilling to change based on what they hired me to do. It's a separate issue, but they were very passive-aggressive, constantly changed their view of my work performance (great one day, bad the next day) it was a really toxic environment. And, on the day I was let go, they couldn't even tell me why when I asked them. Now, in their appeal, they're stating reasons that aren't completely true, may or may not be depending on interpretation.

Submitted: 9 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 10 minutes by:
9/18/2017
Employment Lawyer: Michael Bradley,
 replied 9 months ago
Michael Bradley
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,438
Experience: Owner at The Protection Group LLC
Verified

how many weeks are you claiming for at this point now that you have a new employer?

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Hi Michael - I have been claiming for weeks between the end of that job on June 23rd up until the last time I claimed which was for the week of sept 9th. However now that I am back to work when I get the email notification this Sunday to claim, I will not claim any longer and designate that I am back to full time work. By my count I will have claimed for 11 weeks.
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
unemployment comp has been $450 per week
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
The hearing notice says (verbatim)"The Following Issues Will be Considered at the Hearing:1. Should the employer's reserve account be charged for any benefits paid to the claimant.
2. Did the claimant voluntary leave his or her most recent unemployment without good cause. Was the claimant discharged for misconduct connected with his or her most recent work (See UI sections 1256, 1256.1, 1256.2, 1256.5)"
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
let me know you are still there...
Employment Lawyer: Michael Bradley,
 replied 9 months ago
Your former employer was nice enough to fight your unemployment designation. They are essentially claiming that you were let go for pause. The issue now is whether or not you want to fight for those 11 weeks or let it go since you now have employment. Something like that is really up to you. However, your employer would have to appear in person and go before the referee and explain why you were let go for cause. It is essentially somewhat like a mini trial where you are basically in a small room sitting across from each other with the referee in the middle. It does go on like a trial where you will be able to testify and they can question you. The referee will also question you and so can the employer. At the end the referee will make a recommendation as to whether you should be receiving benefits for those 11 weeks. Since it is a closed. Of time, the 11 weeks, it is normal for the referee to allow benefits since it is only a short period of time. Now of course the employer may not appear as that is their right as well too and the referee will still hold a hearing and ask you questions and then render an opinion.
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Employment Lawyer: Michael Bradley,
 replied 9 months ago
Sorry I was away from my computer for a little while and just step back
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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Can the make me repay the unemployment comp
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
if it was their interpretation I was let go for cause, wouldn't they have had to tell me reasons?
Employment Lawyer: Michael Bradley,
 replied 9 months ago

no they can not make you repay as it was approved at first by the commission

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Employment Lawyer: Michael Bradley,
 replied 9 months ago

yes they would need to put forth their reasons for letting you go or cause

I have been involved in cases where the employer was a no show, the referee still went through with a full hearing and the employee still lost

the referee may not agree that the reasons were valid either

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
The employer is an aggressive mean person and will try to intimidate me in person in the hearing. Do you think there is any way I can state my case/facts by myself in private?!
Employment Lawyer: Michael Bradley,
 replied 9 months ago

you can ask the referee but they are probably going to have you both in the room since both sides are allowed to question the other

if he becomes out of line I would think the referee would see that and act accordingly

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
seeing I don't work there anymore, I have no access to all my work, emails and phone logs that the employer will have. If I just state my case without all the documentation, etc, will I be at a big disadvantage?!I if I "supoena" documentation, it will clearly antagonize, provoke the employer. Thoughts?!
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
if I "lose", what are the ramifications? Essentially that it was found/determined that I was terminated for cause? Are there any fines, penalties, other repercussions?!?
Employment Lawyer: Michael Bradley,
 replied 9 months ago

you can request through the referee to issue subpoenas but there is no guarantee that they will issue them

if they are documents you need then by all means ask the referee for a subpoena

if you lose there is no ramifications you would not receive for the weeks in question and since they granted your initial claim they will not go after those weeks

there are no fines or penalties you do not get those 11 weeks

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
ok, well I have already received the compensation for the weeks, so my question is can they ask me to return / repay the funds back?
Employment Lawyer: Michael Bradley,
 replied 9 months ago

no since they approved them

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Employment Lawyer: Michael Bradley,
 replied 9 months ago

can I assist you further

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
I think I'm all set. I'm just going to go in to the hearing, present the facts and keep it all professional and positive. I highly doubt telling them how unprofessional and passive aggressive they (the company owners who were my bosses) were, is a good use of my time. Their allegations are mistruths and half-truths so I'll just spell it all out for them. I think it just boils down to them not being comfortable with my role and salary level, after they hired me so they started to change the rules, be passive-aggressive with me so I would quit. I held out and they then "ended my job and their relationship with me", then didn't want to fund my unemployment compensation so they told the unemployment folks I was let go for reasons which they never told me in the first place and aren't true. Anyway, I just want to move on and enjoy my new job. Are you sure there's no possible negative potential ramifications that can be judged against me now that I'm no long claiming unemployment?!'
Employment Lawyer: Michael Bradley,
 replied 9 months ago

no negative ramifications at all

the state is thrilled that you found new work

that is why they are more likely to give you benefits for short term period

I would make sure to answer the questions truthful and also short

As I tell my clients if you can answer in 5 words do that instead of using 10

the thing about lies is that it is hard to keep them up and be consistent

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Great thank you Michael. Where are you physically located by the way? Neat that you can provide counsel via the net from anywhere.
Employment Lawyer: Michael Bradley,
 replied 9 months ago
I am in Pennsylvania and also licensed in New Jersey. Unemployment is a federal statute so I can offer you advice. I have over 25 years experience and have done a few unemployment hearings in my day.
Good luck.
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Employment Lawyer: Michael Bradley,
 replied 9 months ago
Please rate my advice period while I do not do this for the ratings, my compensation is tied to the rating system. Thank you. Feel free to ask any other questions that you may have.
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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Will do Michael. You'll get the best possible rating from me as you were responsive, positive and insightful. Thanks again. I'll let you know how it turns out. Best, --Chris.
Employment Lawyer: Michael Bradley,
 replied 9 months ago
Thank you ***** could help.
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