Do I need a lawyer for NJ unemployment appeal tribunal hearing prompted by previous employer?

Asked almost 3 years ago - Woodstown, NJ

I think I may need a lawyer for my unemployment appeal against me by a previous employer.

I was let go via text Message on 7/7/2011. My employer sent me the text message telling me it was time to ""part ways"" and thanking me for all my hard work. The New Jersey DOL was told that I had “quit,” and I won my first appeal since I sent the text messages to the claims examiner.
I started receiving unemployment benefits in late Sept. 2011. Almost 3 months later an appeal was filed by the employer with the DOL and they are claiming the following- Gross severe misconduct, and gross misconduct in addition to his initial statement (which prompted the claims examiner interview in September) that I left without good cause attributable to the work (voluntarily leaving).

I received Notice of Hearing in today’s mail with a telephone hearing scheduled for 1/17/2012. Do I need an attorney? I think I do.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. David Perry Davis

    Contributor Level 17


    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . It sounds like you may need a lawyer for your NJ unemployment appeal tribunal hearing.

    This isn't really an ""appeals"" question in that most of the questions here relate to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court.

    It does sound like you would be well advised to have counsel for this hearing. It sounds like the former employer is acting in bad faith. I'm reposting your question to an attorneys' list I'm on and will follow up with a contact / referral by posting a comment when I get a response. At least get yourself a consult - if you can prove the bad faith you're alleging, you may be entitled to have the other side pay your attorneys' fees (not sure about fee shifting in this situation, but you're alleging some heavy duty bad faith here).

    As an aside - I don't understand why employers fight these so hard. As an employer, I know that you get ""billed"" for only a few dollars, a minor percentage of what's paid out. I had a couple former employees file for UI benefits where I potentially could have fought it - only did so once (when someone no-showed with no notice because she decided she didn't like the commute anymore; left me high and dry until I could find and train a replacement). Absent something outrageous like that, I don't know why employers fight these...
    IF YOU LIKE THIS ANSWER AND APPRECIATE THE TIME IT TOOK TO WRITE IT, PLEASE SELECT IT AS ""BEST ANSWER."" Thanks. The above is said without seeing your case file and without my understanding the entirety of the facts of your case. Depending on those facts, the above information be may incomplete or may be completely inaccurate. The above is intended as general information only based on what you described and not as legal advice. I advise you to consult with counsel who may be able to provide better information commensurate with a better understanding of your situation.

  2. Ty Hyderally


    Contributor Level 11


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I don't think it would hurt to have counsel to demonstrate that the allegation of misconduct is simply put forth because the job abandonment claim failed.

    Until you come in for a consultation, please be advised that you are not considered a client of the firm and no... more
  3. Benjamin G Kelsen

    Contributor Level 17

    Answered . You may want to hire an attorney for this matter of leaving without good cause and getting unemployment benefits, as it is getting into some issues of who did what and when. In addition, it may be something that ends up needing to be appealed in the Courts rather than the administrative track it is currently on...

    Law Offices of Benjamin G. Kelsen, Esq. LLC 179 Cedar Lane Teaneck, NJ 07666 Phone: 201-692-0073/ Fax: 201-692-... more

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