I was on maternity leave and due back to full time work. 2 days before my return, my sister who was my child care provider was injured and could not physically care for my child. Panicked, I emailed my HR person and explained the situation and that due to unforeseen circumstances that I could not return because I had no child care. I never heard back. I did not know I could request a leave of absence. I filed unemployment 3 weeks later when my sister got better. So when I was denied unemployment I appealed. During the hearing yesterday they asked my HR if I had asked for a leave would have it been granted and they answered they did not know. Do I have a chance if winning? I have been actively seeking work. I explained I did not know I could have asked for a leave other wise I would have
Unfortunately, no one on this forum can tell you that you will definitely get benefits. However, based on the information you have posted, it is certainly possible that the DUA may award you benefits. Whether or not you had leave remaining is a different question than whether or not you are entitled to unemployment benefits.
The hearing is the best opportunity you have to present your argument to the DUA, however if you are denied benefits at this point, you do have further right to appeal, which would be explained in your determination notice. If you receive an unfavorable decision, you may want to contact an attorney to review your case and possible assist you with a second level appeal.
At this point, I wouldn't read too much into any particular question or questions that the hearing officer asked. The hearing officer was just gathering information. When you receive the decision, you will be notified of the reasoning behind it.
For now, you will just need to wait for your determination. If you do not have it within a few weeks of your hearing, you may want to call to check on the status of the decision. The DUA handles a heavy case load, which can cause significant back ups, but dropping a line to check on the status would not hurt.
I agree in large part with Attorney Slack and would add that at such time as you receive the decision from DUA it would be in your best interest to try to obtain at least 2 or 3 “no charge” “no obligation” consults with MA employment law attorneys. Those of us who practice employment law and whom answer questions posted here on AVVO are an excellent place for you to start your search for local counsel. Good luck and best regards, Rob Fortgang - Employment Law Attorneys serving Massachusetts & Connecticut / 800-932-6457 / 413-658-8500 / 774-329-3412 firstname.lastname@example.org