What to expect when appealing denial of unemployment compensation benefits.
How the process starts.
When you get the letter denying your benefits you will need to notify the DOL that you intend to appeal the decision. You may also receive notice your employer has appealed. You will need to call the DOL and let them know a number they can call you at during the hearing. You will get a copy of all the documentation used to make the decision. During your appeal, you should continue to file weekly claims as long as you remain unemployed.
How is the hearing set up?
Your hearing will be over the telephone. An administrative law judge in Topeka will hear the case. The judge will first ask the employer to present their witnesses. You and the judge will have an opportunity to question the employer's witnesses. You will need to stay calm and polite. Focus on your good work history and good reviews. If there are inconsistencies in what the employer is suggesting point those out. You will then have an opportunity to present your testimony. If you have an attorney, they will examine your employer's witnesses and then ask you the necessary questions. At the end each side will have an opportunity to give a closing argument.
What will the judge consider.
The judge will likely be considering whether you did engage in insubordination. That would be failing to do what your employer says. The employer may also claim that you engaged in gross misconduct like stealing. Either gross misconduct or insubordination will likely bar you from receiving unemployment benefits. However, there are many special exceptions that the Kansas Legislature has created. Take a look at the other legal guide I created concerning unemployment benefits. If your situation falls under one of the exceptions I noted, you may want to hire an attorney to help prove your case.