Winning Unemployment Benefits In Pennsylvania
What are some common reasons people seek unemployment benefits?The top reasons that people seek unemployment benefits are:
You were laid off due to lack of work.
You were fired without good cause.
You quit your job with good cause such as unhealthy or dangerous working conditions.
You had to leave your job because of domestic violence.
You needed to quit your job because of a very important personal reason.
You were fired through no fault of your own.
You were discriminated against.
You were fired for a seemingly minor or absurd reason.
You felt pressured to leave and couldn't continue working.
Has your employer or notice of determination referred to your termination as "willful misconduct?"Unemployment lawyers will tell you that can collect unemployment benefits after your employment has been terminated unless you were fired for willful misconduct. Willful misconduct includes serious offenses such as
Drug or alcohol use
Other major infractions
However, a lot of employers try to categorize relatively small incidents as "willful misconduct" in order to deny you unemployment compensation benefits. You need to be ready to fight this strategy. Under the "willful misconduct" standard, even an under-performing and accident-prone employee is still be entitled to benefits, since his inability to perform the job does not fall under willful misconduct. Pennsylvania unemployment law includes volumes of case law interpreting exactly what willful misconduct is and isn't.
Has your employer or notice of determination referred to your termination as "voluntary quit?"KM&A hears daily from clients with questions about "voluntary quits" and eligibility for benefits. Generally, you must prove that you acted with ordinary common sense in quitting and made a reasonable effort to preserve your job. Once the employee has informed the employer of the problem, the burden shifts to the employer to offer a suitable accommodation. For example, if you had a good reason, like a medical condition, and informed your employer of the need for an accommodation, you may have a strong case. If an employee resigns to avoid certain discharge, eligibility for benefits will be determined under the willful misconduct provisions of the law rather than under the voluntary quit provisions. Since there is often not a bright line rule, you need to discuss the specifics of your case with an experienced unemployment attorney.
What is the risk of losing your unemployment appeal hearing?It may help to see the investment in an unemployment attorney using a cost-benefit analysis. The money spent now protects dozens of weeks where you can collect hundreds of dollars per week. Considering all the weeks of unemployment benefits against the cost of an unemployment lawyer, hiring the best legal counsel makes sense. Even if you are only collecting benefits for 10 short weeks, having an unemployment attorney on your side can protect your 10:1 payoff. We believe that no employee should ever fight an employment compensation appeal without an unemployment practitioner. An unemployment appeals lawyer's importance cannot be overstated.
Why do employers fight unemployment compensation benefits?Although the employer doesn't have to pay the unemployment benefits directly to the claimant, successful claims mean that the employer will have to pay a higher premium. Simply put, it makes financial sense for employers to oppose your benefits. Employers know that when employees quit or are terminated for willful misconduct, they are usually ineligible for benefits. They will go to the unemployment compensation appeal hearing and do everything in their power to say that you quit or engaged in willful misconduct. Sometimes, that even includes false allegations and fabricated evidence. Without the right legal arguments and objections, you may lose your appeal and your benefits.