Unemployment Appeals

San Diego Unemployment Appeal Lawyer

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Your loss of a job will probably require that you file for unemployment insurance benefits to help support yourself and your family while you look for new employment. In many cases, however, former employers contest claims or the Employment Development Department (EDD) incorrectly determines that someone is ineligible to receive benefits. This, of course, is likely to cause further worry, confusion, and stress during a very uncertain time. 

Many employees wonder:

  • Was the EDD wrong in determining that I was ineligible for benefits?
  • Can I appeal the EDD’s determination?
  • What if my former employer contests the decision to award me benefits?
  • Can I appeal, and how?
  • Can my employer appeal, and how?
  • Should I hire a lawyer to represent me in an unemployment appeal?
  • How should I prepare for an unemployment appeal hearing?
  • What evidence will I need to present at my appeal hearing?
  • What will happen at the appeal hearing?
  • What if I miss the deadline to file an appeal?
  • What should I do if I cannot attend the hearing?
  • What happens if I win my appeal?
  • What happens if I lose my appeal?
  • What happens if my appeal is denied is that the final decision?

Attorney Evan A. Gould can answer your questions and may be able to help you recover unemployment benefits, even if your claim has been denied. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Understanding Unemployment Insurance Appeals

In order to receive unemployment insurance benefits, you need to establish your eligibility. 

Common reasons why unemployment claims are denied include the former or current employee:

Failing to Meet the Earnings Requirements

To qualify for benefits in California, you must have earned a minimum amount in wages during a 12-month stretch called the “base period.”

Was Terminated for Misconduct

Under California law, you will be denied benefits if you were fired for misconduct. Misconduct is defined quite narrowly, and to be disqualified for misconduct, you must have committed a substantial breach of a material duty you owed to your employer. The misconduct must demonstrate a willful or reckless disregard of your obligations and have a tendency to harm your employer’s interests. 

Generally, the following will not qualify as misconduct, regardless of your employer’s definition:

  • Simple mistakes
  • Carelessness
  • Poor performance

Insubordination, tardiness, ongoing absenteeism, theft, damaging the goodwill of the company, and competing with the company can all be sufficient reasons to deny benefits.

Voluntarily Quitting Without a Compelling Reason

To collect unemployment, you must be out of work through no fault of your own. Therefore, if you voluntarily quit your job, without good cause, you may be denied benefits. Good cause means a compelling work or personal reason that would have caused someone who truly wanted to keep the job to quit. If you quit because your employer fails to pay you, sexually harasses you, or requires you to break the law, such circumstances would tend to support the fact your quitting was not “voluntary.”

Refusing Suitable Work

To receive benefits, you must look for new work and accept a suitable job if you are offered one.

Even if you are initially awarded benefits, the California Employment Development Department (EDD) will give your former employer the chance to oppose your application. Many employees then discover for the first time that they were reportedly terminated for cause. This will usually result in a denial or interruption of your benefits, but you will have the right to appeal. Attorney Evan A. Gould can represent you at your EDD appeal hearing and increase the odds of receiving unemployment compensation.

Being Overpaid

Attorney Evan A. Gould has also represented individuals who have received Notices of Overpayment by the EDD due to allegations of mistake or fraud. In such cases, you may be asked to repay large amounts of money you may not have rightfully received. If you have received one of these notices, contact our office so we help you to resolve any errors that were made or help to negotiate a repayment plan that is workable for you.

Assessing Other Claims

In the course of meeting with our clients, we often discover facts that may support claims against an employer for wrongful termination, discrimination, retaliation, and other wrongful employer conduct. Based on such information, we may be able to assert claims on your behalf against your former employer and help you recover damages.

Contact us for additional information about unemployment claims and appeals.

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