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Unemployment Hearing in Pennsylvania

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  • Unemployment Hearing in Pennsylvania

    First, thanks for any information you can give me!

    I worked for a company in Omaha, NE for 9 months before my family relocated to PA for my husband's education. The company and I came to agreement that I could work from home for them. Everything was going well and I never heard any negative feedback.

    Suddenly in Jan 09, they had be tracking my hours and reporting daily on what my tasks were. I complied without complaint and started sending daily emails.

    In March, my boss called and said they had decided to "move the position back to Omaha" and that I had a month to look for a new job before I was no longer employed by them.

    I looked for a job, but didn't find anything so I filed for unemployment as soon as I could in April.

    My employer appealed my application saying that they had offered me to keep my job if I had only moved back to Omaha. They said I refused so they considered that a voluntary quit. That was a total lie. They never offered such a thing.

    I sent in all my paperwork and the appeal was found in my favor.

    Now my former employer has appealed again to the hearing level. They are saying that my employment from home was on a "trial basis" and that it just happened to not work out. I worked from home for them 3 months shy of 3 years. Is that considered a "trial basis"?

    Also, my husband being a grad student, we're low income. We're on food stamps, WIC, medical assistance, etc. However, with my unemployment income, it puts us *just* over the income to qualify for Legal Aid.

    Here are my questions:

    Do I really need legal representation at the hearing?
    Since I won the first appeal, is it more likely that I'll win this one?
    Is there any consequence for my former employer lying at the hearing?
    What can I do to best prepare myself?

    Thanks so much!

  • #2
    1. No, not really.
    2. More likely than not. In order for the state to reverse the original determination, the company would have to show that the state disregarded the law in the first decision.
    3. Well, before testimony is given, all parties have take an oath "under perjury" and all that legal stuff. But practically speaking, the worst thing that will happen is that the employer will lose.
    4. Stay calm. Prepare a list of questions you think might be asked by the hearing officer and write down how you think you will answer. Address only the question asked; don't volunteer additional information on your own. Focus ONLY on the reason for the termination itself; don't get into information irrelevant to that.

    I think you have a pretty good shot. Even if it WAS a trial basis, so what? Good luck.
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