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PA Unemployment Appeal Hearing: Do I Have a Case? Pennsylvania

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  • PA Unemployment Appeal Hearing: Do I Have a Case? Pennsylvania

    I thought I'd throw my case out to you in hopes someone can give me some good advice:

    In October, during my annual review, I was told that due to our firm's numbers and results, my job position was being eliminated (the exact words used were "We don't have the head count for (my position)."). I was told that this was immediate.

    As if that weren't enough, they had stated that in order to continue being legally employed by them, I would have to take on an entry-level position at a drastically reduced pay scale.

    I was essentially going from $40k annually to $11 an hour.

    At the time, being the primary/only income in my house, and the fact that I actually did like a good deal of my coworkers, I decided to pretty much stay on until I could find some way to restore my salary.

    I had of course gone on a few interviews looking for work elsewhere, and eventually did receive an offer after a couple weeks. Upon talking to one of my managers about this offer, also a good friend, he had basically shrugged that "You gotta do what you gotta do, I guess" and regrettably suggested that I put my two weeks notice in to have everything kosher and official. After all, I didn't want to just not show up for work, I wanted to end things on the right note, I had been there for close to 4 years at this point.

    Skip ahead to two days later: the same manager who issued my review returned to work and pulled me into the office. He said that he was made aware of my offer, and had talked to HR, who agreed with his assessment that, I quote, "We're comfortable removing you from the schedule as of now, we're sending you home and you can consider this your last day with us." I had argued that it was unfair of them to suddenly let me go without reason, and that since we were short handed at the time, that I would at least love to stay until my shift was up to leave to not have them even more short handed. After some back and forth, they reluctantly agreed.

    Thankfully, the second job let me start early.

    I was advised to apply for Unemployment Compensation and was collecting while working part time at the second job. I was of course reporting my wages to PA UC along the way.

    Skip ahead to three months later, I receive a letter that the company was appealing my Unemployment benefits, stating that I had "Willingly Quit". My benefits were cut off, and had received notice that I could appeal the decision.

    My hearing has been scheduled. The question is, do I have a legitimate case? My argument is essentially these points:

    1 - My original salaried position had been eliminated, and I was essentially laid off with the option of staying on at an entry level position if I wanted to stay employed.

    2 - The pay for the entry-level position drastically reduced my salary to the point that I wouldn't be able to pay my bills, rent, or you name it. I was also subjected to a more randomized schedule versus a M-F 9-5, affecting my availability as well.

    3 - After trying to do the right thing, I was still "removed from the schedule" and fired early of my two weeks notice for no fault of my own.

    The only argument I can see that the company has against me is the fact that I did technically file my two weeks notice. And UC tends to jump when they hear you "quit" versus getting laid off.

    But do I have enough to win the argument here?

  • #2
    We can't really say - we don't know what the "state" will decide - it's their decision. All you can do is appeal & tell the truth. Good luck.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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    • #3
      But do I have enough to warrant a valid argument? Or is it completely frivolous?

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      • #4
        There's always a chance - always appeal. It doesn't cost anything & if you don't appeal, you don't win for sure.
        Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

        Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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        • #5
          I'd look at it two ways....PA is an at-will employment state, which means you can terminate your employment at any time for any reason, and so can your employer - as long as it doesn't break the law.

          But, if you were 'laid off' through no fault of your own, i believe you are entitled to UC...

          Burden of proof will be on you to prove you were laid off and you didn't quit.

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