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Thread: GA Unemployment appeal help!

  1. #1
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    Exclamation GA Unemployment appeal help!

    I was recently disallowed my unemployment claim, and need to file an appeal.
    The decision states that I was discharge for "poor job performance", "failure to discharge the duties for which employed".
    I'd like some pointers on how to write the appeal so that I can be paid on my claim.
    Let me state for the record:
    For the year that I was employed by this Fortune 100 company, I did not have a supervisor in my department for approximately 6 months.
    The business had doubled in volume during that year. The accounts given to me were more extensive (all at least twice as much work) than any other accounts, and yet I had the same quantity of accounts as other employees in my same department, and at least 3 different re-alignments of my accounts within that time.
    My job was in direct relation to the performance of other employees, which was, in my opinion, extremely poor.
    I worked harder, and more hours than any other employee in my department.
    It is also my opinion that the management of the company was ineffective, thus causing the difficulties that affected my ability to properly perform my duties.
    Before I moved to this state, I was the operations manager of a very successful business, due to my superior abilities in customer service and office management.
    I feel that this is just another case of David and "corporate" Goliath - -, and would like some tips on how to win this appeal...
    Any questions or comments are welcomed...

  2. #2
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    At this point, you would best advised not to put too much in your "appeal." More appropriately your appeal of the determination issued by the DOL is a request for a hearing before an Administrative Hearing Officer. Moreover, your request should be very concise such as "I disagree with the determination and hereby request a hearing."

    The reason is that any and all information must be forwarded to the employer who is an interested party in your unemployment claim. It is best practice not to give them your entire argument prior to the hearing, otherwise they can more adequately prepare an argument themselves.

    Also, be advised that because you were discharged the burden of proof lies with the employer to demonstrate willful and deliberate misconduct. Do not worry about the determination. The decision of the Administrative Hearing Officer will be based solely on the evidence and testimony presented to him/her at the hearing with little if any weight given to the prior determination from which you will have appealed.

  3. #3
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    I sincerely thank you for your information.
    I have drafted my initial letter and will await further details, at which point I will re-post for additional assistance. However, given your comments, I feel that there should be no problem winning the appeal as there was no misconduct noted in my employers original argument.

  4. #4
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    Be sure to read the packet of information that will be forthcoming following your request. It will/should contain a statement from your employer regarding the reason for your termination. It will give you a more clear understanding of their argument, thus how to respond.

    Be sure to re-post and we can offer advice/counsel/opinion.

  5. #5
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    OK, now I have rcvd additional info.
    First was a Notice of Overpayment and waiver request, for which I do not qualify. The restitution payment is due within 30 days.
    Next I rcvd the Acknowledgement of appeal. "All appeals to the BOR are decided upon the testimony and documents already presented to the AHO. ...will not take additional evidence. ...Either party may file a written statement in support of the party's position for consideration by the board. ...shold clearly outline your position on the supporting facts. ...all written arguements should be submitted to the BOR within 10 days of notice date."
    So, am I going to get a letter with their arguement before I have to submit my own statement? Or, do I need to just send the BOR a letter explaining that the company never proved that I committed willful misconduct during their prior testimony. And since that was the case, anyway, why would have the BOR have ruled in their favor at all?
    And, will I have to send the restitution payment and then hope that the case is overturned and I get a refund on the monies wrongly sequestered from me?

  6. #6
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    Unfortunately, your original post was very unclear and it now appears as if you have already had a hearing before an Administrative Hearing Officer. Is this correct?

  7. #7
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    I apologize, yes, there was a hearing.
    In that phone hearing, the employer never proved that I willfully or deliberately committed misconduct, only that, in their opinion, I provided poor job performance. As noted in my original post (and during the hearing), there were extenuating circumstances that caused poor performance of the company in general. I was only one in seven departments which were responsible for the ultimate conclusion of a job, and once it finally passed my department, it usually rebounded back due to poor performance of the sub-contractors, and often more than once.
    Poor job performance should not be considered grounds for disqualification from unemployment benefits.
    Should this lack of proof of misconduct be the essence of my final statement?
    I appreciate your opinion and your help.

  8. #8
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    Can you provide more specific language from the Administrative Hearing Officer's decision. In other words, why exactly he/she ruled that there was misconduct.

  9. #9
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    Summarized
    Findings of fact: ... The claimant was discharged for poor job performance. The claimant rcvd diciplinary warnings in Aug 2005, Sept 2005 and March 2006. Claimant was warned that her job was in jeopardy with the issuance of each warning. Claimant rcvd OTJ training when she was hired.
    Employers business experienced growth during claimants employment. Cliaimant was offered assistance with various aspects of job when requested. Claimant was responsible for ordering products and following up on phone calls. Claimant was capable of performing the duties for which hired.
    Employer expected claimant to exhibit a sense of urgency when dealing with the various functions of job. Expected to respond in a timely manner to calls from the builders of various properties. Claimant was to complete all work order details within 24 hrs of need for work order.
    ... Claimant could not move forward with some duties until other employees had completed their assignments.

    Resons for decision:
    OCGA Section 34-8-194 (2) (A) provides disqualification if it is shown that an employee has been discharged ... for failure to obey orders, rules, or instructions, or for failure to discharge the duties for which employed. Places burden of proof on the employer to show by a preponderance of evidence that the employee was at fault by a deliberate, willing, and knowing action...
    The claimant's job duties did not change but she was unable to remain in control with the change in builders. The claimant had difficulty adjusting to the demands of the various builders. Claimant did not improve after being warned. Claimants actions placed her at fault for her discharge and disqualification is required.

    As I noted previously, the employer did not state any willing, deliberate or knowing action against the company, only poor job performance, which was reliant upon other employees completing their jobs correctly and in a timely fashion.
    So, my assessment is that I should submit my statement simply stating that the employer did not specify that I deliberately, willfully or knowingly acted against the company and that I provided service to the utmost of my ability, including overtime.
    Any other information you can provide would be most helpful...
    Thanks!

  10. #10
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    I agree with your assessment. It is difficult to offer a more informed opinion without having participated in the hearing and without access to the entire decision, but it appears somewhat non-sensical. On the one hand, the Hearing Officer cites your need to rely on others to complete your tasks, yet still makes a finding that you knowingly failed to perform your tasks in a timely and satisfactory fashion.

    I would focus on the fact that you worked to the best of your ability and there is no evidence of any willful failure to refuse any tasks/assignments. Also, I would reference wherein others failure to perform their respective tasks had an adverse effect on your ability to do your job. If you are able to offer specific examples that will help illustrate your argument to the Board of Review.

  11. #11
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    OK, this is what I sent and I hope it is effective...

    <<<
    Reason for decision: OCGA Section 34-8-194 (2) (A) provides for a disqualification if it is shown that an employee has been discharged from work with his most recent employer for failure to obey orders, rules, or instructions, or for failure to discharge the duties for which employed. That section of the Law places the burden of proof on the employer to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the employee was at fault by a deliberate, willing and knowing action on his part.
    Let me re-state for the record (as I testified in my hearing):
    For the year that I was employed by the company, I did not have a supervisor in my department for approximately six months, and for those six months that there was a supervisor, there were two different supervisors.
    For the reason stated above (combined with other reasons not included within my testimony), it is my opinion that the management of the company was ineffective, thus causing the difficulties that affected my ability to properly perform my duties.
    The company’s business had significantly increased in volume during that year. The accounts given to me were more extensive (all at least twice as much work) than any other accounts, and yet I had approximately the same quantity of accounts as other employees in my same department, and at least 3 different re-alignments of my accounts within that time.
    I worked harder, more efficiently, and more hours than any other employee in my department and accepted all difficult assignments offered to me.
    There were approximately seven departments involved in completing a job, start to finish. My job was in direct relation to the performance of other departments, which was, in my opinion, extremely poor. I would reference wherein others failure to perform their respective tasks had an adverse effect on my ability to do my job and created a perceived ineptitude that ultimately was directed at me, regardless of the real issues and departments involved. On the one hand, the Hearing Officer cites my need to rely on others to complete my tasks, yet still makes a finding that I knowingly failed to perform my tasks in a timely and satisfactory fashion.

    In addition, the company is using an off site representative, who is not intimately knowledgeable with the facility and personnel in question, and therefore, is reliant upon second-hand information which is easily manipulated to the benefit of the company.

    I worked to the best of my ability and there is no evidence of any willful failure to complete my job to the best of my ability or to refuse any tasks/assignments.

    In light of the statements given above, I request that the board rescind its disqualification from unemployment benefits.

    I humbly await your decision with anticipation of my re-instatement of unemployment benefits,
    >>>

    And signed, and faxed, followed by certified postal delivery.

    And, I hope that is the end of it...
    I will post with the ultimate decision. Crossed fingers!!

    I really appreciate your help and will tell any of my friends needing such assistance about your wonderful forum!

  12. #12
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    Good luck and keep us informed. Please be advised these matters usual take some time.

  13. #13
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    Default It's nice to win!

    RJC,
    Just a quick note to tell you that I won the appeal and do not have to re-pay the benefits. One thing that stood out in the decision was that the employers claim was based on heresay. It appears that my statement:
    "In addition, the company is using an off site representative, who is not intimately knowledgeable with the facility and personnel in question, and therefore, is reliant upon second-hand information which is easily manipulated to the benefit of the company." was successful in producing the desired outcome.
    I really appreciate all of your advice! I don't look forward to having a similar problem, but in the unlikely event that one arises, I will certainly look to this forum!
    All the best!

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the good news and happy to be of any assistance. Good luck to you in the future.

  15. #15

    Default Appeal #2

    Claimant,

    I am facing the same appeal. It goes before the Board of Review. My appeal rights expired today. I thought it was the 6th instead of the 1st. I faxed my appeal to them today. I hope they accept it. Will I recieve another appeals packe? Will I be able to decide on an in person or telephone hearing like before?
    If you can help me with this let me know. I will send you my last determination.

    I'm glad you won.

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