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Thread: Need help with Unemployment appeal in Ga. Georgia

  1. #1
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    Default Need help with Unemployment appeal in Ga. Georgia

    I am on my second appeal with GA on my unemployment situation.

    I had my original hearing last week and somehow lost when I believed this to be a pretty easy case for the person hearing the case to decide in my favor.

    Background info:

    I was working for a temporary agency for the past 2 1/2 years on one assignment. The company folded my department and basically the entire division was laid off. I informed the temp agency of my end date in July. My end date was later extended by a few weeks to August and I informed them again and called them pretty regularly, basically bi weekly.

    When I filed for unemployment the agency protested it. In their "finding of fact" stated:

    "The Claimant completed the last assignment, however has failed to maintain contact with the employer for further assignments. The Claimant is considered to have voluntarily quite based on section 34-8-195(c). There has been no contact with the claimant since the end of their assignment."

    They also pointed out a document signed by me at hire that stated:

    "I agree to notify [employer] immediately upon termination of each temporary job assignment. If I fail to give such notice, [employer] may assume that I am not available for employment. In order to be eligible for unemployment compensation benefits, some state regulations require Temporary employees to notify the Temporary Help services firm upon completion of assignment. Unemployment benefits may be denied for a failure to fulfill obligation."

    So when i saw this I figured..oh...thats fine. I bring in my timesheets signed and approved by both my temp agency and assignment to show that my end date was actually August the 15, thus showing that part of their fact finding was wrong. I also bring in my phone records for the time period of 07-22 to 08-22 because that is the time period in question. It shows constant contact with the agency, the length of time of the calls and such.

    So in the hearing, there is the company that handles the unemployment claims for the temp agency and the branch manager. I submit my evidence.

    During the hearing, I am asked is there a certain day or time or interval of time I am supposed to call in. I say no, because there isn't. She then ask the branch manager the same question and she says no. Later she says "we try to tell them to call in weekly but we have no set time frame". They submit their evidence which included another sheet saying:

    "I understand that it is my responsibility to contact my [employer] office upon completion of an assignment and to notify [employer] when I am available for reassignment. I understand further that if [employer] does not receive information concerning my availability to [employer] or if I turn down an assignment, I may be denied further assignments and/or unemployment benefits."

    Also during the hearing, the branch manager confirms that I did indeed call in to notify them of my job assignment ended and that I was available for assignments. It was her contention that she hadn't heard from me since then.

    My phone records were for the month in question and the last call on that record was for 08-18. the final question I asked at the hearing was if there was any written policy anywhere that asked me to call in on a weekly basis and she said no.

    At the end of the hearing, the agency adjusted their original statement to me not having contacted them since 08-18, thus it was a voluntary quit. I maintained that not only had their finding of facts been completely wrong thus showing a flaw in their record keeping, there was no weekly call in policy and they hadn't presented any evidence to show that there was.

    So I am thinking, slam dunk. How could I lose this?

    Well, when I get the decision, its states that I knew there was a weekly call in requirement and I didn't present the evidence to show that I had called in on a weekly basis.

    They said that I didn't provide evidence that I called in as required thus I was still being denied benefits.

    Now I am doing my second appeal and have no idea where to go from here. I don't see how I lost this one. I need to stress, the two statements above are the only evidence they provided. I asked the branch manager does this policy exist and she said no. When their own representative asked her, she said no. I also said no, i had never heard of any weekly call in requirement. While I understand the burden of proof is on me in the case, how am I supposed to prove a policy does not exist when they don't present anything to prove that it does.

    Even more, I thought that nothing else could be discussed outside of what was on the hearing notification. No where in the hearing notification (the employers reason for denial of unemployment basically) is this weekly call in policy mentioned. The notice stated that I was to prove that I followed all the rules of the employer, which to the letter I did. And the branch manager testified i did. How could I have lost due to a unwritten rule because I didn't bring in another month of phone records?

    So am I wrong? Do I need to approach this from another angle? Because at this point I can't afford to lose again. I am still have no job, I have sold everything i own and will be homeless if this doesn't go through. I am not allowed to submit any new evidence and can only argue on the evidence that was already submitted.

    Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Sorry if it was overyly long.

  2. #2
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    I don't know how you lost this one either. Maybe the ALJ who presided over the hearing was on drugs. Sometimes ALJ's make decisions that just fly in the face of logic and UC reg's; I've seen happen more than once - which is why there is a further appeal process.

    It's actually to your favor that no new evidence can be submitted as it appears you did an excellent job eliciting the pertinent information the first time around and there's no need to muck it up with any more information. Cross your fingers and hope for the best. Good luck.

  3. #3
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    After wading through all that I gather that the assignment ended on 8/22, and the last contact you had at all with the company was 8/18. Did you ever follow up with them at all after this to see if there were other assignments? If not, at least in my state you would not be eligible. If you called even every other week after the assignment ended you might be, but if you didn't even follow up at all once you were actually unemployed, your chances of getting benefits are remote.

  4. #4
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    i am kinda going to the same thing, but we had our hearing yesterday and am now waiting for a decision, which will drive you nuts, but our situation was the company said they were offering him another job and he refused, so we dont know how we were to prove that there was no job offered to refuse, judge didnt want to hear anything about him being terminated, it was all about job refusal. i am just hoping that the judge sees through it, cause we have sold all we have, and about to loose it all.
    let you know what our outcome is hopefully its in our favor..

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElleMD View Post
    After wading through all that I gather that the assignment ended on 8/22, and the last contact you had at all with the company was 8/18. Did you ever follow up with them at all after this to see if there were other assignments? If not, at least in my state you would not be eligible. If you called even every other week after the assignment ended you might be, but if you didn't even follow up at all once you were actually unemployed, your chances of getting benefits are remote.

    The job assignment ended on 08/15. Coming into the hearing, their contention was that I hadn't contacted them since 07/25. Basically when the assigment was to originally end.

    I brought in evidence (paystubb and phone records) that showed the assignment ended on 08/15 and phone records up till the 18th. So they just adjusted their statement to say "well...he didn't call since 08/18".

  6. #6
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    What were you told when you spoke with tehm on 8/18? Did you actually call them or contact them after that date?

  7. #7
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    It was just my usual call to check on what was going on with finding me a job. I kept calling them on a semi regular basis (basically bi weekly) until my phone was turned off. Then I went to a prepay phone which I can't pull my phone records for.

    I guess my problem is, walking into the hearing, they swore that I hadn't contacted them since july 25th and that their records were infallible. When presented with pretty clear evidence otherwise, they simply just revised that statement, moved the "we haven't heard from him" date to the last one I had phone records for at the hearing. I don't see how that can be okay in the eyes of the person hearing the case. Not a single "fact" that they supplied to the department of labor was correct and was proven to not be correct during the hearing.

  8. #8
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    So you did continue to call them after 8/18? Did you tell the hearing officer this and give the dates? Whether you have the phone records or not you should tell them this.

    The employer having the wrong date they last heard from you isn't fatal to their claim if they then didn't hear from you again after that or the hearing officer thinks that is the last date you contacted them. If you only called once either shortly before or right after the assignment ended, it isn't going to change things if you then didn't contact them after that.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElleMD View Post
    So you did continue to call them after 8/18? Did you tell the hearing officer this and give the dates? Whether you have the phone records or not you should tell them this.

    The employer having the wrong date they last heard from you isn't fatal to their claim if they then didn't hear from you again after that or the hearing officer thinks that is the last date you contacted them. If you only called once either shortly before or right after the assignment ended, it isn't going to change things if you then didn't contact them after that.
    Yes, I continued to call them and that was my testimony. Like I said, due to my phone being cut off, the phone records were not available after that. The point is though, how can the agency still stand by "Our records do not show he called after 08-18" when not 30 minutes earlier their records showed that I didn't call since 07-25.

    And on top of that, contractually speaking, doesn't:

    "I understand that it is my responsibility to contact my [employer] office upon completion of an assignment and to notify [employer] when I am available for reassignment. I understand further that if [employer] does not receive information concerning my availability to [employer] or if I turn down an assignment, I may be denied further assignments and/or unemployment benefits."

    represent a singular action. call and let them know the assigment is over and I am available for further assignments. I mean, I entered numerous calls after my last day at work, but even if I hadn't, the evidence they presented doesn't offer any requirement for call in outside of this which they testified I did.

  10. #10
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    Hi there,

    I think that you both are wrong, fortunately for you .

    I just had a similar experience in Illinois. Temp agency disputed my eligibility based on my "voluntary departure" from work but administrator approved my claim. I am pretty sure that agency will try to appeal, but I am also sure that they will be denied again.

    AGENCY CANNOT MAKE YOU (UNLESS IT IS LEGALIZED IN YOUR STATE-BE SURE TO READ YOUR STATE'S UNEMPLOYMENT ACT) CALL THEM INDEFINITELY.

    I WAS LAID OFF FROM MY ASSIGNMENT FOLLOWING WHICH I CONTACTED THE AGENCY VIA E-MAIL. I WAS TOLD THEY HAVE NO ASSIGNMENTS FOR ME. THE NEXT THING I DID IS APPLIED FOR UNEMPLOYMENT AND STARTED LOOKING FOR JOBS ELSEWHERE. SINCE I AM NOT ON AGENCIES PAYROLL ANYMORE, I AM NOT REQUIRED TO KEEP CONTACTING THEM. THAT IS INSANE BUT SOME AGENCIES ARE DOING IT BECAUSE EITHER a-SOME PEOPLE WON'T APPEAL OR FIGHT OR b-SOME STATE WORKERS DO NOT KNOW HOW TO INTERPRET THE LAW. CHECK YOUR STATE'S UNEMPLOYMENT ACT AND VISIT NELP.ORG AND READ UP ABOUT YOUR RIGHTS.

    AGENCIES WANT TO KEEP THEIR COST DOWN AND BECAUSE OF THIS THEY WILL DO EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING TO GET YOU OFF THE BENEFITS.

    I WILL QUOTE SOMETHING FROM NELP'S WEBSITE, VERY RELEVANT TO YOUR CASE (YOU CAN READ THE ENTIRE DOCUMENT IN PDF FILE http://nelp.3cdn.net/e66944ab3a4644d338_8gm6bx9ji.pdf:

    "Temporary work, “voluntary quits,” and requirement to contact the temp agency between jobs: Some states
    have enacted legislation which says that temporary employees have voluntarily quit their jobs unless the employee
    contacts the temp agency prior to applying for unemployment insurance benefits. Seventeen states, including
    Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska,
    New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas, have this provision. Six additional states have passed
    a modified version of the ASA bill. In 2001, only one state (Minnesota) enacted the ASA law, and legislation was
    introduced in two states (Michigan and Rhode Island) to repeal the ASA law. This year, Ohio enacted a law related
    to temp workers that is not as restrictive as the ASA legislation."
    GOOD LUCK,

    GLORIJA
    Last edited by Glorya; 02-20-2009 at 10:33 AM.

  11. #11
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    As an update, my written appeal to the board was also denied with a simple "claimaint did not call agency weekly as required" and that was that.

    The final appeal was the judicial appeal, but I was out of the state for a period of time. When i got back, checked the mail and saw the letter with the decision, the 10 day window I had to file a judicial appeal had passed.

    I really don't know what I can possibly do now. According to the info posted above me, I was STILL in the right. I don't see how it could possibly be interpreted any other way. But I guess I am out of appeals.

    Is there ANY other step I can take here or have I just been beaten.

    As an aside, every other temp that worked there had their unemployment challenged by the agency apparently. After giving them 2 1/2 years of great service, I'd hate to believe that they can just pull this and there is nothing else I can do.

  12. #12
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    Call NELP... See if they can help and take it from there. Look for free legal aid in your town.

    Good luck!

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