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Thread: Unemployment says I owe them $13,000 and stopped my benefits New Jersey

  1. #1
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    Default Unemployment says I owe them $13,000 and stopped my benefits New Jersey

    Please help....

    I “voluntarily” left a restaurant I was working at while collecting unemployment benefits from my previous full-time job while attending nursing school. This was a PT job.

    Due to increased stress from lack of work and an impending lay-off I couldn't afford the stress from lack of work and no income while in school full time
    .
    In the few months that I was working, I was sent home early on many occasions. Once or twice in fact, before my shift even started due to the low customer volume.

    More than once, head chef and co-owner of the establishment would ask me if I had any ideas on how to bring more customers in. I volunteered many times to go out in front of the store dressed as a character to get people to come in but the closest I got was to stand out on a street corner one afternoon and hand out coupons. The owners and managers seemed to be doing everything that they could have done to help the business but things never changed. Every shift that I worked would show how disgruntled the other employees were at the way things were progressing. They too were getting sent home and they voiced their opinions much louder and more often than I. After a special fundraiser held at the restaurant one evening there was verbal fighting going on at the end of the night between the managers and some of the wait staff due to the lack of business the restaurant had that night. Confrontations like that made me uncomfortable. As time progressed, things didn’t improve and moral was low and the wait staff became more tense. The management mentioned almost every night of work, “if customer numbers do not increase, there will be lay-offs.”

    In the letter I received from unemployment it stated that I voluntarily left the position to pursue school, but I was already currently enrolled in school, I did not leave this position to pursue schooling. As mentioned above it was a very hostile environment and I was constantly being sent home with no income for my scheduled work days.

    I found this environment too stressful to deal with. I enjoyed working with the managers and owners but to be sent home unexpectedly on too many occasions and having to deal with the disgruntled employees was too much for me and I wanted to end things on good terms.

    NJ states from the time I left 4/2010 until 10/2010, I will be expected to pay back $13,400.

    I am planning on appealing, but I want to make sure my letter back to the state is just and sound based on the information I provided here.

    Any suggestions? Please.

  2. #2
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    Sorry, but voluntarily leaving a job is a very good way to get benefits denied. Lots of jobs are stressful. That is not a valid reason to quit and get benefits. In some instances school can be, but you generally have to have already set it up with the UI office and be in an approved program. You have not described a hostile work environment as defined by law.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    http://www.fcc.gov:80/owd/understanding-harassment.html

    (Link contains info on hostile work environment. (what it is)
    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

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    I thought that there was also consideration for appeal in regards to "anticipatory lay-offs", not just "hostile work environment". Could you elaborate then on what "hostile" is defined as?

    I think I will make a documentary on unemployment, too many stories!!!

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    The unwelcome conduct affected a term or condition of employment and/or had the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with his or her work performance and/or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.

    What about the fact that I was sent home continuously before my shift started, or the fact that it was continuously brought up by management that lay-offs would begin. There weren't enough hours to even begin unemployment benefits even if I was layed-off.

    Also, I forgot to mention I was in architecture prior, as that was where my original work was in, and I took-up nursing as that is an area for high demand based on the UI, so I was in a program that they were aware of....and b/c of the market there still aren't jobs in the architecture arena. So I am still continuously looking for work while in school, but I can not get one in my original field of work.

  6. #6
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    Sorry, but that's not close to a reason to quit that the state would agree would be eligible for benefits.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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    Agree though you can go ahead & appeal as you said you are planning on doing.
    It never hurts to appeal but don't get your hopes up too high.
    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.

  8. #8
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    In the future, you may want to "volunteer" to be laid off; it could potentially save someone else's job in the process.
    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer or qualified to practice law in any state. I only argue legal theory and politics, from an economics perspective.

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    Perhaps it will. But as far as unemployment goes, volunteering for a layoff is still volunteering.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    What if an employer has stated that there may be layoffs in the future? Volunteering to be laid off or fired still requires an actual layoff or firing by an employer. I am not advocating the person quit under our current laws.
    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer or qualified to practice law in any state. I only argue legal theory and politics, from an economics perspective.

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    Yes, and what if the employer has no intention of laying off the employee in question? It's by no means a guarantee that someone who volunteers to be laid off or fires will qualify for benefits, regardless of whether layoffs have been announced or not. If I am the employer and my intention is to keep Jack on and lay off Jane, and Jack comes to me and volunteers to be laid off, that may well save Jane's job but that doesn't mean the UI office isn't going to see Jack as having quit. The UI office does not just rubber stamp everything that says "layoff" - they do inquire as to what is behind it. It's not what it is called, but what it IS, that matters.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    The management mentioned almost every night of work, “if customer numbers do not increase, there will be lay-offs.”
    I look at it from the perspective that a person can volunteer as much as they want, but it still requires action on the part of the employer for the process of actually terminating an employee. In other words, the employee didn't actually submit a resignation or otherwise serve proper notice of quiting; but, let the employer do the layoff or firing, in compliance with at-will employment laws.
    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer or qualified to practice law in any state. I only argue legal theory and politics, from an economics perspective.

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    I agree with cbg that it is still no guarantee of UI in this case.
    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.

  14. #14
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    And when you are put in charge of the UI system, daniel, then we'll take your opinion as binding. Unfortunately, your opinion is not binding on the UI system of NJ (or any other state, for that matter). So I would advise against the poster taking your opinion as being carved in stone.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    What objection can there be to merely complying with the letter of the law?
    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer or qualified to practice law in any state. I only argue legal theory and politics, from an economics perspective.

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    Please do not feed the troll.
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    What moral or ethical objections are there to affording a basis in equity to better ensure our privileges and immunities concerning State at-will employment laws, that federal doctrine, and our Ninth Amendment.

    In my opinion, simply paying half of the unemployment insurance tax could provide a basis in equity to fully exercise our privileges and immunities under those laws.
    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer or qualified to practice law in any state. I only argue legal theory and politics, from an economics perspective.

  18. #18
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    Daniel: NOT HERE. Take it to the Legal Lounge.

    Unless you want another suspension.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

  19. #19
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    Daniel has taken it to the legal lounge.
    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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