Thursday, April 29, 2010

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE - HEARINGS

A recent hearing (which has been adjourned for more witnesses) raised the issue of the credibility of the Claimant. The Claimant was denied benefits for misconduct and had requested a hearing but had defaulted at the hearing by not attending. The Claimant, after filing an application to reopen, consulted with me, and I represented the Claimant at the second hearing. The ALJ (Administrative Law Judge) first questioned the Claimant on the the circumstances of the Claimant's default on the first hearing and the Claimant answered that no notice was received by the Claimant because the Claimant had moved and never notified the DOL (Department of Labor) of the Claimant's change of address. Now this statement is from the DOL website:

"Q: What should I do if my address or telephone number changes?

A: If your address or phone number changes, it is your responsibility to update your contact information with the Department of Labor. Your benefits may be delayed if you fail to respond to documentation mailed to your address on record or fail to report to an appointment.

The easiest way to update your address and/or telephone number is on-line when you claim your weekly benefits. If you are no longer claiming benefits or need to change your address sooner, you may contact the Telephone Claims Center.

You must also contact Chase Customer Service at 1-877-221-1634 (if you have a Direct Payment Card) or your financial institution (if you are registered for Direct Deposit) to update your contact information."

I am hoping to avoid this argument by the Employer: "The Claimant's statements that the Employer's company policy was followed is not credible. If the Claimant was unable to follow the clearly written policy of the DOL regarding a change of address, then this demonstrates that the Claimant was unable to follow any policy, especially the Employer's company policy and thus was properly discharged for misconduct".

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