Unemployment Compensation Information for Claimants

Unemployment Compensation--Tips for Claimants

The purpose of this document is to provide information which may be useful to individuals who have found themselves in the unfortunate situation of losing their jobs and who may be eligible for unemployment compensation. The following information is based on my experience serving on the Michigan Employment Security Board of Review (appeals) and for the past several years representing claimants in administrative law judge unemployment compensation eligibility appeal hearings. Unemployment compensation regulations throughout the U.S. are similar but vary in a number of important respects from state to state. This information is based solely on my experience in Michigan.


BACKGROUND ON STATE-FEDERAL UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION SYSTEM

Most people find themselves unemployed at some time in their life. Unemployment was not such a problem when the U.S. was an agrarian, small town society where most people had families nearby who could help out in a pinch and where people grew much of their own food. But as the country industrialized and people flocked from the farms to cities to work in factories like Henry Ford's Rouge plant which employed 100,000 at its peak, unemployment became a critical social problem. People were no longer independent farmers living on their own land and growing their own food, but instead they were far from their relatives and dependent on the success of their employer and the good will of their boss for economic security. The federal-state unemployment compensation system was established to help tide people over in periods of involuntary unemployment.

A lot of thought went into the system. It's funded by a tax on employer payrolls. The tax in most states ranges from around one percent of payroll to twelve or thirteen percent of payroll depending on the number of layoffs previously experienced by each employer. In Michigan the maximum tax rate is 10.3 % of wages up to $9,000/ year and the minimum is 0.06%, as of November 2008. This variable tax rate is called experience rating. It's designed to provide an incentive for employers to plan their business to avoid layoffs. The firms with the fewest layoffs are rewarded with having to pay the lowest unemployment compensation tax rate. And, conversely, employers whose employment fluctuates widely, such as those in cyclical industries or in seasonal industries like construction, pay the highest unemployment compensation taxes. Employers don't like to pay high taxes so the experience rating system also provides them an incentive for them to protest unemployment compensation claims filed by their employees.

Another reason underlying unemployment compensation is that it has a counter-cyclical economic effect. That is, when there is a recession and people lose their jobs involuntarily, money is pumped into the economy by unemployment compensation payments to laid off workers, helping to stabilize the national economy or that of a particular state or region.

Like Social Security, Unemployment Compensation was established during the Great Depression in the 1930s, and like Social Security, it has become accepted and, by and large, accomplishes its mission of providing income to assist unemployed workers and provide a boost to the economy during recessions.

COMMENT: If you become involuntarily unemployed you should not hesitate to apply for unemployment compensation. That's what it's for. You are entitled to collect benefits so long as your are eligible, provided you carefully follow the procedures required by the unemployment agency in your state.


DISPUTES OVER ELIGIBILITY FOR UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION ARE QUITE COMMON

However, from the point of view of unemployed workers and employers, the system is far from perfect, and disputes over eligibility are common.

In general, employees who have worked long enough to establish eligibility and who are laid off by their employer are eligible for a maximum of 26 weeks (only 20 weeks in Michigan thanks to Governor Snyder and the Republican dominated state legislature) of unemployment compensation at an amount less than their previous pay up to a maximum of around $400 per week (in Michigan).

Employees who quit, with certain exceptions, are not eligible.

Employees who are fired for serious misconduct are not eligible.


FOLLOWING THE PRESCRIBED PROCEDURES IS VERY IMPORTANT

Finally, to be eligible claimants must apply for benefits in accordance with procedures and within deadlines established by the state unemployment compensation agency, and they must certify every two weeks that they are available and seeking suitable (jobs they have previously performed or for which they have received training) employment and that they did not receive disqualifying earnings during the period. Certification is generally accomplished by telephone or on the Internet. The rules for applying and certifying are generally very strictly enforced by state unemployment agencies. Failure to call in or report in person to certify as required will result in disqualification for two weeks or more of benefits unless there is a compelling reason for failure to do so. Failure to apply within the prescribed deadline after layoff also will result in loss of benefits for the weeks prior to filing, absent a compelling reason for failure to do so.

Comment: Many otherwise eligible individuals are disqualified from receiving benefits for which they would otherwise be eligible due to their failure to read and understand and comply with the unemployment agency's rules. Read the rules carefully and make sure you comply with them to the letter. Keep a record of your job search activities such as companies contacted, interviews, etc., so that in the event you are required to show that you are seeking work you will be able to do so.

IF YOU ARE LAID OFF

If you are laid off you should file promptly for benefits in accordance with the procedures in your state, either in person or on the internet. To be eligible for benefits for any given week or weeks you must certify in accordance with procedures in your state by telephone or in person that you were unemployed and available for and seeking suitable full-time employment. "Suitable" employment means work for which you are qualified by experience or training on any shift on which a job is available at an employer located within a reasonable distance of your residence. When you certify in accordance with established procedures you must report any earnings you have received during the period. Depending on the amount, earnings may reduce your benefit or render you ineligible for the week(s) for which you received them.

IF YOU QUIT YOUR JOB

As stated above, the general rule is that if you quit your job you will not be eligible for unemployment compensation. The rule in Michigan and most states is that a reasonable person will find another job before quitting the one he or she has. An exception to rule disqualifying people who quit occurs when there is "good cause for quitting attributable to the employer." What is or is not good cause is a gray area subject to differing interpretations by employment agency examiners and by the courts. In general, good cause for quitting is something that would cause a reasonable person to quit even though he or she does not have another job. Examples of good reasons are being required to work in unsafe conditions, being asked to violate the law, discrimination, sexual harassment, repeated verbal abuse or physical abuse by a supervisor, bounced pay checks, a significant change in the terms and conditions of your job (e.g. a wage or benefit cut).

Generally speaking, the courts require that before quitting the employee must use the prescribed complaint procedure and give the employer a chance to correct the situation. In Michigan employees are not required to file an OSHA, or discrimination complaint with a state or federal agency before quitting, but they are required to raise the issue with their employer using prescribed procedures and give the employer an opportunity to address the issue before quitting in order to qualify for unemployment compensation. In disputes over good cause for quitting the burden of proof is on the employee to establish that he or she had good cause for quitting attributable to the employer. Generally, this is not easy to do. Most unemployment agency claims examiners and administrative law judges are hard to convince that a reasonable person would not secure another job before quitting, absent serious abuses.

COMMENT: Recently, I represented a claimant in an administrative law judge (referee) hearing who quit because his supervisor repeatedly referred to him as a "terrorist," apparently because he appeared to be of Arabic descent. The claimant asked his supervisor not to refer to him as a terrorist and complained twice with no result to his supervisor's boss. The judge found good cause attributable to the employer for the claimant to quit. Going into the hearing I was not confident that the claimant would be found eligible. We argued at the hearing that calling someone a terrorist, even in jest, had taken on much greater significance since 9/11. The judge agreed. On the other hand there are Michigan court decisions that have said that an employee doesn't have the right to expect a "perfect supervisor" and have excused some pretty sorry supervisory conduct. In most cases, the best advice is to find another job before quitting or don't count on being eligible for unemployment compensation.


IF YOU ARE FIRED

Dismissal for serious misconduct is another disqualifier for unemployment compensation and another frequent gray area which is a common subject of disputes and appeals. What may seem to an employer as serious misconduct may not amount to misconduct under the unemployment compensation statute or court interpretations of if. In Michigan, the controlling court ruling defines disqualifying misconduct as "wanton or willful disregard of the employer's interest." That's a pretty high bar for employers to meet in contested unemployment compensation cases. However, those words leave much room for interpretation and dispute. Generally speaking, misconduct will be found in event of a single serious offense (e.g. theft, drug or alcohol offenses, insubordination, assault or fighting) or repeated minor offenses such as habitual tardiness or excessive absenteeism or other repeated and intentional violations of company rules or policies. Nevertheless, much remains for dispute.

The following is the definition of misconduct adopted by the Michigan Supreme Court in the case of Carter v. Employment Security Commission, 364 Mich 538, 541(1961):

"[Misconduct in an unemployment compensation case is] ... conduct evincing such wilful or wanton disregard of an employer's interests as is found in deliberate violations or disregard of standards of behavior which the employer has the right to expect of his employee, or in carelessness or negligence of such degree or recurrence as to manifest equal culpability, wrongful intent or evil design, or to show an intentional and substantial disregard of the employer's interests or of the employee's duties and obligations to his employer. On the other hand,mere inefficiency, unsatisfactory conduct, failure in good performance as the result of inability or incapacity, inadvertancies or ordinary negligence in isolated instances, or good-faith errors in judgment or discretion are not to be deemed 'misconduct' within the meaning of the statute."

Some employers abuse the system by firing employees for alleged misconduct when they need to reduce the work force rather than laying them off because they do not want the employees to collect unemployment compensation against their account and cause their tax rate to go up. In dismissals, the burden of proof is on the employer to establish misconduct.

COMMENT: Don't press your luck. Comply with the rules and policies of your employer and, if you are going to be late or absent, call your employer and let him know. Administrative law judges take a dim view of employees who are absent or late and don't bother to call in. On the other hand, they will find claimants eligible in cases of absence or tardiness due to illness, emergency situations requiring care for children and the like.

Some employers use automatic point systems to discipline for absence or tardiness which do not take into account the reasons for the absence or tardiness. Most judges do not consider automatic point systems valid for establishing misconduct under unemployment compensation statutes. Absence, per se, is not misconduct. Only absence without reasonable cause is misconduct--illness or child care needs, court appearances and the like are not absence without reasonable cause. Of course, the more tardinesses and absences there are, the more skeptical the judges are of the employee and the more likely they are to find misconduct. Medical records and other tangible evidence can be helpful in establishing good cause for absences in unemployment compensation hearings. In Michigan, a court decision has said that in cases where an employee has been absent or tardy many times, the burden shifts from the employer to the employee to establish that his absences should have been excused because of illness or other good reason.


COMMENT: I have represented claimants in many cases fired by their employers for alleged misconduct who have been found eligible for unemployment compensation by administrative law judges. Generally speaking, the employee must have been informed of the rules and the employer must prove the violation by first hand testimony. With few exceptions hearsay evidence is not admissible.

TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT AGENCIES

The Michigan unemployment statute provides that anyone who is employed by a temporary help firm is obligated to notify the temporary help firm of the termination of an assignment with a client of the temporary help firm within 7 days of the end of the assignment, provided he was notified in writing of this obligation by the temporary help firm before the employee began performing services for the client.

Failure to notify the temporary help firm of the end of an assignment causes many claimants to be disqualified from receiving benefits. Many employees are required to sign several papers when they start an assignment or sign up with a temp agency. They receive a job with a client of the agency and work for months or even years and then are laid off. By then they have forgotten that they were notified of their obligation to notify their temporary agency that their assignment has ended with the result that they are disqualified from receiving benefits.

COMMENT: The requirement to notify temp agencies, in my opinion, is very unfair to claimants and should be stricken from the Act. Notifying the temp agency should be the obligation of the client employer, not the employee. Or, at very least, the client employer should be obligated to notify the employee, in writing, at the time the assignment ends, of his or her obligation to call the temp agency within 7 days and inform the agency that their assignment has ended. Moreover, a phone call is sometimes not enough to avoid disqualification. I have seen cases where the temp agency failed to record a phone notification. And some unscrupulous temp firms who have been notified by phone deny in appeal hearings that they have been notified. If I were a temp employee whose assignment came to an end I would follow up my phone call with a notification by a fax or registered letter. The notification provision in the statute is badly in need of change.

EXTENDED UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS REQUIRE WEEKLY REPORTS OF TWO JOB SEARCHES

Claimants who become eligible for extended benefits (beyond 26 weeks, currently and, effective January 1, 2012 20 weeks in Michigan) should take note of the requirement under the Michigan statute that they must provide the Unemployment Insurance Agency with "tangible evidence" of at least two job searches for each week for which they are receiving benefits. The Agency is enforcing this requirement strictly and is terminating extended benefits for claimants who are non-compliant with the job search reporting requirement.


IMPORTANT COMMENT: You must continue to certify that you are laid off, available and seeking work in accordance with established procedures while you are receiving benefits and/or until your appeal is finally resolved. You will not be eligible to receive benefits for any week or weeks for which you do not certify.


APPEALS PROCEDURES

All states provide for appeals of eligibility determinations by unemployment agencies. You should appeal any decisions which you believe are not in accordance with the law in your state. You don't have to hire a lawyer in order to appeal an agency determination or to appeal a re-determination to an administrative law judge hearing. Administrative law judge decisions may be appealed to the state appeals board without charge and without hiring an attorney. Michigan provides free representation by attorneys or lay representatives for claimants and employers in administrative law judge hearings. However, most states do not provide this service. It is to your advantage to be represented in administrative law judge hearings by someone who is familiar with unemployment compensation regulations and court decisions.

Unemployment agency claims examiners and other personnel involved in administering the statute are not infallible. Their decisions are reached without the benefit of having complete information from claimants and employers, and they deal quickly with large numbers of cases. Therefore, their error rate is significant. If you feel you have been found ineligible in error or unfairly, you should not hesitate to appeal. Administrative law judge decisions are much more likely to be correct than determinations by unemployment agency claims examiners. Nevertheless, the judges aren't infallible either, and if you disagree with the judge's decision you should appeal it to the state appeals board. In Michigan nearly all appeals board decisions are based on the facts found by the administrative law judge and on his written decision plus a transcript of the administrative law judge hearing. The cost to claimants or employers of an appeal is only the postage for the appeals letter which must be RECEIVED (not postmarked) by the appeals board by 30 days from the date of the judge's decision.

COMMENT: The appeals procedures for agency determinations and re-determinations and for appeals to administrative law judge and appeals board reviews carry STRICT time limits. If your appeals are not timely you will be out of luck in most cases.

IMPORTANT: If you are appealing an unemployment agency determination or administrative law judge eligibility decision, you must CONTINUE TO CERTIFY in accordance with agency procedures (calling Marvin in Michigan) that you are unemployed and seeking employment until your case is finally settled one way or the other. Even if you win your appeal you will not receive unemployment compensation for any week for which you failed to certify.

IMPORTANT: Getting to the administrative law judge hearing on time or preferably a bit early is critical. The judges' dockets are busy and the hearings start on time even if the claimant or the employer is not present. Moreover, being late does not make a good impression on the judge. Make sure in advance that you know how to get to the Hearings Office. Most judges will not accept your excuse that you were late because you got lost on the way to the hearing.

VERY IMPORTANT! Read the green book "Unemployment Benefits in Michigan" very carefully. The green book is provided to claimants. It explains almost everything you need to know about how to apply for and qualify for unemployment compensation benefits.

Part One describes "Benefit rights, Responsibilities and Terms Every Unemployed Worker Must Know."

The Forms Section of the green booklet contains tear-out forms for various aspects of the process of applying for unemployment compensation, appealing unemployment agency decisions and so forth.

Part Two explains how to phone MARVIN to certify/claim weeks of unemployment benefits. Failure to call MARVIN will result in a loss of benefits for the reporting period.

VERY IMPORTANT: Don't forget to register with Michigan Works!!

You must register for work before your first unemployment benefit payment can be made.

You register for work by posting your resume on the Michigan Talent ?Bank at a Michigan Works! Agency (MWA). You must do this at least three days before contacting the Unemployment Insurance Agency's automated telephone system, MARVIN, or using MARVIN Online, to collect your first unemployment payment. To locate the MWA nearest you, call 1-800-285-9675. You can also post yoru resume into the Talent Bank through the Internet by going online to www.michworks.org. If you register online, you still must report in person to an MWA to verify your registration is active in the system. See Form UIA 1222 "Notice to Register for Work" on page 23 of the green booklet (Unemployment Benefits in Michigan, A Handbook for Unemployed Workers). You must take this form with you when you go to the MWA. Failure to register for work can result in a delay or loss of your benefits.

If you are on a temporary layoff (less than 120 days from your last day worked) from a full-time job, you do not have to register for work to be eligible for benefits. When you filed your new or additional (reopened) claim, you were asked a question about returning to work and the date. If you answered that you have a return-to-work date with the same employer within 120 days from your last day of full-time work, you do not have to register for work.

If you get your job by going to a union hiring hall that assigns you to companies, you do not have to register for work unless the union hall has not reassigned you within 120 days from your last day worked.

NOTE: The Unemployment Insurance Agency is quite strict in its enforcement of the requirement to register with Michigan Works!

Appeals to Circuit Court and Higher Courts

State appeals board decisions in Michigan and most other states may be appealed to the circuit court nearest the employer or residence of the claimant and to appellate courts all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Practically speaking, few unemployment compensation cases are appealed beyond the state appeals board or circuit court.


Only the Agency can Determine Eligibility

Finally, and most important, only the unemployment agency can determine whether or not you are eligible and qualified for benefits, not your employer or your friends. Therefore, if you are in doubt, file a claim with the unemployment agency. Delay in filing for failure to file is likely to result in loss of rights and benefits. Moreover, simply talking with an agency representative does not protect your rights. You must file a claim and continue to certify for each week you are unemployed in order to protect your rights and benefits.


DISCLAIMER: Unemployment compensation statutes vary in significant respects from state to state. The above information and comments are based on my experience as a member of the Michigan Employment Security Board of Review (appeals board) and on my experience for the past several years representing claimants in administrative law judge (referee) hearings in Michigan. I am certified by the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency to represent claimants, but I am not a lawyer. My intention is to provide accurate and helpful information for claimants based on my experience in Michigan; however, I make no guarantee of the accuracy or completeness of the material on this website, and the content of this site is not specific legal advice for any individual.

Note: As of December 31, 2013 I have retired from representing claimants in unemployment compensation Administrative Law Judge hearings. Steve Baumer, who is a competent claimant representative in Administrative Law Hearings is joining me in maintaining this website, and is available to represent claimants as he has been doing successfully for nearly ten years. He may be reached by telephone on 586-212-4769.



Attorney on Jobless Aid: The Michigan System is Flawed 4-28-16

LANSING -- An attorney suing the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency, alleging it has wrongly accused tens of thousands of residents of fraud and unlawfully confiscated tens of millions of dollars in benefits and penalties, says an auditor general's report released last week that was highly critical of the agency supports her claims.

In the state's response to the report released April 21, "they're admitting (the state's unemployment insurance system) is flawed in the ways we're claiming it's flawed," Royal Oak attorney Jennifer Lord told the Free Press on Wednesday.

Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stevens is expected to rule soon on the state's motion to dismiss Lord's proposed class action. Arguments were heard on March 8.

The lawsuit, filed in 2015, alleges the automated system the agency uses for detecting and adjudicating unemployment insurance fraud "deprives UIA claimants of due process and fair and just treatment because it determines guilt without providing notice, without proving guilt and without affording claimants an opportunity to be heard before penalties are imposed."

The suit also alleges the state agency engages in unlawful collection practices when it seizes benefits and income tax returns and garnishes wages to collect the penalties it arbitrarily assesses.

In a motion filed in October, attorneys for the Unemployment Insurance Agency urged Stevens to dismiss the suit, saying the system worked the way it should because lead plaintiff Grant Bauserman appealed the agency's fraud determination against him and "the agency reconsidered its previous determinations and held Bauserman not liable for interest and penalties."

The state agency argued "Bauserman has been refunded all monies intercepted and he owes the agency no money," and therefore "there is no claim upon which relief may be granted."

But another client of Lord's, Daniel Di Gregorio, told the Free Press on Wednesday he's continued to receive letters from the UIA accusing him of fraud, even after Administrative Law Judge Stephen Goldstein threw out all allegations against him in February saying that by failing to specify details about its allegations against Di Gregorio, "the agency violate(d) the most rudimentary demands of due process of law."

Di Gregorio, a crane operator in the concrete business, said his wife Shirl took the lead in fighting the $33,000 demand he received from the state agency and "if it wasn't for my wife, I don't know what I would have done." He said he might have rolled over and found a way to pay the money.

Weeks after the judge ruled in her husband's favor, he received another payment demand from the agency, this time for $6,000, Shirl Di Gregorio said.

Lord said the report issued April 21 by Auditor General Doug Ringler supports her case because the audit details how the state's MiDAS (Michigan Integrated Data Automated System), introduced in 2013, arbitrarily makes fraud determinations based on answers to innocuous questions such as whether someone applied for benefits because they needed the money. The audit also details how the agency fails to spell out details that would allow claimants to defend themselves against fraud allegations, and says the agency fails to give proper notice of allegations and repeatedly sends notices to incorrect addresses even after letters have been returned as "undeliverable."

In each case, the agency agreed with the auditor's findings, though it says it has made changes. Di Gregorio's experience shows that even if methods have changed, similar results continue, Lord said.

Lord said she sees parallels with the state's conduct in the lead poisoning of Flint's drinking water: "The parallel I see is that there's a CEO mentality," in which the human element is ignored and "it's all based on the bottom line," she said.

Ken Silfven, a spokesman for the UIA, wouldn't comment on whether the auditor general's report supports Lord's allegations, citing the ongoing litigation.

But Silfven took issues with the Flint comparison and suggestions Gov. Rick Snyder places too much emphasis on the bottom line.

"To the contrary, the governor reminds his team constantly that everything we do is about serving people," Silfven said in an e-mail.

"I know that’s what motivates him as he does his job. That’s why he had the courage to lead the way on such things as the Healthy Michigan program. He’s driven by compassion and a clear sense of duty. It’s not just dollars and cents. He’s made clear time and again that we can never forget the human element when it comes to shaping programs or policy."

Contact Paul Egan: 517-372-8660 or pegan@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter

State unemployment agency's failures demand swift action

Detroit Free Press Editorial Board 12:07 a.m. EDT April 27, 2016Buy Photo

(Photo: Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press)

If government is a business, and taxpayers its customers, Gov. Rick Snyder's revamp of the state's unemployment agency is a colossal failure.

In 2009, the unemployment insurance fund was a mess, driven to the brink of insolvency by a spike in claims, thanks to the worst recession to hit Michigan since the 1980s. The state owed billions to the federal government for money borrowed to keep its unemployment insurance fund afloat. To bring more into the fund, it raised taxes on employers. And the recession was far from over.

After his 2010 election, Snyder took pride in cleaning up the unemployment fund.

DETROIT FREE PRESS

Audit rips Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency

DETROIT FREE PRESS

Suit: Michigan wrongly charging unemployment aid applicants

But the $47-million automated system the state purchased to make the agency more efficient has had what one law professor calls "grievous unintended consequences," spawning a class action, a rebuke from the state's auditor general and hardship for an unknown number of Michiganders, falsely accused of fraud, consigned to fight a seemingly intractable system.

U.S. Rep. Sander Levin, a Royal Oak Democrat, has called on Snyder to re-examine all cases of fraud flagged by the automated system, and to repay Michiganders whose wages were garnished or tax returns were seized improperly. And legislation introduced last year would require the state to present more evidence for a fraud determination, and work more diligently to notify claimants they had been accused of fraud.

Last year, the unemployment agency stopped relying on the automated system, requiring staff to investigate findings of intentional misrepresentation. It's not enough.

We encourage the Legislature to pass the legislation posthaste -- and Snyder to press pause on fraud determinations made under the new system. Because 40% of fraud determinations have been overturned by administrative law judges -- and because the sums at stake can reach amounts large enough to crush a family hoping to recover from a period of unemployment -- the governor must order his unemployment agency to freeze ongoing garnishments and review extant fraud determinations.

The Michigan Integrated Data Automated System, called MiDAS, automated not just the claim filing process, but a review that scans for fraud. Out-of-work Michiganders whose claims don't match answers provided by their former employers were flagged by the system for fraud, and the state takes action to recoup improperly paid benefits, plus penalties.

But there's a problem: The system is flawed, claimants allege (and the state's response to such criticism has seemed to acknowledge) sometimes pursuing penalties from Michiganders who were entitled to the unemployment benefits they’d received.

Other claimants charged with fraud have been victims of computer programming errors that, for example, falsely distributed earnings -- reported in compliance with state law -- over an entire quarter, creating the incorrect impression that the claimant received benefits while working, according to an examination of the system last year by the Metro Times.

Because the state can seek stiff penalties for fraud -- and because it has almost unilateral authority to garnish wages of those determined to have committed fraud -- the sums paid out in unemployment insurance can be dwarfed by penalties and fines, spiking as high as $100,000, said Steve Gray, a University of Michigan law professor who leads a law clinic aimed at helping folks navigate unemployment law.

MiDAS processed about 1.4 million claims since 2013; it has established 46,638 fraud cases since then, unemployment agency spokesman Ken Silfven wrote in an e-mail. Of those, Silfven said, 60% of the fraud determinations were "at least partially affirmed." This, the state seems to view as positive. But flip that number: 40% of fraud determinations were overturned, and an even greater percentage have been partially overturned.

Silfven said that "most" fraud determinations were made after staff review, not solely by the system. Nonetheless, he said the agency halted "the process when fraud was determined without human intervention" in 2015, and that the agency takes such concerns seriously.

The auditor general found that the unemployment agency's efforts to notify Michiganders they had been found in violation of the law and had 30 days to appeal were inadequate. Nearly 10% of notices were returned by the post office as undeliverable, the audit found, but because the new notice would arrive past that 30-day deadline, the agency didn't bother to resend.

It's an incomprehensible rationale.

Take a moment to understand what all of this means: An automated system could, in error, determine that an out-of-work Michigander seeking unemployment benefits had committed fraud. A notice sent out could arrive at the wrong address, with the agency obligated to take no steps to ensure the notice was received. And so without that Michigander ever knowing he or she had been accused of fraud, the state could garnish that person's wages or tax return.

That happened to a Garden City man interviewed last summer by Michigan Radio. Because the agency sent notice of suspected fraud to the wrong address -- two years before it started garnishing his wages -- the man first became aware he'd been charged with fraud when money started disappearing from his paycheck. After he filed a late appeal, an administrative law judge cleared him of the fraud charge.

Claimants hoping to get information on the phone are similarly out of luck, the auditor general found. Over two months in 2014, 89% of claimants' calls to the agency went unanswered. (The agency, it is worth noting, defended itself by insisting that it only failed to answer 50% of calls.) More than 28% of callers placed on hold abandoned the calls.

This system is broken. But it can be fixed. Snyder and the state Legislature need to make this a top priority.

12-15-13Free Press "45,000 to Lose Benefits"

WASHINGTON — Some 45,000 Michiganders who are receiving unemployment checks through a federal program will lose them on the last week of December, now that members of the U.S. House are leaving town without making another extension.

Democrats in Congress — U.S. Rep. Sander Levin of Michigan chief among them — had been clamoring loudly for another extension of what’s known as Emergency Unemployment Compensation, or EUC, a program that adds 14 to 47 weeks of unemployment checks after regular state benefits are exhausted.

But Republicans who control the House adjourned for the December break Thursday without passing what would have been the 13th extension of the program since 2009. Some said the $25-billion cost of extending it is too high.

In Michigan, regular unemployment benefits and 36 available weeks of EUC provided for a total of 56 weeks of benefits. Without the extension, no claims for EUC benefits will be paid after those filed for the week of Dec. 28, and only the state’s maximum benefit of 20 weeks will be available.

Lynda Robinson of the state Unemployment Insurance Agency said Friday there were 44,889 Michiganders receiving EUC as of last month and that remains the best estimate of about how many people will lose those benefits at the end of December.

A notice of the expiration of the program is set to be mailed to beneficiaries next Wednesday.

After agreeing to past extensions, there was growing sentiment among House Republicans that the EUC has failed to generate new jobs and might help to keep unemployment higher than it would otherwise be by putting upward pressure on wages. Emergency Unemployment Compensation has cost more than $200 billion.

“This program still hasn’t produced the jobs the administration promised,” said U.S. Rep. Dave Camp, R-Midland, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. “In fact, recent academic studies show the program is hurting job creation.”

Camp, whose committee has oversight for unemployment insurance, cited what he called “real world experience in North Carolina. There, the program ended in July and the state has seen rapid job creation.”

“Clearly, it is time to focus on other policies that will actually lead to real economic growth and jobs for families,” he said.

Democrats counter that 1.3 million people nationally will lose their benefits under the program by the end of December and they say they will continue to press House Speaker John Boehner and other Republican leaders to pass an extension in 2014. But it may be a hard sell to Republicans, who say it’s time to end what was supposed to be a temporary measure started in response to the 2008-’09 recession.

Earlier this month, the Obama administration put out a report that says unemployment benefits remain one of the best tools for stimulating the economy, however, and that letting the federal program expire could hurt spending. The report said the national unemployment rate of 7% —Michigan’s was 9% in October — is high enough to warrant continuing the extra benefits.

“Historically we have never, never ended these emergency provisions when long-term unemployment has been as high as it is today,” Levin said on the House floor Thursday.

Contact Todd Spangler: 703-854-8947 or tspangler@freepress.com

Sixteen Ways to Avoid Losing Your Unemployment Appeal

SIXTEEN WAYS TO AVOID LOSING YOUR UNEMPLOYMENT APPEAL

Probably more unemployment compensation cases are lost than are won. "In most cases, you will not win unless the facts and the law are in your favor. It is possible, however, to bungle a potential winner." (William DeMartini, Chief Administrative Law Judge 1979-82, California UI Appeals Board)

The following list covers the most common mistakes parties make in appeal cases.

1. File your appeal on time. An appeal to the Board must be filed (in person at the Job Center or postmarked) within 15 calendar days of the mailing date of the decision. There are no provisions for extension of time and if you file late, you face a heavy burden in proving you were prevented from filing on time Also, it is strongly recommended that you state clearly the reasons for the appeal.

2. Prepare your case early and on the proper issues(s) You should identify the issue involved in the appeal and begin preparing for the hearing as soon as you learn of the appeal -either when you decide to appeal or when you receive a copy of another party's appeal.

Be careful not to overlook multiple issues in a decision. The claimant's benefit entitlement may be combined with an overpayment, or combine voluntary leaving and availability. Also check the hearing notice, as the referee may signal a need to consider a different section of law at the hearing than the one used by the Job Center, such as voluntary leaving instead of discharge, or Section 3 instead of 402 (e).

Time is very important. Secure your documents and witnesses immediately. If you wait until you receive notice of the hearing to seek counsel, your advocate will have far less time to prepare.

3. Plan to get right to the point at the hearing. As you prepare your case, remember that a clear and concise presentation is generally better. Avoid drowning your main point in a cascade of background material. Concentrate on the legal issues which control eligibility. Be sure you know who has the burden of proof; it governs how much you need to present.

4. If you have a problem with the hearing date, request a new hearing date promptly. Unless you face a dire unanticipated emergency, you will not be granted a last-minute change in hearing date.

5. Make early requests to subpoena witnesses whose attendance you cannot control. Subpoenas are up to you to serve. A subpoena served on a witness the day, or even the day before the hearing may be unenforceable.

6. Don't subpoena witness(s) against you. This happens more than you might think. Be sure you know each witness's testimony before bringing them to the hearing. Do not count on an adverse witness turning friendly because he or she is subpoenaed or under oath at the hearing.

7. When in doubt, present testimony. First-hand testimony is always better than a written statement or document. Moreover, a valid hearsay objection to a document may cause the referee to discount the document completely.

8. Show up on time. Do not count on a referee waiting beyond the scheduled time for you to appear. If you have a last minute emergency or an unforeseen delay en route, contact the referee office immediately.

Follow the advice on the hearing notice to arrive early. You can review the Job Canter documents in advance and avoid facing a "surprise from the file" during the hearing.

9. Present the eyewitness. This is one of the most common mistakes. Offering a witness who has no firsthand knowledge of the event in question is a waste of time and could cost you the case.

10. Object to hearsay evidence of the other side. They have the right to object to any evidence of yours which is hearsay, so you should object to theirs.

11. Present the key document. Be prepared to leave it with the referee. Photocopies are acceptable but bring along the original in case the other side tries to challenge it. If you do not possess a key document, it can be subpoenaed in the same manner as a witness.

12. Summarize voluminous written material. Evidence is judged on quality, not quantity. Submitting a bewildering stack of papers can hurt you rather than help you. If you feel you must, then at least prepare a summary to help the referee and Board take proper note of the items. Be aware, however, that the other side has a right to challenge your summary and to examine the original material from which the summary was compiled.

13. In questioning your witness, avoid leading questions. A leading question is one which suggests the answer, often a "yes" or "no". These types of questions detract from the credibility of the witness. In eliciting the direct testimony of your witness, ask short questions which allow the witness to relate a fact or describe an event in his or her own way. (You may ask leading questions when cross-examining a witness of the other party, however.)

14. Explain technical terms, occupational slang and strange customs of the trade. If it's not commonly understood outside of your business, trade or profession, explain it. Otherwise, you may confuse the referee, the Board and the courts (if it goes that far) and receive a disappointing decision.

15. Avoid excessive cross-examination. It is very rare for a party to make his or her case on cross-examination. More commonly, you can lose the case by unintentionally giving the witness the chance to repeat and elaborate upon all the adverse testimony just given. However, make sure any claimant statement, related to the issue being ruled on, and which is not considered factual, is refuted during the hearing.

16. Do not assume the referee knows every law enacted or every decision issued. You can reasonably assume the referee will know about a point of law in the unemployment field, but offering the referee copies of, or the citations to, unemployment court decisions related to your case would not hurt.

Statues and decisions outside of the unemployment field should be accurately cited, and a copy of the pertinent material provided if possible.

-- January 1996, Penn-Jersey Assn's "The Keystone"

Michigan Employers to Pay More Into Jobless Fund, Detroit Free Press 11-14-08

Unemployment Compensation Solvency Tax

40,000 Michigan employers will pay an extra $67.50 per employee in 2009 to pay off a $472.8 million shortfall in the unemployment benefits trust func, moneh the state borrowed from the federal  government to pay benefits to 650,000 people in 2008.

Don't deny unemployment insurance benefits to bought-out workers by Michael Harper and Joshua Riley

 

The article linked below will be of interest to workers who have accepted buy-outs. The authors point out that the law is not clear on whether workers who accept buy-outs are eligible for unemployment compensation benefits. The authors argue that while buyouts are often presented as "voluntary"' in effect, however, the workers to whom they are offered have limited volution. The offer in itself acts as a signal to the worker that a job is not secure. This signal is often received in a deteriorating economic climate. The resulting apprehension of job loss is coupled with the realization that a worker who refuses a buyout now may be jobless with no parting payment in the near future. Reat the entire excellent article here:

[Unfortunately the link is dead. The Detroit Free Press kills links to their articles after a brief period and charges an exorbitant fee for access to the material. Too bad!)



Governor Snyder's Recent Actions Undermine Unemployment Compensation When Michigan Needs it Most


Governor Snyder has recently taken actions that undermine Michigan’s unemployment compensation system. In June he signed a bill passed by the legislature which reduced the maximum duration of unemployment insurance benefits by 23%, from 26 weeks to 20 weeks. Twenty-six weeks has been the maximum benefit duration since the inception of the program. All other states continue to provide 26 weeks of benefits.

As if that weren’t enough, in July Governor Snyder signed an executive order abolishing the Board of Review (unemployment compensation appeals board) and moving the function to a new appeals body combining workers compensation and unemployment compensation appeals. Only two members of the current Board of Review were reappointed.

For many years the Board of Review has been composed, in accordance with the unemployment compensation statute, of five members--a chair person and four members appointed by the Governor for 4-year terms. Two of the members have been designated as “employer members” and two as “claimant members.” Experience representing employers was a requisite of appointment as an employer member and experience representing claimants was a requisite of being appointed a claimant member. These requirements were intended to assure fair consideration of the interests of claimants and employers in accordance with the purpose of the unemployment statute. This safeguard was dropped under Governor Snyder’s executive order which provides for a 9-member appeals body without a requirement of experience representing employers or claimants. In the current Republican administration there may be an employer thumb on the scales of justice, and perhaps toward claimants in a future Democratic administration. Thus, the governor’s executive order is unwise, short-sighted public policy, in my opinion.

Moreover, the Unemployment Insurance Agency recently announced that it will levy a 1 percent per month interest charge on benefit amounts determined to have been paid incorrectly and restitution ordered.

Protecting Wages in a Global Economy, NY Times Editorial 3-18-07

Published: March 18, 2007

Federal wage insurance is a pilot program for a small subset of workers, age 50 or older, who lose their jobs to trade competition. Under the program, a worker who takes a lower-paying replacement job can receive a government subsidy for two years, equal to 50 percent of the difference in earnings up to a total of $10,000, provided the new job pays less than $50,000 a year.

Congress is now examining whether wage insurance should be expanded to a national program and added to existing aid for the unemployed. There are some attractive aspects to the program. But it should not be the first priority in dealing with job loss. Given the nation's limited budget resources, it would be very difficult to incorporate wage insurance into the social safety net without cannibalizing other programs.

First, traditional unemployment insurance must be improved before wage insurance is expanded. A joint federal/state program, unemployment insurance is currently available to about 35 percent of workers and replaces, on average, about a third of their weekly earnings, usually for up to 26 weeks. Critics portray it as a license to loaf. But people who collect unemployment insurance generally find better-paying jobs than those who do not and are more likely to find jobs with health insurance. That is a strong argument in favor of expanding unemployment insurance, not curtailing or replacing it.

There is also no reason to believe that taxpayer dollars are better spent on wage insurance than on retraining for displaced workers. States and localities have had good results from retraining, which could be bolstered with federal support.

On the positive side, wage insurance could be a pragmatic response to the downward pressure on wages from globalization. Not everyone who loses a job in today's economy is able to find a comparable new one. Wage insurance would help keep displaced workers working and, possibly, help them to acquire new skills on the job. But there are still many unanswered questions about its efficacy.

So far, the issue has divided on predictable lines. House Republicans have introduced a bill that would let states use unemployment insurance funds to pay for wage insurance or other programs, like private employee accounts, that could be tapped in case of job loss. That would be good for free-market cheerleaders, but not for laid-off workers.

In contrast, a Democratic representative, Jim McDermott of Washington, has drafted two proposals. One, costing roughly $7.5 billion over five years, would expand unemployment insurance, to be paid for by extending an expiring federal unemployment tax on employers, equal to about $14 per worker per year. The other would allocate $3.5 billion a year to establish a national program of wage insurance, to be paid for by a new employer tax equal to about $40 per worker per year.

Congress should first proceed with improvements to unemployment compensation and then further explore the merits of direct job retraining and wage insurance. Ideally, the nation would be able to provide unemployment insurance, retraining and wage insurance. But lawmakers have to make tough choices. It's crucial to the economic well being of families that they choose well.

8-31-09 Detroit News Jobless Claims Overwhelm UIA

Jobless claims overwhelm state workers

Unemployment office's 800 workers ordered to log 140 overtime hours by year's end

Mark Hornbeck / Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Lansing -- While most state workers are about to take their last unpaid furlough day, Unemployment Insurance Agency employees are racking up overtime.

The 800 employees, including call center and problem resolution staff, recently received a memo saying they'll have to put in 140 more hours of overtime before the end of the year to keep up with the crush of applications from Michigan's legions of jobless. They'll have to work seven Saturdays or holidays and then another 80-plus hours of overtime during regular workdays.

The overtime will cost $3.4 million, about $4,300 per employee, a tab picked up by the federal government.

Advertisement

Michigan has an unprecedented 450,000 residents receiving unemployment compensation and "hundreds of thousands" waiting to get benefits, said Norm Isotalo, spokesman for the Unemployment Insurance Agency. The state's 15 percent jobless rate is the highest in the nation.

"We do need to get the work done," Isotalo said.

Call center phone line times have been expanded until 6 p.m., and offices are open longer, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., he said.

Staff members have been required to put in overtime for much of the year, Isotalo said, to cut down on waiting time.

Because of the flood of business, Unemployment Insurance Agency workers were not compelled to take the six furlough days required of more than 37,000 other state workers, whose last payless day will be Friday. It's not certain whether more furlough days will be required in the next fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 as a measure to help balance a budget that is $2.8 billion out of whack.

The unemployment office isn't the only help center trying to cope with increased demand.

The waiting lines are mounting for job training and tuition under the state's 2-year-old No Worker Left Behind program because there are more applicants than dollars.

While applications are being processed across most of the state, there are waiting lists in western Wayne and Monroe counties, said Andy Levin, deputy director of the Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth. Most of the program is financed with federal grant money, and the state applied to the U.S. Department of Labor for $58 million in late June to address the need, Levin said. Officials are waiting for an answer.

People will be put into training as money becomes available, he added.

One contractor in southeastern Michigan who is handling No Worker Left Behind benefit requests erroneously sent e-mails to applicants earlier this month saying there is no money for the program, Levin said. He added that the Southeast Michigan Community Alliance, which is running the program in Wayne and Monroe counties, neglected to set up a waiting list.

"We're not sure why that happened, but it has been taken care of," he said.

Under the program, laid-off workers can get up to $10,000 for two years of tuition at a community college, four-year university or other approved training program. About 88,000 people have enrolled, Gov. Jennifer Granholm has said.

mhornbeck@detnews.com (313) 222-2470

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1448 comments

CHUCK MIDDLETON 9 years ago

A very complete and fair coverage of Unemployment in michigan. I can't think of anything to add. You might mention the length of time to be employed to get coverage.(14 weeks ????) As you may know some employers try to get employes to quit before they hit this point.

Looks like a TYPO right after the heading "Appeals Procedutes."


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

Thanks for the encouraging comment and for catching the typo!


bob 9 years ago

Can i receive unemployment if i was fired due to a point system ?


cris 9 years ago

If my employer tells(in writing) me That the issue on a hostile work environment has been resolved and gives me a manditory call back to work date and I return and find out that I feel the issue has not been resolved so i leave work am I eligible for unemployment.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

Bob,  In Michigan the administrative law judges and the courts don't usually find misconduct solely on the basis of automatic attendance point systems which don't take into account the reasons for the absences or tardinesses for which points are racked up. Simply being absent or late is not misconduct under the Michigan statute--being absent or late WITHOUT REASONABLE CAUSE too many times is disqualifying misconduct. The judge will or should decide your eligibility based on how many times you were absent or late without a valid excuse such as illness, need to attend to child care and the like. If the employer is unable to establish that the reasons for your absence were not justifyable, the judge should find you eligible (in Michigan). However, you should note that I'm really not able to express an opinion on your case without reading the case file and hearing your side of the story.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

Cris, your eligibility in Michigan would depend on the facts of the case based on your testimony and that of any employer witnesses at an administrative law judge hearing. You would have to show more than your "feeling" that the hostile work environment issue was not resolved. You would have to testify to specific things your supervisor or other employees said to you or did to you after you returned to work. I don't recall the used of the words "hostile work environment" in any case that I have encountered; however. continued harrassment, verbal or physical abuse should constitute "good cause attributable to the employer for quitting." Quit or voluntary leaving cases are among the most difficult for claimants because the burden of proof falls on the claimant to establish the existence of facts attributable to the employer which would cause a reasonable person to quit his or her job. In Michigan you are not required to file a civil rights complaint claiming "hostile work environment" or discrimination in order to qualify for unemployment compensation. But if you have filed a complaint with the civil rights commisstion, that could help support your claim for unemployment compensation. Again, I hesitate to express an opinion on your case without knowing all the facts.


Debbie Shaw 9 years ago

I have been receiving Unemployment benefits and suddenly I get a letter saying that my ex-employer said that I was dischared and when I filed I put that I was layed off. I was never fired. Now I have to provide pay stubs and proof that my claim is true. or I will have to pay back the money plus have my benefits taken away along with a penalty. why would the employer say tell a lie and what do I do.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

Without seeing your file I can't offer definitive advice on your case. You are entitled to appeal the Unemployment Agency's redetermination on your eligibility to a hearing before an administrative law judge who will take your testimony and that of your employer and rule on your case. It's important that you appeal within the time limit. Read all the material furnished you by the Unemployment Agency very carefully and follow the instructions. And be on time for your hearing. The hearings are informal and you don't have to have a lawyer. However, a lawyer or representative who specializes in unemployment compensation law is helpful.

Again, my comments are based on my experience in Michigan. Unemployment compensation statutes and procedures differ somewhat from state to state. I am authorized only to represent claimants in Michigan, not other states.


Lynn 9 years ago

My husband was fired for a positive drug test which: 1. After 2 faulty containers, the third test came back positive. 2. He wanted to retest, at his own expense, at a nearby hospital, instead of the tribal clinic room and he was refused. 3. The entity does not give drug tests, although it states so in the manual. 4. The entity waited longer than their own policy states to terminate him and he had to resign in order to collect his vacation pay. 5. He has been employed without a break in service for over 8 years and has never, nor does he know anyone that was ever tested. 7. He has a very good work record with this entity and has never did anything to jeopordize his job or to give anyone reason to think he was under the influence of anything. He has appealed, does he need a lawyer? He has been waiting for over 3 months now and our funds are depleted. Any good advice? Thank you, Michiganders


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

It would definitely be to his advantage to discuss his case with a lawyer or advocate. He should have received a list of claimant advocates from the Unemployment Agency. He should call one or more of them and discuss his case. There is no charge for this advice nor for representation in an Administrative Law Judge hearing. The advocate is paid by the state of Michigan. Under Michigan law your husband was entitiled to a confirmatory test.  The Unemployment Compensation statute reads as follows:

421.29 (m) Was discharged for... (iii) Testing positive on a drug test, if the test was administered in a nondiscriminatory manner. It the worker disputes the result of the testing, a generally accepted confirmatory test shall be administered and shall also indicate a positive result for the presence of a controlled substance before a disqualification of the worker under this subdivision."

Comment: The Unemployment Agency and the judges tend to be tough on applicants who test positive for drugs.  However, filing an appeal doesn't cost anything and may be worth a try.

 You mentioned that "a third test came back positive." I'm not sure what this means. Depending on the facts, it could mean that the testing facility complied with the obligation to provide a confirmatory test. Failure by the lab or the employer to follow correct testing procedures can be grounds for reversal of the agency's disqualification determination. If no one else was ever tested by your husband's employer, depending on the facts, this could be an indication that the test was not "administered in a nondiscriminatory manner" as required by the statute.

Without knowing all of the facts of your husband's case, I'm not able to provide you with advice.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

Further comment: Most lawyers don't know much about unemployment compensation law. It's best to find a lawyer or advocate that specializes in UC law. The lawyers and advocates on the list provided by the Unemployment Agency to claimants who timely appeal agency redeterminations can provide competent advice free of any charge to the claimant.


Lynn 9 years ago

Thank you for your quick response, it is very much appreciated. To give a better picture, what I meant for the third test was; the first collection cup did not register a temperture so the speciman collector remarked it was "warm enough, it should register" so then pulled another cup out, dumped that the same sample into another cup. It also did not work, so then after a few hours, had him give another sample which is the one that was sent out. My husband complained to the security director that he did not have trust in the way the test was administered and the fact that 3 sample cups were used and he would perfer to have a test at the lab in the local hospital. He was denied. The tribe does random testing on upper management employees only, which also includes governmental employees. For those employees that test positive, or employees that have been arrested for possesion of any drugs, the tribe offers a drug counseling program to keep their jobs. Once he was informed of the test results, which took 17 days, he again asked for a retest in the local hospital and was informed only the split speciman would be retested at a cost to him of $125, whereas the local hospital charges $50 with the extended test and denied him again.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

From what you've said, it looks to me as if the odds are against your husband winning if he has filed a timely appeal. However, it doesn't cost anything to file an appeal. (Appeals must be received by the Agency within 30 days of the redetermination and filed in accordance with Unemployment Agency procedures. Claimants must continue to certify in accordance with Agency procedures while their appeal is pending.)


Jon 9 years ago

Hello, I recently resigned my position with my company as my family was relocating. Because this left my employer without anyone to do my job they offered to re-hire me on a contract basis and allow me to work from home. I accepted as I did not have employment in our new location. I worked for the company while they brought a replacement up to speed. I received notification that my company wanted to terminate the contract (as it was stated in the contract). I filed for unemployment and have been receiveing checks. Today I received a letter that my employer is contesting the claim. I explained what I have typed here in my rebuttal and attached the letter of termination. Am I in the right here? I would not have had any rights when I resigned but upon their re-hire and termination of my employment wouldn't I be entitled to unemployment benefits?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

I think that in Michigan you would be eligible although it's hard to say for sure without reading the file and seeing what your employer is telling the Unemployment Agency. Although your employer terminated you, they are probably claiming you quit without cause attributable to the employer. This is a gray area. You should go to the administrative law judge hearing, with a representative who know unemployment compensation law, and tell the judge that you did not resign but were terminated by your employer. Sorry for the slow reply.


Jon 9 years ago

Ralph,thanks for the reply. I am in Michigan and as of now I don't know anything about the hearing. The state simply asked for a rebuttal to their claim. I sent the letter of termination I received and I am hoping that this is proof enough of my argument. While losing benefits is of concern what is even more concerning is that all over the documents I was sent it reiterates the penalties for fraud and makes statements that insinuate I am doing something fraudulantly. It kind of scares you away from using a system that is there to be used. Thanks again for the reply. Very useful information!


Jon 9 years ago

Ralph,thanks for the reply. I am in Michigan and as of now I don't know anything about the hearing. The state simply asked for a rebuttal to their claim. I sent the letter of termination I received and I am hoping that this is proof enough of my argument. While losing benefits is of concern what is even more concerning is that all over the documents I was sent it reiterates the penalties for fraud and makes statements that insinuate I am doing something fraudulantly. It kind of scares you away from using a system that is there to be used. Thanks again for the reply. Very useful information!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

Good. You did the right thing. Be sure and continue to call Marvin in accordance with the Agency procedures. Shortly, you will receive a redetermination either affirming your eligibility or reversing the original determination. You have the right to appeal an unfavorable redetermination to an administrative law judge. The employer has the same right. If you or the employer appeals you will receive a list of advocates names and phone numbers. It will be to your advantage to have an advocate to help represent you at a the ALJ hearing. Keep me posted on what happens.


Kate 9 years ago

Ralph,

I have a hearing scheduled for next month. On my hearing paper it states that the ISSUES are the redetermination statement, SEC 29 9, and Voluntary Quit (new to me!) What is Sec 29, 9 all about. I have looked it up and can't understand the language. Can they bring up new stuff such as the voluntary quit? I was fired because I didn't tell a supervisor I was going to lunch on a particular day. It was a past practice and I had proof with letters. Then they allowed me to work for one week and a half before they fired me for that!!!! Nobody ever told me that whatever I did was wrong. I worked for this company for 20 months and always did the same procedure. I prooved that to unemployment. That was easy. Two times Unemployment found me not having willful or wanton disregard for the employer. I know this won't be an issue but how in the world can they say that it was a Voluntary quit and what the heck is Sec 29 9 all about.

Kate


Kate 9 years ago

Ralph,

How long is a hearing? It says on my paperwork that it starts at 9:00 a.m. Can I take paperwork with me such as letters from employees stating what happened on the day they said I had a terminable action? Can my father represent me?

Kate


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

Kate, in Michigan, administrative law judges ordinarlily schedule one hearing per hour. Hearings usually last less than an hour depending on how complicated the case is, how many witnesses there are, etc. Yes, you may present at the hearing any paperwork relevant to your case.

Section 29.9 deals with cases where employers submit notice to the unemployment agency of possible disqualification due to misconduct beyond the time limit prescribed by the agency. It provides that information submitted late shall not "form the basis of a determinatin of ineligibility or disqualification for a claim period compensated before the receipt of of the notice by the commission." In other words, late information submitted by an employer may not be used retroactively to disqualify a claimant for a period before the information is received by the agency.

The Michigan statute provides that "Any individual claiming benefits in any proceeding under this act by the commission or a court may be represented by counsel or other duly authorized agent." You should inquire of the office of the administrative law judge whether or not you father would be considered a "duly authorized agent."

If you are not accompanied by an advocate, the judge is obligated to assure that you get a fair hearing.

If you are in Michigan the Unemployment Agency should have provided you with a list of advocates who are certified to represent claimants in administrative law judge hearings. The people on this list have received training on the unemployment statute and procedures and are certified to provide representation without charge to claimants (Advocates are paid by the Unemployment Agency.) In my opinion, it would be to your advantage to take advantage of this free service.


Kate 9 years ago

Ralph,

Thank you for providing the information. You have no idea how much I appreciate your informative information. I understand exactly what my paperwork is saying now. They are bringing up a new topic Voluntary Quit because it has never been brought up that is what 29 9 is stating. Why would they bring up a voluntary quit when it isn't even realistic?? Do you think it was to get a hearing?? I don' t know how to make sense of all this? Are they trying to scare me away or do you think it is just protcol for companies to drag it out to this step all the time? I will take advantage of calling the advocacy number and receiving assistance.

Kate from Michigan


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

29 (1) (a) covers voluntary leaving (quittint) without good cause attributable to the employer, such as unsafe working conditions, harrassment, etc.

29(1) (b) covers discharge for misconduct.

29(9) covers situations where the employer is late in submitting information to the Agency on the reason and circumstances of the termination.

Since the circumstances of a termination are often not clear or disputed, the judges usually add the issue of voluntary leaving to cases where the issue may appear to be misconduct, and they sometimes add the issue of misconduct to cases where the issue appears to be voluntary leaving. The do that so that both issues may be raised and discussed at the scheduled hearing. Otherwise, another hearing might have to be held to discuss an issue not listed on the "Notice of Hearing."

An example of a case where the issue is not clear is when an employer tells an employee they are about to be fired but suggests that it will allow the employee to resign. The the employer may claim that the termination was a voluntary leaving based on the written or oral resignation. Of course, there was nothing voluntary about the leaving and the judges treat these cases as misconduct cases, putting the burden on the employer to establish "wanton or willful disregard of the employer's interest" rather than on the employee to establish "good cause for quitting attributable to the employer."

You should have received a list of advocates from the Agency. I suggest you call one of the individuals on the list to discuss your case. Best of luck!


Amanda 9 years ago

I was denied benefits and determined to be a voluntary quit due to personal reasons and the determination letter states that I must work and earn a certain amount of money before I can requalify. I did not have a personal reason that kept me from working this was a mistatement by my employer that I disputed in my exit interview. Nevertheless, they did not change the termination letter and now I was denied.How can overcome a voluntary quit allegation? The personal reasons they refer to is a supposed lack of babysitters. I have written up a statement and included statements from my babysitters who confirm that I did not have any babysitting problems. Other than that what can I do to try to win during my redetermination. Do I even have a chance since my term later falsely claims that?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

1. Appeal the Agency's determination with a written statement of your side of the story.

2. If you have already done that and if you have received a redetermination from the Unemployment Agency, appeal the redetermination and ask for a hearing before an administrative law judge.

3. Continue to certify in accordance with the rules that you are unemployed and available and seeking work.


Jon 9 years ago

Ralph,I commented above regarding my situation. I have been denied benefits on my redetermination. I am confused because on redetermination it states that I am being denied benefits for a claim of 11/28. I never made a claim for 11/28 as this was the time I voulantarily quit my job. I was then hired on an open-ended contract basis for about 2 months earning much more than the qualifying amount for a rework even though the redetermination states I did not earn enough to requalify. I am concerned with two things here. The dates don't match the claim I made and they don't even seem to be considering my re-hire and the termination of the contract. Are rules different for a contracted employee? Before I appeal this decision I want to make sure I am not missing anything so here is a time line of events:

11/24/06 - Quit job voulantarily as family was relocating11/28/06 - Before my employment ended I was offered a contracted position that allowed me to work at home and started the Monday after the end of my employment1/31/07 - Contracted employment was terminated. 2/2/07 - Filed claimIs there someone that can officially tell me if I have a case or not? Can you provide any additional information or make any suggestions?

Thanks,

Jon


Lynette 9 years ago

Hello,

I was recently fired from my job because I was using the internet and faxing resumes to other offices to find another job. I know this was not the brightest thing to do- but I was worried about being laid off and I didn't want to be unemployed.

I just received my letter stating I am disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits under MES ACT Sec 29 1B "Disregard for my employers interest". I know I can file an appeal and I am going to do that- but I wanted to get some advice first about what to do/say to help my case. Just very frustrated since it seems that so many receive unemployment that abuse the system and I am struggling and I cannot get approved.

Thank you,

Lynette


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

It's hard to offer advice without knowing more about the case. First question, was there a published rule prohibiting use of your employer's Internet and fax machinel for personal reasons? Had you been informed of the rule if there was one? If there was such a rule, what did it say? Was the rule enforced uniformly? Or was it common for people to use the Internet to communicate with their spouses or friends. (I recall a case at one of the auto companies where the supervisor who fired the claimant admitted at the hearing that he sometimes emailed his wife to let her know he was not coming straight home from work, etc. And the claimant testified that others commonly used email for personal communications.) You may have trouble winning your case if there is a published rule which is enforced uniformly by your employer. Otherwise you may succeed in getting the Agency's determination reversed. There have been quite a few cases going each way.

Misconduct is defined in the law as "wanton or wilful disregard of your employer's interest." I would argue that your employer wasn't harmed by your use of the email any more than if you had used the office telephone to inquire about other employment opportunities. Telephone use for local personal calls is permitted by most employers, so long as the employee doesn't spend a lot of time chatting. That reminds me of another question---How much time did you spend on the Internet and/faxing resumes. If you spent a significant amount of time, that would weaken your case. If you could show that you spent only a small amount of time, mostly on lunch hour and breaks and only sent a few faxes that would help your case.

Another question, why were you apprehensive about being laid off? Had other employees been laid off? Had there been any announcements or communications by your employer about workforce reductions. If there was a real threat of layoff, most employers are happy to allow their employees to use their facilities to look for employment elsewhere. So, it would help your case if you could come up with any evidence that a layoff was likely. If a layoff was imminent you were doing what a reasonable employee would do--start looking for another job.

Finally, had you been warned to stop using the Internet and/or fax machine. Or were you fired without a warning after your use of the facilities was discovered? I would argue that the appropriate thing for your employer to have done, upon discovering that you were using his facilities, would have been to instruct you to stop. And, only if you continued, would dismissal have been appropriate.

One final question--do you know whether the employer hired anyone to replace you? It would be worthwhile to try to find that out because some employers disguise layoffs of people they no longer need as firings for misconduct in order to avoid having them collect unemployment compensation against their account. If you were not replaced that fact could be used to create doubt about your employer's motive for discharging you. It could have been a layoff disguised as a dismissal for misconduct.

Good luck on your case! If you think of it let us know how it turns out.


Lynette 9 years ago

Thanks for responding to my post. Here is the answers to some questions you had posed. First, to answer about the published rule- yes it was in our handbook that internet and office equipment was not to be used personally. Everyone had to sign that they received the handbook. However, I know for a fact that EVERYONE there used the internet for personal reasons and the email system as well including the office manager- whom fired me. How do I prove that though? Secondly, I faxed a few resumes to other offices and I used the internet more often. I don't know if they can prove how often I used it or not- but honestly, I was actively seeking employment elsewhere so it was more than just on my lunch break. I cannot prove it myself one way or another either. I have no documentation of anything from my previous employer. Third, about being laid off. I had heard from employees there that the company had laid off several people shortly before hiring me and since the work was no longer coming as steadily as before, I easily put two & two together and wanted to make sure I had another job before I lost this one. My office manger had never told me about the lay offs- it was all said behind the scene. Fourth, my office manager did not warn me, write me up or proceed with any disiplinary action before she came to me one day and with the faxes she found me sending out & said "pack your belongings- you are done here". Finally, I am not aware of anyone being hired in my replace. I don't speak to anyone in that office any longer.

I don't know how I can appeal or prove anything to a judge/court if I have nothing in writing. It seems the burden of proof is in my hands and I'm not sure how to prove anything. I am in the process of filing a complaint with the State of MI DOL in regards to unpaid overtime wages & I have sent a certified letter to my previous employer to send me my personnel files, but I am afraid that they will not even comply with that and I won't have any documenation at all for either case.

Thanks again for listening to my issue. I take full responsibility for using the internet and fax- however, I just feel that the harshness of my termination should at least result in unemployment compensation, I guess not huh?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

I would guess that you have at least a 50-50 chance of getting the administrative law judge to reverse the agency's determination. It would help if you could get another person who worked in the office at the same time you did to testify at the hearing that internet use was common by many people in the office and was tolerated by your employer. And your representative at the hearing should question any employer witnesses on this point--i.e. ask them if it is not true that many people used the Internt. That will force them to admit this or perjure themselves. Then the employer witness should be asked whether anyone had ever been dismissed or even disciplined for using the Internet at the office. Then they should be pressed on whether they can show that you wasted a significant amount of time when you had work to do. Using the Internet during lunch hour or break time or after work should not be considered misconduct, in my opinion. Finally, any employer witness should be asked under cross examination whether someone was hired to replace you after you were dismissed. If the employer witness says yes, he should be asked the name of that person and whether he or she is still employed there.

Another thought, did the employee handbook define a disciplinary policy spelling out steps of progressive discipline, e.g., counselling written warning, etc. before discharge. And did the rule prohibiting use of the Internet specify what the penalty would be for violations? If not it would be reasonable to expect the company to issue a verbal or written warning in the first instance and only resort to dismissal if there was another violation.

Your case is not hopeless. And it doesn't cost anything to appeal to an administrative law judge. Some of the judges are more lenient and others more strict. You might get lucky. Also, it would be helpful to sign up with one of the claimant advocates. If you appeal you will be sent a list. Most of them are pretty good. And there is no charge for their advice and representation at an appeal hearing. They are paid by the Unemployment Agency. (In Michigan and several other states.)


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

Jon, Sorry, I just noticed your question. I'm not sure what you mean by a "contracted employee." The rules are slightly different for employees working through temp agencies. If your assignment through a temp agency ends you are required to notify your temp agency promptly that your assignment ended and let them know you are available for another assignment.


Lynette 9 years ago

Again, thank you sooo much for all your advice! I am definitely going to pursue this case and I appreciate you listening to my issues and offering such helpful pointers. God Bless!! :)


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

Lynette, Here's a case citation that may be helpful: Fleet Engineers, Inc. v. Smith Muskegon Circuit Court, Docket No. 95-32894-AE (December 21, 1995)

In this case the circuit court ruled "When the employer by its own conduct over a substantial period of time revealed it had no interest in preventing the acts which caused the claimant's discharge, those acts cannot form the basis of a finding of misconduct. The act for which the claimant was discharged "was a common occurrence, was known by supervisors to occur, and was considered so insignificant to plant safety that it was ignored by plant supervision."

In other words misconduct cannot be found for conduct that has been CONDONED in the past by the employer. The concept is called "condonation." For misconduct to be found for purposes of unemployment compensation for a dismissal for previously condoned actions the employer must provide clear notice that the conduct will no longer be tolerated. And the policy must be applied in a non-discriminatory manner, i.e,, not selectively.


Mark J. Hermansen 9 years ago

My employer sold to another company. The two owners new and old told us in a company meeting everyone’s job would be safe for one year.Within a month they changed my work days and posted my job with less benefits and more responsibilities.I was told by the general manager if I did not accept this job change I could leave with unemployment. Now I was just given a judgement that I left voluntarily and I owe what unemployment I did receive.If the general manager told me there would be no severance pay but the company would consider the job changed I could file for unemployment, do I have a case?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

Mark, The burden is on you to show that you had good cause attributable to the employer for resigning. Establishing this is not easy. Unfortunately, the employer does not have the final say on eligibility for unemployment compensation. The addition of responsibilities would not be considered good cause. Whether reductions in benefits might qualify, depending on the extent of the reductions. For example, cancellation of health care benefits and/or pension benefits would, in my opinion, would qualify as good cause. If memory serves, wage or salary reductions of 15 percent or more would constitute good cause. Your case sounds like a tough one to me. However, it doesn't cost anything to appeal. If your employer doesn't show up at the hearing you might get the redetermination reversed. Good luck!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

Correction: Whether reductions in benefits might qualify as good cause DEPENDS on the extent of the reductions.


dane 9 years ago

Hello,

ralph i was in a rather bad situtation i have a redetermination on my unemployment benefits it states sec 29(1) b also 29(1)(a) when i was qualifying for umemployment they ask for the seperation reason of course. i stated that i was fired because that is what i was told by a fellow employer how it happened was me and my friend that worked together at this job rode to work together the day of my seperataion my friend told the supervisor he quit. i had now way home so i left with him telling my employer i had to go with him he acted like he didn't even here me. I called one of my friends from work they said i was fired. never went back and know they are saying volutary leaving and i dont know what to do to fight my case. i was also wondering if they do find me disqualified will they just cut me off or make me pay it back?

Thanxs for you time, Dane


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

It's hard for me to offer an opinion on your case without seeing the case file. From what you've said it, you appear me to have a tough case. Nevertheless, you have a right, within 30 days, to request a hearing before an administrative law judge. You should continue to certify by calling MARVIN while your case is on appeal. Once a hearing is scheduled you will be sent a list of advocates which the Agency pays to represent claimants. Call one of the advocates on the list and discuss your case with him. I'm afraid the judge may say that you did not act as a reasonable person when you relied on another employee's statement that you had been fired without checking with your employer.


Charles  9 years ago

I recently received the decision by the law judge on my appeal which he modified the claims examiners findings of gross misconduct. He modified it to simple misconduct and disqualified me for 8 weeks otherwise payable. It has been 15 days since the letter was dated and mailed to all the parties. I have received anything from the claims department, I continued to file during the entire process. Do I have any other action to take to find out why I haven't received anything, yet?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

Michigan doesn't distinguish between "misconduct" and "gross misconduct." My only suggestion is to call your employment agency or go to an unemployment agency office and speak to a representative. In the meantime, keep certifying. Eventually the agency will comply with the judge's decision and pay you whatever you have coming. Of course your employer has a right to appeal the judge's ruling. However, you should be entitled to receive benefits while tha appeal is pending.


linfull 9 years ago

I have been with my current company for 3 years. I just read an article in the local paper and found out the owner is moving our company to another town. This will be approximately another 30 miles per day for me to drive. With gas over $3.00/gallon does this qualify as a hardship?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

In my opinion, that's in a gray area. There is no specific number of miles constituting too far to commute.  Whether you qualify for unemployment compensation would depend on whether the administrative law judge considered your action "good cause attributable to your employer" for a reasonable person to quit, considering all factors, e.g., the traffic and how long the commute takes in hours as well as miles, any personal health condition, the cost of gasoline, the availability and cost of public transportation, the length and hours of your shift and the like. Your rate of pay might also be considered relevant because while it might be reasonable for someone making the minimum wage to quit because of a 60-mile per day commute, it might not be considered reasonable for someone making a $100,000 salary to quit for the same reason. It might be considered reasonable for someone earning the minimum or a low wage to quit due to a long commute because to cost would eat up a significant portion of his earnings. I think the IRS allows 35 cents per mile or thereabouts for travel by personal vehicle which would amount to $21 per day for a 60 mile commute, a sizeable amount for someone earning a low wage, but less significant for someone earning a high wage.

The safest course of action would be to find another job before quitting the one you have because you may or may not qualify for unemployment compensation.


will 9 years ago

I have a hearing coming up on 5-24-07 I was terminated from my job but the employer is claiming disregard for the employer interest. I think they are going to argue insubordination or theft which are both not true. Let me tell you a little about it maybe some one can help. I came to work just after the holidays and I found a letter to my replacement welcoming him to the company which was left on the copy machine. I then asked my office manager who this person was and asked if he would be taking my job. I did not tell her I had found this letter she told me not to pay any attention to office rumors. I then knew I was in trouble so I told a couple of the office people I was sick and going home. My regional then called me at home and told me that I had walked off the job and that I should bring my keys in asap I told her as soon as I get a letter of termination that I would return the keys but I would be at work the next morning and countinue to work until I had got the letter. She told me if I did return that she would call the police and have me removed from the property. So I showed up at work and she called the police and they asked me to leave which I did and then returned the keys the same day. I got the police report it is all in it what I can't see how they can win any advice.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

If you are in Michigan I advise you to call one or more of the claimant advocates from the list that you should have received. The advocates are paid by the State of Michigan to represent unemployment compensation claimants in appeal hearings before administrative law judges. It's to your advantage to be represented by an advocate. If you don't have an advocate, the judge is responsible for you to receive a fair hearing.

Without reading your case file it's hard for me to offer advice other than to tell the truth to the judge when you testify. The employer will be asked to testify first since the burden is on the employer to prove misconduct. In Michigan misconduct is defined as "wanton or willful disregard of the employer's interest." From what you've said it appears to me that there was a misunderstanding between you and the office manager and that your action that they found objectionable (not returning your keys and reporting for work) occurred after you had already been fired by the company. If I were cross-examining the employer witness I would ask what they were alleging you had done (before the incident involving the keys) that  caused them to decide to fire you.


nthomas74 9 years ago

I was terminated from an employment agency for misconduct. They claimed that I used the internet too much at the company I worked at. When I first started at the company I was assigned to, they said they didn't care about internet usage very much. During down time, I did read news, but I also used the company website that was work related. Then two months later, I became very sick. It was during this time that I was given a friendly warning, saying that I was doing a great job, and that I should cut back on the internet, which I did. I never used it again after this warning. Plus, I missed four days of work, which the employment agency was not happy about. I even spent a day in the hospital with a very high fever. When I came back to work, I was still very weak but did my job. I was told that I would have more responsibilities. But in the meantime, they hired a new girl to do my job. Then at the end of the week, my employment agency told me I was terminated for misuse of the internet.

I filed for unemployment benefits, which the employment agency contested. I had a telephone interview with an UI representative and explained everything that happened. He called again a few days later to retrieve more information. Later I was found eligible to receive benefits for the UI department stated that my actions were not wilfull or deliberate. I received benefits for a month and now the agency is appealing. My telephone hearing is next week. I have my medical records ready, but my question is do I have a chance at winning this? Any advice is helpful.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

Unemployment Compensation statutes and regulations vary somewhat from state to state. My knowledge is based on my experience in Michigan where misconduct has been defined by the courts as "wanton or wilfull disregard of the employer's interest." The burden of estabilishing misconduct is on the employer. This requires proof of a quite sericous single offense such as drinking on the job, refusal to follow proper instructions from a supervisor, fighting, theft and the like OR a series of minor offenses such as absenteeism, tardiness and possibly as in your case, unauthorized use of the Internet involation of a company rule AND failure to respond to warnings to stop.

Using the Internet in the workplace is quite common in my experience. And as I pointed out above, the real issue is how much time is the employee wasting on the Internet? Use of the Internet during lunch period, break time or when there is no work to be done should not be considered misconduct in my opinion. However, UC decisions have upheld the employer's right to establish a rule prohibiting use of its facilities to access the Internet.

Another legal principle is that company rules must be enforced evenhandedly for all employees. It might be helpful if you could produce evidence that other employees use the Internet your workplace without being dismissed or disciplined.

It's hard to predict what your chances are without seeing the case record and knowing the law in your state. In Michigan, based on what you said, I think your chances of winning would be better than fifty percent.

Good luck in your hearing.


nthomas74 9 years ago

Thanks, Ralph!

i just contacted an attorney who has a 97% winning rate in employee's benefits. She told me I had a 50/50 chance of winning, but it looks really good for me. She also informed me that most of the time, agencies would try to falsify records and signatures. And since i was fired by the agency and not by the company i worked at, it looks very good. She told me not to worry. i feel so much better now.

Thanks again. I will keep you posted on any new developments.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

Let us know how it turns out. I agree with your attorney's comment about temp agencies, especially the smaller ones. They will do almost anything to avoid having anyone collect unemployment compensation against their account. Nursing homes and car dealers are slso notorious for their sleazball tactics in unemployment compensation issues.


Phillip Persenaire 9 years ago

I am 72 years old and draw SS however it is not enough to live on so I continue to work. The company I am working with is downsising & I am sure I will be left go. At 72 can I draw unemployment?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

Yes. There is no age limit for unemployment compensation. You must be available and seeking work in your line of work or profession. Also, you must report in every other week in accordance with unemployment agency procedures. And you should read all the material provided to you and meticulously follow the instructions. Most unemployment agencies are strict about meeting all deadlines and following all their rules.


Felicia M 9 years ago

Mr. Deeds, the information and insight regarding unemployment benefits has given me a greater understanding of how the law works. Thank you for that.

I do have a question, though: I am in the process of appealing an administrative law judge's decision regarding my eligibility for unemployment benefits. In the summer of 2006, I worked through a temp agency for a two month assignment in IL. Once the I was told by the employer that the assignment was to end in two weeks, I promptly notified the temp agency of my anticipated last day. I contacted the temp agency again on my last day with the employer. I also informed the temp agency that although I had to move back to MI (where I am from originally) because I couldn't live in Chicago without income, that I am actively seeking work in IL, and had no problem with moving back to IL for employment in HR. The temp agency told me they had no jobs available, so I had no choice but to move back to MI. In March 2007, I filed an unemployment claim with IL, which the temp agency protested. The administrative law judge ruled in the temp agency's favor, stating that since the last time I spoke with the agency was at the end of my assignment, and no time during 2007, that it gave the impression that I was unavailable for work (even though I presented into evidence during the telephone hearing my record of work search.) Yes, I did not use the temp agency as a job search resource, but I was actively applying for work in both IL and MI and keeping my eye open for opportunities.

Mr. Deeds, I understand that laws differ from state to state. I wanted to get your insight as to how to proceed with my appeal. I feel I should not be penalized because I didn't keep in weekly contact with the temp agency. And besides I feel I did my part in notifying the agency of my work availability after the assignment completed.

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

Felicia


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

To be perfectly honest, I have never come across a case like yours, and I am not familiar with the law in Illinois or even in Michigan. Otherwise, the best advice I can give is to set forth the facts of your case as clearly and completely as you can in your appeal. Depending on how much money is at stake you might want to consult an attorney who is familiar with the Illinois unemployment compensation statute and court decisions.

There is a Michigan Supreme Court decision that might be helpful in your case. It is Bingham v American Screw Products Co, 398 Mich 546 (1976).

Supreme Court Holding: 1. Claimant who established credit weeks in Michigan can requalify for benefits by being able and availab;e in Kentucky. 2. since claimant resided n Kentucky his previous Michigan employer's offer of work was not suitable as it was too distant from his residence in Kentucky.

Facts: Claimant left a Michigan job because he could not find adequate housing at a price he could afford. He was disqualified for voluntary leaving. He returned home to Knetucky, and registered for work with the appropriate employment office there. Thereafter he diligently sought and made himself available for suitable work, but turned down a job offer from his former Michigan employer due to the distance from his Kentucky residence.

Decision:  (1) Claimant requalified for benefits after serving the period of disqualification under the Act, and (2) was not disqualified for refusing his former employer's job offer because the offer was not an offer of "suitable work" due to the fact the job was too distant from his residence.

Rationale:  1. When a claimant moves to a locality other than where he earned credit weeks, his being able and available should be determined by whether he was genuinely attached to the labor market in his new locality.

2. In determining whether the Michigan employer's offer of work was sjuitable the Court found claimant's residence was in Kentucky as this is where he actually lived. The Court of Appeals erred in holding the Michigan employment offer was suitable, when it determined claimant's residence as a matter of law was both where he resides and where he earned credit weeks. To hold otherswise would restrict an unemployed person's right of freedom of movement to seek a job where it is best for him.

*****

In pursuing your appeal in Illinois you might cite the above Michigan Supreme Court decision and its reasoning. Illinois would of course not be bound by a Michigan decision, but they might take the reasoning into account when rendering a decision. Or it might be that the law or Court decisions in Illinois are similar to the above Michigan decision. I don't have the time or ready access to the unemployment compensation law or court decisions in Illinois. That's about the best I can do for you.

One of the purposes of Unemployment Compensation is to facilitate the working of the labor market, i.e., to assist and encourage people who are laid off to actively seek employment. It seems to me that your actions and the Michigan Supreme Court decision are consistent with this objective.

Note: I am not familiar with unemployment compensation law in Illinois. Moreover, I have never handled a case like yours in Michigan.


Felicia M 9 years ago

Thank you for the advice! The following is the wording from the Referee's Decision:

"CONCLUSION: Section 500C of "The Unemployment Insurance Act" provides, in part, that an unemployed individual shall be eligible to receive benefits with respect to any week only if the Director find that he is able to work, and is available for work; provided that during the period in question he was actively seeking work and he has certified such on a form provided by the Department listing the places at which he has sought work.

Futhermore, where a claimant last worked for a temporary help agency, a failure, without good cause, to contact that agency each week raises a presumption of unavailability. Here, since the claimant was seeking work back in the Chicago, Illinois area, there was no good cause reason for her not to be contacting the tempory help agency. That would have been one of her better job sources. Therefore, the Referee finds that the claimant was not available for work within the meaning of the Act."

I was at a total loss when this decision was rendered because it was not a delibrate decision of mine not to contact the agency. I was in search of full time work, and since I told the agency of my availability at the end of the assignment (plus once more in mid Oct 2006), that I was doing the right thing.

If the decision stands, I will have to repay the state of IL $794, which I do not have because of my continued unemployment.

Is there a place where I can search for cases involving claimants drawing unemployment from temporary employment agencies?

Once again, thank you!

Felicia


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

I'm sorry, but I don't know of anything that would be helpful. The statute in Illinois is stricter with regard to temp agencies than it is in Michigan. It must have been written by lobbyists from the temp agencies. Requiring you to contact the temp agency every week or be presumed to be unavailable is quite unreasonable in my opinion. The monkey should be on the temp agency's back to contact you about available assignments rather than vice versa. And once a week is excessive. You only have to certify your availability to the unemployment agency every other week. In Michigan temp agency employees whose assignments end are only obligated to report this fact to their temp agency. There is no requirement that they contact them again. The agency is expected to notify the employee of any suitable openings. You are the victim of a fishhook inserted in the unemployment statute at the request of temp agencies so that they will be able to disqualify their employees from collecting unemployment compensation against their accounts. This is but one example of many reasons why unemployed workers who should be getting unemployment compensation aren't getting it.

I don't know what Illinois does to collect payments ruled improper. In Michigan, my understanding is that they don't try to take your house or car if you don't pay. But they will grab any future state income tax refund that you may have coming. And they will take a portion of any future unemployment compensation payments for which you may eligible. Also, in Michigan repayment may be excused if evidence of hardship is provided. You may want to inquire of the Unemployment Agency in Illinois about their collections policy and whether they have provisions for excusing repayment in hardship cases.


Felicia M 9 years ago

I KNEW I should have run away with the circus when I had the chance! LOL

I agree with you completely...but then again, of course I would...my opinion is biased. :)

Thank you for your insight!

Felicia


Gary W. 9 years ago

I understand that I am in a "right to work" state where either party can terminate employment without reason. On a conference call with other people, I was given a choice to resign and promise not to sue the company, or be fired if I did not sign that agreement. The company said they would not protest unemployment benefits. I resigned with a simple letter instead. Do you think this is "good cause" to qualifty for unemployment? Thanks, Gary W.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

As I have pointed out my experience is in Michigan, and I'm not familiar with the laws in other states although they are similar in most respects. When you file for unemployment compensation you will be asked whether you were laid off, quit or were dismissed for misconduct.  And your former employer will be informed of your application for benefits and queried about the circumstances of your termination. The fact that your employer promised not to protest your unemployment compensation does not automatically mean that you will be ruled eligible for benefits. In Michigan your eligibility would depend on the reason why your employer gave you the choice of resigning or being fired. That is did the reason you were going to be fired constitute "misconduct" under the statute? That is, did you willfully disregard the interest of your employer? The burden is on the employer to establish misconduct. If your employer does not protest your benefits or supply the reasons for firing you, then you should be found eligible for benefits.

In Michigan I would advise someone in your circumstances to tell the Unemployment Agency that he or she was, in fact, fired without good cause but given the choice of signing a letter of resignation. Thus, the termination was not a "voluntary leaving" which would disqualify him or her from receiving benefits. It was a de facto dismissal. To establish misconduct the employer must show that the employee committed a single serious violation of a company rule of which he had been informed or that he repeatedly violated less serious rules, e.g. repeated absences or tardinesses without reasonable cause.


Anne 9 years ago

Question.

I was leaving my job for other employment, I gave two weeks notice. My employer let me go because he did not see the point in me continuing to work for him if I was planning to move on. Days before I was to start my new job, it fell through the new employer claiming one of my previous employers gave me a poor review. I received a copy of the background check and it said nothing to this effect. I am unemployed and having difficulty finding other employment.

So now I am trying to get unemployment. I have been disqualified due to MES Act 29(1)(A) and MES Act Sec 29(5). I have appeled only to receive the same determination. My next step is to have a hearing. I don't know what to do. Do I proceed with a hearing? Do I even stand a chance. I guess I thought because my employer let me go during my notice period that I qualified.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

I would proceed with a hearing although Sec 29(5) provides that in order not to be disqualified for quitting the new  employer must offer permanent employment and you must "perform services" for the new employer.

However, in Miller (Visiting Nurse Association), 1978 BR 54236 (B76-17052) the Board of Review ruled that a discharge in anticipation of voluntary leaving is a non-disqualifying separation.

FACTS: The claimant was employed as a secretary. "On May 11, 1976, the claimant notified her employer that she intended to quit on July 10, 1976. On June 23, 1976, the employer discharged the claimant because of the claimant's projected leaving."

DECISION: "It is held that the claimant's discharge on June 23, 1976 is non disqualifying under Section 29 of the Act."

RATIONALE: "Appeal Board precedent on the issue of a discharge in anticipation of a quit is at odds. One view (followed by the Referee in this matter) is that the discharge is disqualifying under Section 29(1)(a). Eq, In re Farmer (Michagan Kitchen Distributors), B72 2870 41782. The other view is that such a discharge is a non-disqualifying separation. Eq, In re Howarth (Falvey Autos, Inc.), B65 3611 34164; In re Terry (Paul's Steak House), B64 5185 33210. See also Carter's Hamburgers, Inc. v. Employment Security Commission, Case No. 316, 234 (Wayne County Cir Ct 1961) and Hubert v Appeal Board, Case No 323, 171 (Wayne County Cir Ct 1962)

"In our opinion, the latter view is correct. Under section 29(1)(a), a 'leaving' must be 'voluntary' to be disqualifying. When an employee is discharged for giving notice of an intent to leave his work at a future date, hsi leaving is involuntary. Absent proof to the contrary, the employee cannot be deemed to have chosen unemployment. Rather, his unemployment is the result of his employer's judgment about the efficiency of the firm."

My recommendation: Appeal your redetermination to a hearing before an administrative law judge. Get an advocate. Call the advocate's attention to the above cases. And if the judge rules against you, appeal his decision to the Boarde of Review in Lansing. You have nothing to lose. Appeals to an administrative law judge or to the Board of Review cost you no more than the postage on your appeal letter.

Important: Don't miss your appeal deadlines and continue to call MARVIN in accordance with Agency procedures until your case is resolved. Good luck!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

Anne: I forgot to mention that once you appeal, the Unemployment Agency will provide you with a list of advocates who are paid by the Agency to represent claimants. The people on the Agency list are familiar with unemployment compensation regulations and court decisions. There is no cost to you for representation at an administrative law judge hearing.


Gary W. 9 years ago

(cont)

If I understand, I was defacto dismissed, and they likely have to establish misconduct or good cause.<> When I file as "terminated without good cause", will the unemployment office want to know the details up front that I had filed an internal complaint, it could not be resolved, and I had asked for an early layoff that the company refused, -then they asked me to resign or be fired? Or, will that come later if I am denied, and there is a hearing? Thank you


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

Gary: It sounds to me that your case was not a voluntary leaving but rather a firing without misconduct. The unemployment agency (Michigan) will send you a form asking several questions about the circumstances of your dismissal. You should answer the questions truthfully, without writing long, detailed answer, e.g., "I was told I would be fired and offered the opportunity to resign instead. I chose to resign. This was not a voluntary resignation. I was not accused of misconduct." They will send a similar questionnaire to your former employer. Based on your answer and that of your employer, the Agency will make a determination on your eligibility for benefits. Both parties will have the opportunity to appeal this determination. If either party objects to the determination, a redetermination will be made which either party may appeal to an Administrative Law Judge (Referee) hearing at which time testimony will be taken and a written decision issued. Good luck!


Jason 9 years ago

Ralph -

I put in my 2 weeks resignation with my previous employer. They terminated my employment the day after submitting my resignation.

Today in the mail I received two letters of determination, one telling me that I was not qualified for benefits due to the fact that I resigned. The other states that I am qualified for benefits due to the fact that I was terminated before my resignation date.

Is there any way to tell based on the determinations I received which one is correct?


Jason 9 years ago

(continued)

Here is the specific information I received:

Determination Letter #1:

"You quit your job with (employer) effective 5/23/07 because you were dissatisfied with your pay. You were given more responsibilites along with a promotion. After two months you felt you should have been compensated for these new responsibilities. There is no documentation showing the employer was given a reasonable opportunity to rectify the problem.

It is found that you voluntarily quit your job without good cause attributable to the employer. You are disqualified for benefits under MES Act, Sec. 29 (1)(A).

You are disqualified for week ending 5/26/2007 until complettion of a ($) earnings rework requirement which has not been satisfied"

Determination letter #2:

"You were terminated from (employer) on 5/9/07 when you gave notice of your intention to resign on 5/23/07. Misconduct in connection with your work has not been established.

It is found that you were not fired for a deliberate disregard of your employers interest. You are not disqualified for benefits under MES Act, Sec. 29 (1)(B)"

The "Date notice was mailed or personally served" are identical save for the last 6 digit number at the far bottom right of the letters.

Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

In my opinion, the second determination is correct. (See my response to Anne, above.) Keep calling Marvin. You should begin to receive benefit checks or continue to receive them. Keep us posted on what happens.


walt 9 years ago

Ralph Fired for refusing random drug test.Worked for a drug re-hab in michigan.Who can administer drug test? Graduate of Narconon re-hab to administer test. I REFUSED Asked to be tested by nurse on staff.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

I don't know the answer to your question off the top of my head, and I'm out of town on vacation for two weeks without access to materials to research the law and rules on drug testing. Sorry.


William Bailey 9 years ago

Mr. Deeds,

I am , er was, a computer repair technician for a small (2-3 person) company in FL. I was terminated a few weeks ago for doing work after hours and on the weekends. Is this "misconduct" of a nature that would disqualify me from unemployment benefits? My ex-boss is of the opinion that he needs me to "learn a life lesson" and removing a car, cellphone and paycheck are apparently not punishment enough. There were no issues with my work performance or quality and his only offense occurred on my time. Since He intends to fight the claim I was wondering how cases like this usually go?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

In my experience, it's hard to predict the outcome of cases like yours which are in the "gray area," especially without hearing both sides of the story. In Michigan, based on what you said, I think you would have a good chance of winning your case before an administrative law judge. It's surely worth a try. The result might depend on whether you violated a published rule of which the employer had made you aware. Also, your chances would be better if you had not been warned not to work after hours. I would think you would be entitled to at least one warning. The fact that your work performance was good is in your favor, but the judges tend to focus on the alleged misconduct--how serious it was and whether the claimant violated a published rule of which he had been made aware. If you had been told clearly not to work after hours and you did it anyway your chances probably aren't good. Also, what work you were doing would probably be relevant. If you were working on something personal to benefit yourself and not the employer that would not help your case. If you were working on work which was benefiting your employer that would be in your favor. In Michigan the standard for determining misconduct is "wanton or willful disregard of the employer's interest." And the burden is on the employer to establish that the alleged misconduct occurred and that it harmed the employer's interest.


milf-hunter profile image

milf-hunter 9 years ago

Ralph, where did you get this information? I guess what I am trying to say is, Is this your own wording or taken from the web?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

It's my own work. I represent claimants in unemployment compensation appeals hearings in Michigan. I served five years on the State of Michigan Unemployment Compensation Board of Review which rules on appeals by claimants and employers of administrative law judge decisions.


Jenny Garvey 9 years ago

Dear Ralph,

I recently quit my job at a clothing store in Michigan. I had worked there for two years. I quit because I had been threatened several times to be fired and months would go by, and it was as if nothing ever happened. I was a nervous wreck. The environment also got to the point where it was so hostile, that I would come home and cry every night.

It all began in April, when I chose to interview for a flight attendant position. I took a personal day to attend the interview in Chicago. I simply approved the day off with my store manager; did not tell her why. My district manager came, and somebody must have known I was going and told her. Several associates approached me telling me they were contacted and asked if they were interested in interviewing for my position, on my day off. I kept to myself and was desperately seeking other employment.

One day I was called, and told my store manager and I were to have a meeting with the district manager who was on the phone. She told me I was not fulfilling the requirements of my position; and asked me why. I told her that another manager left large amounts of her work unfinished and I helped to finish the work, while my work suffered. She then asked if I felt I was the right fit for this position. I told her I thought I was. She asked me to resign, and I said absolutely not. She then said she would have to "do this the hard way". I then heard her tell my store manager to begin writing me up, and document everything she could. I went to talk to the manager who left the work, and tried to resolve the situation. She stated that this wasn't her problem and she wasn't doing anything wrong. I was then contacted by phone, again, by the district manager, who began screaming at me. She told me to accept responsibility for what I had done, and that I needed to act like a grown up. She then said what I did was called retaliation, and to punch out and go home. I left, and called in sick the following day. I was so anxious and nervous that I had horrible diarhea. I was seen at the grocery store shopping for medicine by a manager. When I returned to work, I had three write ups. One stating I had verbally assualted the manager I tried to resolve things with, two stating I had thrown a tape dispenser (I absolutely did not) and number three stating I was seen in public when claiming sickness; and I should stay home when sick. I finished out my shift, but called and quit. I told them I was just too uncomfotable to continue working under those conditions. Could I claim unemployment? I have filed and I will be getting sent a questionaire as to why I quit. Any helpful tips?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

In my opinion, you deserve to be eligible for unemployment compensation, but your chances of winning your case before an administrative law judge are no better than 50-50. The burden is on you to convince the judge that you had good cause for quitting attributable to your employer. That is not easy. The standard is whether your job situation was bad enougth that a reasonable person would resign under the circumstances. The assumption is that unless the situation is pretty bad (unsafe job, sexual harrassment, asked to do something illegal, pay checks bounce, etc.) that a reasonable person will find another job before he or she quits the one they have. When you file for benefits the best you can do is to describe briefly the mistreatment by your employer and its effect on your health that caused you to quit. And if the Agency determines that you are eligible you will receive unemployment compensation until and unless your employer appeals. If your employer objects, the Agency will make a redetermination which you and your employer have the rigth to appeal to an administrative law judge.

Bottom line, you have nothing to lose by filing for unemployment compensation and, if necessary, appealing to an administrative law judge hearing which doesn't cost anything. And you might get lucky and win. Also, your employer might not show up at the hearning which would improve your chances.


Jenny Garvey 9 years ago

Thank you so much for your advice. You'll never know how much I appreciate it.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

Good luck!


jacksonBusiness profile image

jacksonBusiness 9 years ago from Downingtown

Very enlightening as I have been there before

Keep Hubbin

Jackio<a href="http://hubpages.com/hub/are-you-second-breed"... >THE THEORY OF BEING SECOND BREED</a>


David 9 years ago

Ralph,

I worked as a mechanic for a company in Michigan for 4 years. I was promoted to a foreman position with the promise of $1.25 more per hour if I did a satisfactory job in 6 weeks. 6 weeks went by, then 8, and when I asked about my raise, my supervisor just kept giving me the run around. It was finally after a year and 1/2, that I broached the subject again....and was told I'd get my raise in 2 weeks. Well, I inquired about my raise again and was told I must not really want the position and was demoted to just a mechanic again. I had in the meantime gotten a part time job for a autobody repair shop. My supervisor was aware of the part time job and never said anything about it. Another


David 9 years ago

Sorry got cut off....Anyway another employee went to my supervisor and said I was working for a competitor. I was called into the office and was told I had to quit my part time job or I was terminated. I had signed an employee handbook that said working for a competitor was grounds for termination but I had the part time job before I was required to sign the handbook.

I filed for unemployment and was awarded it because my determination letter said I had the 2nd job before I was made aware of the policy and intentional misconduct was not found.

I received 6 weeks worth of unemployment and then received a re-determination letter saying that I was not eligible for the claim and that I had to pay back almost $2,000. My employer contested my claim saying that I refused to quit my 2nd job and that I said I was done and walked out, which is not true. He said I was terminated....But the redetermination said that I voluntarily quit without good cause.

The letter also stated that "claimant is disqualified for week ending 6-16-07 until completion of a $3,732.00 earnings rework requirement which has not been satisfied. What does that mean?? It also says claimant must pay to the agency in cash or deduction from benefits, restitution in the amount of $1,866 under section 62(A).

I just wrote an appeal letter requesting a hearing before an Admin. Law Judge stating that I was fired and did not voluntarily quit. What do you think are my chances and is there anything else I should do? The guy I had the part time job with now hired me full time as of Aug 20th, but the last time I called into MARVIN, was also Aug 20th to claim the previous 2 weeks and I never received my check. Is that because my claim was redetermined?

Thank you so much for your time. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. I certainly cannot afford to pay all that money and I don't believe I should have to.

Thanks again.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

1. It's hard to give solid advice without reading the case file, but it sounds to me like you are entitiled to unemployment compensation and that you have a good chance of winning your case before an administrative law judge.

2. Get an advocate to represent you at the hearing and give him or her all the facts. Don't wait til the last minute to sign up an advocate because it takes time to get the case record and prepare for the hearing.

3. Plan to get to the hearing early. Allow extra time for traffic jams, road repairs, etc. The hearnings usually start on time regardless of whether one party or the other is late.

4. I'm not sure why you didn't get your last check. It was probably because of the unfavorable redetermination.

5. Earnings re-work requirement--if you have been disqualified from receiving UC you must be re-employed and earn a certain amount before you become eligible again for unemployment compensation. If you win your case before the administrative law judge, I don't think the earnings re-work requirement would apply.

6. One argument in your favor is that your employer or supervisor was aware of your other part-time job and said nothing about it, thus, in effect, condoning your other job. Also, your advocate could question any employer witnesses to demonstrate that your second job caused harm to your primary employer's business, asking them whether or not they have any evidence that you induced or tried to induce any potential customer to have their work done at the shop where you were working part time. (If they can show that you will probably lose your case. You may lose anyway based on your violation of a company rule of which you had been informed.)

Good luck at your hearing!


Jenny Garvey 9 years ago

Ralph,

Thanks for all of your help, I was found eligible to receive unemployment!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

Good for you!


David 9 years ago

Thanks for responding. Your time is greatly appreciated....Hopefully it will all work out. Have a great Sunday.


Steve 9 years ago

My first question is what standard of proof does the MI UIA use?

I have discrimination complaint against my former employer who lost his objection, but the MDCR is trying to tell me that they won't give any defference to the UIA's decision because the UIA is using a different standard. Without going into detail, I just think (for reasons I haven't disclosed) that either this attorney is predjudiced or doesn't know aht she is talking about.

I was also wonder about a strange decision I got a couple of years ago about two weeks severence from the Board. I was amicably terminated from my employment at a CPA firm and was asked to sign a waiver in order two receive two weeks severence. The contract had no reference to the word severence nor was there an allocation to specific time period and the amount I agreed to was the net amount of two weeks pay, though the check stub indicated the gross amount when I received it. The Attorney/CPA principle owner drew up the waiver contract and signed on behalf of the CPA firm. Without having read the contract, which constituted fraud or gross negligence, the managing partner testified in the hearing before the ALJ that the intent was to give me two weeks severence. I appealed to the Board arguing that the waiver contract was proof of the intent of the firm, to which it responded that the Board was not bound by the terms of the contract. I had also argued along the way that because of the language of the contract, or the lack of any indication that the payment was related to my employment, that I was receiving a mere contract payment.

Could it be that because the Board felt I was exploiting a technicality, and that any benefitsd denied goes into the General Fund of this fiscally strapped state?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

I don't believe the courts apply a single standard of proof in unemployment compensation cases. For example, in resignation cases, the agency and courts appy a "reasonable person" standard. That is, are the job conditions bad enough to cause a reasonable person to resign withou finding another another job before resigning. In these cases, the conditions have to be pretty bad--unsafe, illegal, immoral or a significant change in employment conditions.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

And in Waite v Chrysler Corp, the Wayne Circuit Court ruled that a disqualification must be supported at least by a "convincing preponderance of evidence."


Steve 8 years ago

You may have been on the Board when my case was decided. Would you like to comment on the Board's obsurd decision?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

I may have been on the board when your case was decided, but I don't recall being on the panel that decided your case. The names of the members who voted on your case would be on the copy of the decision you received. The Board of Review is not infallible. Moreover, the Board was stacked with a conservative chairman, Kathy Markman, spouse of conservative Michigan Supreme Court Justice Markman and several conservative members. I dissented on quite a few cases, and quite a few of my dissents became Circuit Court reversals of majority Board decisions. My impression is that the Board of Review under Granholm has applied the law more fairly to claimants. I couldn't comment on your case without reading the full decision and case file.


karl 8 years ago

Ralph,

I took a educational buyout package from one of the big three. Then began going to school full time and taking care of the kids. My employer offered to rehire me as a temporary employee working at a lower wage with no benifits. I agreed to work under these conditions as long as they didn't demand over 40 hrs. a week and I could perform a specific job. After 6 months they had a change of operations and my position wasn't availiable any longer. They offered me another job , a different job, on a different shift, working weekends, and a mandatory 60 hrs. a week. They said either sign up for the new job today or we would'nt be able to use me anymore. The Unemploymrnt agency said although I am disqualified under sec. 29 (1)(a) voulantary quit. Any Ideas?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

I would request an Administrative Law Judge hearing and argue that you had good cause for resigning attributable to your employer, namely a significant change in your conditions of employment with which you were not able to meet. The case could go either way. Also, the employer may not show up at the hearing.


Chris 8 years ago

Mr. Deeds:

I was let go from my job - at the time of my dismissal, I was told that they were terminating me. At the time, I was promised & a week later, received severance pay. I filed for unemployment & received it. Then I received a "Notice of Restitution Due". It said that I had been let go for misconduct. It said I was doing personal business on work time, had been given a verbal warning about personal business & continued to make personal business calls on business hours. I protested the determination.

In my protest, I stated that I received severance pay, which I believe contradicts a termination for misconduct. I stated that I had not received any verbal warnings, nor did I recall ANY conversations regarding personal phone calls. I stated that the company did not have any published rule prohibiting personal phone calls. That I did make some personal phone calls, but did so, for the most part, on my time (luch/break periods), which varied day to day as I worked as a manager in a retail operation. (Other employees at the same location also received/made personal phone calls - not necessarily on their own time.) I also stated that my position has not been replaced & believe this shows it was due to lack of work -- which is why I believe I was really let go.

I received an answer to my protest saying I still have the restitution owing. I know I can appeal to the Administrative Law Judge, which I plan to do. What do you think? Any suggestions?

I am currently requesting a copy of my personnel file to see what they have put in it. If they do not have any documentation in the file, does this strengthen my argument?

Thanks for your time.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

It's hard to make an informed comment on any case without reading the case file. However, based on what you told me, without seeing the employer's side of the case I believe that you should be eligible for unemployment compensation. The fact that you were paid severance pay is an indication to me that you were terminated for reasons other than misconduct under the unemployment statute, but does not amount to definitive proof in and of itself of this.

In most workplaces employess are allowed to receive and make personal phone calls so long as they are not excessive. In presenting your case, the following questions may be relevant

1. Was there a formal, written rule of which you were made aware prohibiting making or receiving personal telephone calls at work?

2. If so, what did the rule say?

3. If there was such a rule, was it applied consistently in actual practice? Can the employer show evidence of other employees who were dismissed for making personal calls? Can you show that others made personal calls without being disciplined. A lack of consistency in enforcing a rule would undermine its charges of misconduct.

4. Can the employer show that the calls that you made resulted in significant delays in your work which resulted in harm to the company? That is, at the time you made the calls was their actually work waiting to be done? If so, did harm result from the brief delays from the calls? Can you show or testify that many or most of the calls were made during break or lunch time or lulls in your work assignments.

5. Does the employer have records or evidence that it had warned you about telephone calls at work?

6. Does the employer have records of the dates and times and length of your allegedly excessive personal calls? How many calls does your employer claim that you made?

6. Was the issue of misconduct or excessive telephone calls mentioned at all at the time of your termination? If not it's claim of misconduct to the unemployment agency is belated and suspect.

7. Your success in the administrative law judge hearing will depend on the answers to these questions.

In my opinion, the fact that you were paid severance pay is not definitive one way or the other. Your employer is likely to claim that your eligibility for separation pay is a separate issue from the issue of your misconduct under the unemployment statute. It would seem to be an indication that your alleged misconduct was not deemed to be so serious as to disqualify you from severance pay. This raises the question of if it was not serious enough to disqualify you from severance pay why is it so serious as to constitute misconduct under the unemployment statute.


Chris 8 years ago

Mr. Deeds:

Thank you for your response. I will be requesting an appeal before the administrative judge. Besides requesting a copy of my personnel file in accordance with the Bullard-Plawicki Act, what else should I request? If they don't have anything about the phone calls included in my personnel file, does that make my case stronger? How long do they have to send me the information?

In answer to your questions:

1. No

2. N/A

3. Based on my knowledge, no one has been let go. Others did make personal phone calls - it would be my testimony.

4. I believe most of my calls were made from my cell phone. There were no delays in work that harmed the company. I can't specifically show anything, but can testify to it.

5. I don't believe they have any records of warning. I never was warned or signed anything. If there is anything in my file, I believe it is made up, possibly after the fact.

6. I don't believe they have any proof - I never saw anything. Wouldn't they have to put that in my personnel file?

7. There was absolutely NO mention of the phone calls at all at my termination.

In addition to all the above, I believe the employer also violated federal law-HIPPA. They never sent me a COBRA notice & they do have over 20 employees. They also delayed the start of my insurance that I was entitled to receive as a full-time employee ( I was supposed to get it 4/1 & they didn't start it until 6/1 - which happens to be their open enrollment period). They never gave me my dental insurance as all other full-time employees received. When questioned, they kept telling me that it wasn't that good of coverage & that they were going to be changing insurance - even though all other full-time employees received it! I was having the same amount deducted from my paycheck as the other employees, but not receiving all benefits I was entitled to. One of the things that was agreed upon at my hire was that they would pay for my coverage thru my spouse's insurance until I was eligible to add to theirs, so we were never without insurance & they did cover that until they added us to the medical insurance 6/1, but never added to the dental. Does any of this additional stuff help? Does it help to show that the employer was not above board with this & go toward credibility of the misconduct claim? Or is this a separate issue for me to deal with?

Thanks again for your time!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

The judge would probably just consider those side issues. The issue on which the case will be decided is whether or not you committed misconduct--i.e., in Michigan, that you "wantonly or willfully disregarded the interest of your employer." The burden will be on the employer to prove misconduct. It sounds to me as if that will be hard for them to do. If you are in Michigan, I suggest you get a advocate to help you present your case at the hearing. Also, you have the right to see the unemployment case file at the administrative law judge's office. Reading through the case file will help you and your advocate prepare for the hearing.

Also, make sure you know where the hearing office is located and don't be late for the hearing. They usually start promptly at the time indicated on the Notice of Hearing.

Good luck!


Ann 8 years ago

Mr. Deeds,

I was wondering if you receive/answer messages through your contact part of your page.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

I haven't had any requests, but I would be happy to consider your request.


Amy 8 years ago

I was working at a motel in Indiana when my daughter was in a very serious car accident. She is 7 years old and witnessed a man die and her best friend in a coma for 3 weeks. She was with the next door neighbor and it happend 120 miles from home. When I got word of the accident I called someone to come in and I left as soon as I could. I spent the next couple days with my duaghter as she was having some serve emotional problems. She seen a threapist for weeks afterwards. I was told my the AGM to take a couple days and not worrry about it. Then the GM called and raised hell with me. I told her I needed to be with my child and she said you need to come to work or quit. I said I wont be in.

3 weeks later I found another job and worked for 2 months and was let go. Unemployment found I was unjustifed fired from the second job. Then I got a letter saying I was disqualified because I quit without good cause. Do you think I have a shot of winning an appeal becasue I was with my injuied child. I am a single mom living with my mother and father. He is disabilied the the lack of income has caused great pains. I have not been able to find another job but an looking very hard.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

It's hard to express an opinion on your chances of winning without an opportunity to read the case file. But based on what you have said I think you should be ruled eligible for unemployment compensation. However, in my opinion, you case would be stronger if you had formally applied for a family leave of absence. In substance that was what you did when you informed your employer that you needed to be off to care for your daughter. I would argue that you did not quit your job, but you were, in effect, denied a leave by your employer and fired because you did not returned to work.

Note: My knowledge of unemployment compensation law is based on my experience in Michigan. UC law is similar in other states but not identical.

Good luck in your appeal. If you think of it, let us know how it turns out.


Ann 8 years ago

Mr. Deeds,

I recently lost my job, and tried to collect unemployment, but I was denied because of intentional disregard of my employer's interest...It said in the letter that was I was fired for excessive tardiness. At the store that I worked at, they have a very strict attendance policy...for instance, if you were to be late, no matter for what reason, you would get verbal/written warnings (write-ups)...So some of my warnings that I had received were unfair.

I read in some of your previous answers to questions, that the state takes into consideration your case, if the company you worked for has an attendance point system.

I am going to appeal my determination, and I was wondering what advice you had to give. I am completely on my own, and very lost when it comes to dealing with government issues.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

Whether the judge rules in your favor will depend on how many times you were late, taking into account any reasons you have for some or all of the tardinesses. There is no fixed rule on how many tardinesses constitute misconduct. In general, the judges don't have much patience for unemployment compensatin claimants who are habitually tardy. However, tardiness when there is a good reason for being late does not constitute misconduct. The employer should not automatically count a tardiness without giving the employee a chance to explain why he or she was late. If, for example, you had a flat tire on the way to work or a car accident or a bus breakdown or your baby sitter was late, you shouldn't be penalized for being late. However, the more times you are late for whatever reason the more likely the judge is likely to rule that your tardiness constituted misconduct. Normally, the burden in misconduct cases falls on the employer. However, there is a court decision that says that the burden shifts to the employee in cases where there have been frequent absences or tardinesses. Another factor is the period of time over which the tardinesses occurred. The judge should not consider anything a year or more old. The more recent the tardinesses are the bigger the hill you'll have to climb with the judge.

Finally, whether or not someone was hired to replace you could be relevant. If you were not replaced that raises the issue of the employer's motive for dismissing you. Some unscrupulous employers whose business declines and who want to reduce their workforce fire an employee instead of laying one off but call it misconduct when, in reality it's a layoff. They do this in an effort to avoid having unemployment compensation benefits charged against their account.

Good luck!


Amy 8 years ago

I live and filed in Michigan. Another question if I may. When UIA makes a determination I assume one person makes it based on the information supplied. But when an appeal for re-determination is made will the same person make it or someone else?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

I don't know for sure. I have a hearing tomorrow, and if I remember, I'll ask the judge. I suspect it could be the same person or another person. It should be set up so that a different person looks at the case for redetermination, but I don't know for a fact that that's the way it works.


Ann 8 years ago

Thank you for your insight.

I was also wondering, ever since I worked there, I never recieved a take home employee handbook. So I never knew what the attendance policy was. When I first started, I was told I had a bunch of paperwork to sign, and that was about it. I do recall signing an employee handbook, but I was never given the opportunity to take it home. But when I asked the store manager about it, she always ignored my question.

Also is there any relevance, that the same strict attendance policy was not enforced with everyone in the store?

Thanks again for your help


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

It's worth mentioning that you never received a copy of the attendance policy. Also it is relevant that the same policy was not evenly applied to everyone. Nevertheless, it, depending on how frequently you were late or absent, it may be hard for you to convince the judge. They are tough on people who are not punctual, and they are not very accepting of excuses for lateness. Best of luck.


kewadinbob 8 years ago

I'm desperate for help in determining if I should be eligible for unemployment in Michigan. I worked for an employer for more than 5 years. I resigned as of August 30, 2007 for a new job. That new job did not work-out and I resigned (after 3 work days), returning to my previous 5-year job on September 13, 2007. I was never taken off payroll at my 5-year job, I never missed a pay period, nor did I lose seniority, insurance, sick or vacation time. The 3-day job never put me on payroll and, instead, just wrote me a small check as a "miscellaneous expense".The 5-year employer then fired me on October 18, 2007. Unemployment first determined that I was eligible for benefits from my 5-year job. That 5-year employer then brought the 3-day job to unemployment's attention. Now, because of the 3-day job, unemployment says I'm not eligible for any benefits from anyone. It's hard for me to believe that I worked for the original 5-year employer 2,030 out of 2,040 days over a 5.5 year period - and am not eligible for any unemployment benefits.Does this sound correct? Any comments or advise are sincerely appreciated.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

I'm not able to express a solid opinion on your eligibility without reading the case file. Here are the applicable provisions of the Unemployment Statute:

"Section 29(1) An individual is disqualified from benefits if he or she:

(a) Left work voluntarily without good cause attributable to the employer...However, if the individual has an established benefit year in effect and during that benefit year leaves unsuitable work within 60 days after the beginning of that work, the leaving does not disqualify the individual....

"Section 29(5) [An indivudual is disqualified] If an individual leaves work to accept permanent full-time work with another employer and performs services for that employer..." [ Comment: this apparently is what the Agency is relying on to disqualify you.]

"Section 29(6) "In determining whether work is suitable for an individual, the commission shall consider the degree of risk involved to the individual's health, safety, and morals, the individual's physical fitness and prior training, the individual's length of unemployment and prospects of securing local work in the individual's customary occupation,and the distance fo the available work fromthe individual's residence. Additionally, the commission shall consider the indivusual's experience and prior earnings, but an unemployed individual who refuses an offer of work determined to be suitable under this section shall be denied benefits if the pay rate for that work is at least 70% of the gross pay rate he or she received immediately before becoming unemployed."

Your case is unusual in that you only worked 3 days for the other employer after resigning. Whether you are eligible might depend on why you left the second employer, i.e., whether you could demonstrate that the work there was "unsuitable" and as well on why your original employer terminated you.  

If I were you I would appeal the determination or redetermination and request a hearing before an administrative law judge. It seems to me that a case could be made that your eligibility for benefits is consistent with the purpose of the act and that you deserve the benefit of the doubt, especially if your termination was a layoff because the employer's business declined and you were no longer needed. Good luck.


Jer 8 years ago

If I am a seasonal worker and they laid me off, am I eligible to receive unemployment insurance?


Ralph Deeds 8 years ago

You are not eligible if your employer notified you that he is a seasonal employer, eccept that you may be eligible if you are laid off during the "normal seasonal work period" posted by your employer. Exceptions: construction workers are eligible ro unemployment compensation; workers who have been assured of employment following the seasonal shutdown but who are not re-employed may be eligible for unemployment compensation as if they were not in seasonal employment

(MICHIGAN)


bluto699 8 years ago

i am asking for advice i missed a court hearing and my unemployment was reversed, ive appealed 5 times now and have been denied a court hearing i have evidence that prooves my employer is lying but because i missed the court appointment they will not look at it, i did not intentionally miss this appointment it was a mistake and understand what you said about being on time now they will take no excuses. does this mean i have to hire a lawyer now i dont have 7.000.00 dollars to pay back and did nothing wrong except miss acourt appointment.


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Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

I don't have a solution to your problem. You would have to have a pretty strong excuse for missing the hearing.


bluto699 8 years ago

i know now they will not give me a hearing what i am asking is do i have to hire a lawyer now to appeal with the circuit court


bluto699 8 years ago

i just wanted to add to that i am in warren mi and from what it sounds like you did with unemployment and now do i would think you would have some kind of advice on what to do when you have to appeal to the circuit court which is what their telling me but i dont no what to do, i dont get it are you not allowed to give an opinion?


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Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

I'm certified by the Unemployment Agency to represent claimants in Administrative Law Judge hearings but not in appeals to circuit court. I am not a lawyer, You don't have to have a lawyer to appeal your case to the circuit court. You can represent yourself. I believe the court which would handle your appeal is the Macomb County Circuit Court which is located in Mt. Clemens. The clerk there can give you information on the procedures. Not many UC cases are appealed to circuit courts and not many of those who appeal are successful. If you can find a lawyer who is familiar with UC law and who doesn't charge an arm and a leg, it would improve your chances of prevailing in your appeal. It's hard for me to express an opinion on your case without reading the case file. Based on what you said about missing the hearning your chances don't look good to me.


bluto699 8 years ago

Thanks i now know i am screwed, this is not right to give a person one chance and thats it.

Thanks for the info


blackpearlstudio 8 years ago

hi i put in for an appeal with unemployment. I resigned from a city job after five years because I felt I was going to be fired. They said I was going to be suspended if I couldn't do the mandatory overtime. I am with lawenforcement (hospital police). I told them I could not do the consistent overtime because i have to pick up my son from childcare. Chilcare is from 8 to 6. I was doing over time 16 hours at least twice a week. I dont have any one to watch my child those many hours. I went to the union with my problem and they told me this is law enforcment and you have to do overtime! Before I resigned from the job I went out on disability for two months I was so stressed out from the overtime and wondering what to do. I knew if i went back to the job they were going to fire me because i couldnt do the overtime so I handed in my papers and resigned. I told them the reason and that i wanted to work but couldn't do the overtime. When I first started the job i signed papers saying i can do overtime but now i have a baby and also back then i never did that much overtime! Do you think the judge we will be in favor. I can work just not that many hours


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Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

Your case could go either way. The general rule is if you quit you don't get unemployment compensation unless there was good cause to caue attributable to the employer which would cause a reasonable person to quit under the circumstances. I would argue that your employer's efforts to force you to work overtime conflicted with your obligation to care for your baby and constituted good cause for you to quit. Moreover, if you can prove that the employer was "going to fire you," that would strengthen your case allowing you to argue that you quit in lieu of being discharged.


Sead 8 years ago

I had a job with ups as a seasonal worker, for 1 month they told me that its a seasonal job and i would be fired at the end of december, they have said that if you do good they will hire you permanently, i have gotten 2 reccomendation letters, i was just wondering if i do quilify for unemployment benefits? Tahnks


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Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

The law covering seasonal workers is complicated. In brief, if the employer informs the worker that his work is seasonal AND when the employer lays the worker off provides him reasonable assurance that he will be re-employed in the next season, the worker is NOT eligible for unemployment compensation. However, if the employer does NOT re-hire the worker in the following season, the worker, if he meets all other requirements, may be eligible for retroactive benefits for each week that the unemployed worker previously filed for benefits.

So, in my opinion, it would be in your interest to go ahead and apply for benefits and continue to certify during the seasonal layoff, and if you are not re-hired next season you should be eligible for benefits. You have nothing to lose by filing for benefits.


jls 8 years ago

I worked for Ford Motor Co in Louisville, Ky and felt pressured to take a buyout that was offered. I was under the impression that I would be layed off if I didn't take it because I had less than 10 years in and jobs had to be cut. I was denied unemployment due to a voluntary separation and not due to lack of work. I had received information in the mail stating that I may qualify for TAA/TRA benefits due to the nature of my separation. After applying for those benefits, I was denied that too because I had not exhausted my unemployment benefits. I have been fighting and appealing the decision that was made by UI. At this stage I am in the middle of appealing to the Kentucky Unemloyment Insurance Commision. I do feel my separation was due to lack of work. Since I left the company a shift has been cut out and down weeks have followed. It was a very stressful time period near the end of my employment. If I didn't take the buyout I was in fear of being layed off and unable to make ends meet. I would just like some insight on my case. Are there other cases out there like mine who have been granted their unemployment?

Thank you for your time.

js


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Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

Off the top of my head I don't have an answer for you. I'll try research it later today and get back with you. My impression is that you deserve UC but will have a hard time winning your case. However, I'm not familiar with the UC statute and court cases in Kentucky.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

I wasn't able to find any court cases like yours. I don't think you'll be eligible because your departure will be considered a voluntary leaving from your job at Ford. However, it doesn't cost anything to appeal the Agency's ruling. There are lots of people in the same boat with you, and I assume there will be other appeals and court decisions. If you do appeal continue to certify by calling Marvin as long as your appeal is open.


Florida 8 years ago

Ralph, I was recently terminated for inappropriate Internet use. I have a side business, where I sale lingerie, massage oils, etc. I have used the company Internet a few times to check on orders. The website is not explicit or X Rated or anything like that. Prior to my termination, I was giving a promotion, when I was told I had got the new position, I was asked not to tell anyone until The supervisor had a chance to get the budget approved. That same day I received 2 packages, I was asked to take a call from HR. I was asked about my business, and was asked to get my packages, when I did, 2 supervisors opened the packeges, and told the HR person what was in them. 1 contained a binder. the other was air freshner. HR then said, it was aginst policy to have packages delv. I explained I was not aware, and that everyone includding the supervisors had packages delv. She said she would investigate and get back with me. ( Let me also mention, I am an African-American) A few days later, I was terminated for inappropriate internet use.  The lady from HR was hispanic,their were 2 other hispanic ladies that were close to the lady in HR that were after me for that position. I have never missed a day from work, I exceeded all of the goals and exspectations that the company exspected of me. I have never been written up or given a warning for anything. My unemployment was denied, I was force to give up my Apartment. I am living off of my savings, I just want to know if this sounds like a act of discremenation, should I appeal the unemployment descion. I was denied for unauthorized internet use, but my discharge papers say, inappropriate internet use. Please help, If their is a lawyer out there that can help me, please contact me. (for other readers, please be advised, the mentioning of the Ethnical background or race, was not used to offend anyone)

thanks   


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

It's hard to offer an opinion about your case without seeing the case file. Here are some questions that have a bearing on your case: 1. Was there a written policy against using the Internet from the office?

2. What did it say?

3. Were you given a copy or otherwise informed of the policy?

4. Was there actually a policy against receiving packages or mail at the office?

5. Was the policy in writing?

6. If so, what did it say? 7. Did you receive a copy of the policy or were you otherwise informed of the policy?

8. Was the policy regarding using the Internet uniformly applied to everyone in the office?

9. Or, to your knowledge did others occasionaly use the company email to communicate with spouses or friends or others?

[I recall a case involving an auto company where a long service employee was fired for emailing his girl friend. And at the hearing his supervisor admitted he also used the email to communicate with his spouse. The claimant had never been warned or informed of the policy. He was found eligible for benefits.]

10. Had you used the company email previously and been warned not to do so?

11. Can you testify honestly that you did not use the email often or at any time neglect your job with your employer? Did you primarily use the email during breaks, lunch or lulls in your work?

12. Can the employer produce a a record of how frequently you used the company email for your business or personal reasons? If they can produce at the hearing a long list if personal or business emails, it will hurt your case.

You know the answers to he above questions and they will help evaluate your chances of being found eligible for benefits. It doesn't cost anything to apply and appeal to an administrative law judge.


Jill 8 years ago

Mr. Deeds,

I was working part time at a motel while I attended college full time. When I was hired, my employer knew I was attending college. I started in March as a third shift employee. I told my employer that I would have a new schedule for school in the fall.

I was in my last semester and one of the classes that I needed to take was only offered in the morning monday through thursday. I called the other midnight employee and asked her if it would be alright if I worked thursday through saturday night and she would work during the week, she agreed. I then called my employer and made sure if it was alright with them, they said that was fine.

When school started I noticed that my name was on the schedule for work during the week. I called my employer and she said that she forgot and to switch with the other midnight girl. During the first few weeks of school they had hired a new employer and I was informed that she was a floater. She ended up with my shifts and I was told it was just until she gets the hang of things. At this time the other midnight girl was on a one week vacation, so I thought the new employee was to cover that shift. Just in case, I called my employeer and asked if I would be getting my hours back and she said yes.

I was still getting scheduled during the week and the new girl was getting my weekends. I called againg to see if there was a problem and she said no and that she is just busy and forgot again and to switch.

Needles to say I called my employer to ask for a day off and she informed me that it was too hard to schedule me so they were not going to put me on the schedule for awhile. She also told me that I was not fired and maybe I can work during Christmas break. When I filed for Unemployment benefits it was denied because I was fired for misconduct.

I do have a hearing in March, I was wondering if I have a pretty good case of receiving my benefits?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

It's hard to express an opinion on your eligibility without reading the file and seeing what the employer told the agency. Nothing in what you have said above appears to me to be misconduct. However, they may also have listed other possible disqualifers on the Notice of Hearing such as not available for full time work. There are some Michigan cases that say that to be "available" under the unemployment statute means that employees must be able and willing to accept full time work on any shift. However, you have nothing to lose by going to the hearing and putting in your case. If the hearing is in Michigan, the state will pay for a qualified attorney or advocate to assist you in presenting your case at the Administrative Law Judge hearing.

[Sorry I was slow in replying. I was out of town for three days.]


Jill 8 years ago

Mr. Deeds,

Thank you for responding. When I was hired they knew I was in school and I expressed to them that I wanted only three days a week. They said that was fine becuase they were only looking for someone to work three days a week. Also, only one person works full time and that is the day shift. I was told that I can work anything out with the other midnight employee, they did not care as long as it was covered.

I did request for an advocate to represent me. I received a list of advocates, I called everyone of them and not one person can help me. I have to represent myself.

One more question I would like to ask. I missed my scheduled time to call Marvin. I saw on the UIA website that if I miss a call there were make up days or open calling on Thursday and Friday's. If I miss my scheduled time to call Marvin and call on a make up day, will I be disqualified if I do not have a good enough reason?


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Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

No. The make-up day is to allow claimants another chance to certify if they have failed for any reason to do so on their designated day.

I'm surprised that you have been unable to find an advocate unless your hearing is in a remote part of the state. Many advocates are reluctant to travel very far because of the high price of gasoline and because the Unemployment Agency recently cut the advocate's pay for a hearing and consultation by one-third.

If you can't get an advocate going to your appeal hearing may still be worthwhile. The administrative law judge has the duty of assuring that unrepresented claimants and/or employers get a fair hearing. In other words, the judge will, in effect, act as your representative. Be sure and get to the hearing on time!


Bridget 8 years ago

Hi Ralph,

Finding your site was the best thing that has happened regarding my very difficult unemployment experience beginning last May. Actually, beginning Sept 2006.

I left my job voluntarily, for reasons of ongoing and worsening harasment from a new supervisor with whom a few times I had to go over his head. (he was retaliating)

Unemployment first found in my favor, but $3100.00 later they found in my employers favor. Employer said that I left as they were trying to work things out, which was totally a fabrication. UI wants me to pay the money back.

I appealed to the ALJ and chose an advocate. Once he got the case number, I may have talked to him about 15 minutes in total about my case. I didn't know how to work with him or the process, I left it up to him to take the lead.

I lost my case with the ALJ.

I then appealed to the BOR. (Michigan) I submitted my appeal 8 days before the deadline date.

That was last October. Since then, there have been long periods of silence, until finally they're claiming that they did not receive my appeal until a week after the due date. I have asked for a rehearing, and though I did not send the original appeal certified mail (Grrrrr) I do have proof of date of postage paid. I sent them supporting documentation that I mailed it in a timely manner. Today I just received their denial to hear my case. Because of lack of jurisdiction.

I'm not sure what to do now. My husband and I are both unemployed. We are only making ends meet by cashing in some investments from my x employer. To think about going back in front of the ALJ, is completely overwhelming to me, as I barely could say anything in my own defense, and my avocate didn't seem to care at all.

This whole experience has be devastating, beginning with losing my job. I still don't think anyone has even heard me as to why I left. When they sent the statement of determinations, I'm left wondering where they got their information. It seems that even though I wrote my side of the story, no one is reading it. I did not leave my job because of few simple reasons, it was very complicated. I can't sum it up in 50 words or less.

I can't pay that money back! Will they take our investment money? Will they take the money from the government checks that we all are getting, that is meant to help the economy?

This is extremely upsetting. It seems like no matter what I do, there is a loop hole to disregard it.

I would really appreciate your insight Ralph.

Many Thanks,

Bridget


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

I'm sorry to hear that you had such an unfortunate experience with your unemployment compensation. The unemployment statute is like a maze that claimants have to find their way through in a limited amount of time. In my experience, the Unemployment Agency's determinations and redeterminations are frequently incorrect and often as not reversed by administrative law judge decisions. The people who make the determinations should be required to sign their name to their work. It might make them more careful. Some of them seem not even to believe in the unemployment compensation system. The ALJs are usually much better although sometimes their decisions are reversed by the Board of Review. However, the Board of Review sticks pretty close to the rule that appeals must be RECIEVED within 30 days of the date of the ALJ's decision. Someone at the Board should have checked the postmark on your appeal letter because there is precedent for the Board to take jurisdiction of appeals that have been delayed for significant periods in the mail. You could appeal the Board's ruling to the Circuit Court nearest you. You can find out about the procedure from the clerk of the court. A lawyer is not required but having one would be helpful. However, you would probably have to pay him or her more than you are able.

My understanding of the Agency's restitution collection procedures is that they don't turn you over to a collection agency or try to take your house or car. They are agreeable to negotiating stretched out payment plans. If you are unable to do this they will take any money that they figure you owe out of any state income tax refunds that are due to you and/or 20% of any future unemployment compensation payments for which you may be eligible. Also, the unemployment insurance statute provides that "the commission may waive recovery of an improperly paid benefit if the payment was not the fault of the individual and if repayment would be contrary to equity and good conscience."

Drayton v Showcase, No. 64272 (Mich App April 6, 1983). covers waivers of restitution by the Agency.

FACTS: The claimant was determined eligible for unemployment benefits and received $268. On November 7, 1978, "The MESC determined that claimant was in fact, ineligible for such benefits and ordered her to repay the $268."

By virtue of the 1980 amendment in Section 62a effective January 1, 1981, the MESC was give discretion to waive restitution.

DECISION: The MESC must exercise "its discretion on the restitution issue."

RATIONALE: "The Michigan Employment Security Act is remedial. I'ts primary purpose is to relieve the stress of economic insecurity. Godsol v Unemployment Compensation Commisstion v Wayne State University. Where an amendment is designed to correct an existing law, it is generally remedial and will be given retroactive effect, Lahti v Fosterling 357 Mich 578.

"Because the amendment is to be construed retroactively, the MESC had the discretion to waive restitution. However, it has not exercised its discretion.

"We are remanding this case to the MESC to exercise its discretion and to reevaluate its decision in the light of the amendment and this opinion. The MESC must consider [claimant's] indigence in this case in exercising its discretion."

Disclaimer: I am a lay advocate, not a lawyer. I have not read your case file. Therefore I am not able to accept responsibility for the above information although I believe it to be correct.

If you appeal the Board's ruling to a Circuit Court you could cite Bertels v Ironwood Products Co., No. 74-133 AE, Gogebic Circuit Court (January 25, 1978). In that case the Circuit Court held that where an appeal is late because the United States Postal Service took nine days to deliver a letter of appeal between two cities in Michigan, and there is other evidence of poor mail service between the two points, the postal delay constitutes and administrative clerical error.

FACTS: The claimant mailed a letter of appeal in Bessemer, Michigan, on October 23, 1973. The deadline for appealing was October 26, 1973. The letter was delivered to the Appeal Board in Detroit on November 1, 1973. The appeal was rejected as untimely. A subsequent request for reopening was denied by the Referee. The claimant's copy of the order of denial was apparently lost in the mail. The Appeal board affirmed the denial.

DECISION: The claimant has good cause for late appeal.

RATIONALE: "While I assume that the provisions of Regulation 270 relating to administrative clerical errors relates to the M.E.S.C., the fact that the United States Postal Service took nine days to deliver a letter from Bessemer, Michigan, to Detroit, Michigan, containing the Claim of Appeal of the Plaintiff here, it certainly could constitute a clerical error of some kind insofar as the Postal Service is concerned."

"It would appear at least, that mail communication between Bessemer, Michigan, and Detroit, Michigan, leave much to be desired. As stated in the brief of the Defendant, M.E.S.C., the term good cause as used in the Act presents a mixed question of law and fact. This court does not believe that one administrative agency of our State Government can hold the failure of an administrative agency of the Federal government to promptly deliver mail does not constitute good cause for reopening..."

Alternatively you might be able to cite the above case in another request for reopening of your case or for the Board to take jurisdiction. I'm an advocate and we don't handle anything beyond the ALJ hearings. And I'm rusty on the appeals procedures beyond the ALJs.

I'm disappointed to hear that your advocate apparently didn't devote sufficient time to your case. I would not hesitate to let the Agency know about his or her lack of preparation if that is the case. However, resignations are not easy cases to win because the case law presumes that a reasonable person will find another job before quitting the one he has unless there is a very good reason for quitting attributable to the employer, AFTER, the employer has been notified of the complaint and given the opportunity to address it.


Bridget 8 years ago

Dear Ralph,

Your speedy and extensive reply has given me hope that there just might be competent, caring people with integrity in leadership positions in our State. I only wish I had chosen you to be my advocate when I needed one!

I have printed your reply and will take some time to study it. I really appreciate your help Ralph.

Its so unfair. They can say this without proving it with the postmark. I mailed my appeal 5 days before the due date. I can't help it if the mail delivery had problems.

In all honestly, had a strong feeling that the delay was an admin error in lansing where I sent it. Because the lady (maryanne) who I spoke with last November even said "there's been an error somewhere with the transcription. But Don't worry, they will get to it." I said " I'm very concerned that they won't look at my case." She said "Oh....you're being foolish." She brushed me off saying I'll hear from them in four more weeks. (At that point, it had already being three weeks since I mailed it.) She was extremely degrading.

For the record, the last thing I wanted to do was to leave my job that I had every intention and hope of retire from. I was very rooted in the company. I was ultimately worn down and provoked to either leave or go "postal". I DID try to resolve the issue at least five times within the year prior to leaving. In other words I was crying for help for a year and no one would step in and help me with that supervisor.

I'm sure that any resonable person would have resigned. In fact, several others before me did just that.

Thank you very much for taking the time to help me with this! It really does help.

Bridget


Denise 8 years ago

My husband a union sheet metal worker who is now laid off. He is now recieving unemployment. He is thinking of going back to college to pursue another career becaues he keeps getting laid off more and more becuase of the economy. If he goes back to college part time while he is laid off will he still be eligible for unemployment? One of the questions MARVIN ask if is you are attending school. We can't afford to lose any of his compensation so we just would like to know.

Thanks for any help you can give. Denise


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Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

In Michigan the answer to your question is "It depends."

Here are three cases on the issue:

In Duell v St Joseph Hospital the ruling was in favor of the claimant. The Board of Review held that "A full-time college student's credible testimony of willingness to change courses or quit school, to accept full-time employment, is competen t proof of the claimant's eligibility.

FACTS: The claimant resigned his position at a Grand Rapids hospital because he was living, and attendint full-time college courses in East lansing. He testified he would change his class schedule or drop out of school in order to accept permanent full-time work.

Rationale: "The referee, in his reasons for decision, indicated that he tended to believe the claimant's testimony with respect to dropping his classes if he had been offered full-time work."

The Board of Review: "The majority of the Board of Review believes that the case entitled Michael S. Breshgold v Michigan Employment Security Commission, Civil Action No. 77-708893-AE (Wayne County Circuit Court 1978) is controlling. The holding in the Breshgold case states that because a claiman is a full-time student does not categorically mean that the student has necessarily placed limitations on his availability so as to remove him from the labor market. Under that case, the testimony of the claimant, to the effect that he would adjust his hours or quit school to accept full-time employment, would be sufficient, if credible."

Breshgold v MESC, No. 77-708893AE "In order to be eligible for unemployemnt benefits, an individual must be unemployed and make reasonable efforts to find work. An individual need not be idle and is not required to look for work daily for 8 hours a day.

FACTS: Claimant was enrolled as a full time student, taking daytime college courses (17 credits). He asserted he was available for full time work and would rearrange his class schedule or quit school if he found full-time employment. He testified that he had worked full-time and attended school full-time in the past. The referee found, and the Board of Review majority agreed, that claimant was primarily a student and was not genuinely attached to the labor market because he only searched for employment when this did not interfere with his schooling.

DECISION: rEMAND FOR HEARING ON CLAIMANT'S JOB SEEKING EFFORTS.

RATIONALE: Where a claimant asserts he is actively seeking work, it is incumbent on the trier of fact to explore those job seeking efforts. Availability cannot be determined solely by the fact that a claimant is pursuing educational goals while unemployed. Attachment to the labor market is largely a function of the individual's efforts to obtain employment.

Schontala v Engine Power Components, Ottawa Circuit Court, No. 86-8221-AE October 1987

Circuit Court holding: Where claimant asserted he was available for full time work but showed by his actions that, in fact, he was not, he did not meeth the availability requirement for eligibility.

FACTS: After working full time for the employer for over a year, claimant requested reduction to part-time status but shortly thereafter was laid off due to lack of work for part-time employees. Claimant was attending school and placed numerous applications for part-time work. He applied for benefits while still in school when he could not find any part-time work. Claimant asserted that he would accept full-toime employemtn but Referee did not find his testimony credible.

DECISION: Claimant is ineligible for benefits.

RATIONAL: Determination fo genui9ne attachment to the labor market is made by means of a subjective test which looks at the actions of the individual. In this case, claimant quit his full time employment, requested part-time status, enrolled in school nearly full-time, and subsequently applied for part-time work.

Your husband has a bit of a leg up because he was laid off and was found eligible for unemployment compensation. He did not request part-time work or quit his job to go back to school. Enrollment in school, per se is not disqualifying. He should not hesitate to enroll in school part-time and continue to certify to Marvin that he is available and seeking employment. If his availability for work is questioned by an employer appeal because he is in school, his position should be that he is continuing to look for full-time employment while he is in school and that he would be willing to adjust his school schedule if need be in order to accept a job. He should also keep track of his efforts to seek employment so that he would be able, if need be, to testify credibly that he is available for work.


Phil 8 years ago

Mr. Deeds: You provide a wealth of helpful information for folks in Michigan. I was wondering if you know of a similar resource for Indiana. I have a friend who was just denied her benefits in her first appeal. She has 18 days to submit an appeal to this decisioin. She is interested in knowing if there are advocates for this purpose in Indiana, as there are in Michigan? The advocacy support system was very helpful in my winning a lengthy appeal back in 2001-2002 in Michigan. A Google search has not revealed any similar support system in Indiana. Any information you can provide wopuld be greatly appreciated and extremely helpful.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

Sorry, I do not. Unemployment compensation laws and court cases are similar from state to state but not identical. Michigan court cases do not apply in Indiana. However, the court precedents there may be similar. I doubt that Indiana has an advocates program. Michigan is one of the few states that has such a program, and there are rumors that Michigan is going to terminate our program due to budget constraints. Our compensation was recently cut by one-third. Sorry I can't be more helpful.

I would encourage your friend to appeal for an administrative law judge hearing. In Michigan the Unemployment Agency's determinations are frequently reversed by Administrative Law Judges (referees). In Michigan the ALJs are obligated to assist unrepresented claimants to get a fair hearing. That's probably true in Indiana.


Phil 8 years ago

Thank you for your prompt reply. I will keep looking.


Denise 8 years ago

I wrote you about a week and a half ago about my husband going to college when while he is laid off. He has gone back to college and when he called in for his unemployment he had to call the 800 number to talk to them about it. They said they would have to investigate whether he can still work fuill time while he goes to college. He told them he is only going part time and most of that will be online. The classes he has to take on campus can be taken in the evenings or at night. He told them all this and she said it would take a minimum seven to 10 days to investigate and then they would make a determination. We just wondered what that means. They never asked him what school he attended. He is a union worker so he is called back to work from the union hall. He told them he would give them the number so they could verify with the hall his normal working hours but they didn't want to info. So we wondered how do they investigate it and how long will it take. And once they make the determination how long will we have to wait for the check we should have received last week. We do live in Michigan. I forgot to mention that before.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

I don't know how long the investigation will take. Usually, their investigations consist of checking with the employer whose account is being charged to see if they have any objections. The people who make the Agency's determinations and re-determinations make a plenty of mistakes. If the determination goes against your husband I would recommend that he appeal, requesting a hearing before an administrative law judge. Their decisions are usually much better than Unemployment Agency determinations. Your husband's case is not a slam dunk, but in my opinion, the law is on his side. He will have to convince the judge that he is available and looking for work in line with his experience and ability and that he will adjust his part-time course load if necessary to accept a job offer. Good luck. [If you think of it, keep us posted on how your husband's case turns out. We all learn from experience. I would be interested and perhaps others as well who access this web page.]


Denise 8 years ago

Hi, I am just updating you about the situation with my husband's unemployment. He did end up being able to continue receiving his unemployment. He called after the initial 10 days were up and they said it was resolved but somehow got lost in the system and they would send out the check the next day they apoligized for the delay. So everything did work out. Thanks for the information.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

Glad to hear that. Thanks for the update.


Lee 8 years ago

Dear Ralph,

I have a question as to whether I would receive unemployment compensation. I recently have been terminated from my job due to "Destruction of company property". A touch screen diagnostic computer that is used everyday by 8 different people, including myself, accidently broke when I attempted to use it. When I turned the unit on I found it was not responding and I noticed the screen was slightly discolored. When I pressed on the touch screen it cracked. My employer wanted me to pay for half the cost of the unit because he felt I broke it. I did not agree to pay for it so my employment was terminated.

It says in my emploee handbook "Employees causing damage to the company's property and equipment may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including immediate termination. This includes loss or damage due to carlessness, negligence, improper use, or unsafe practices. Monetary reimbursement to the company may also be required if applicable."

Do you think I am eligable for unemployment even though my employer gave me the option to pay for half the cost and I did not take it? Also, do you think my claim wil be denied for misconduct even though I feel the unit accidently broke?

I appreciate your time answering my question.Thanks,Lee


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

Yes. I think you should be eligible. To disqualify you the company would have to show that you intentionally damaged the screen. The standard of misconduct is wilful or wanton disregard of the employer's interest. Tell the unemployment agency exactly what happened, emphasizing that 1. The damage may have been caused by one of the other people who use the computer and 2. You caused the crack accidentally, not intentionally, while trying to get the computer to work. If the agency's determination and/or re-determination go against you, appeal to an administrative law judge hearing. I've seen cases where truck drivers had accidents causing thousands of dollars of damage and were found eligible for UC. If you think of it let us know how your case turns out.


Elliot 8 years ago

I was offered a voluntary severence package with the company I worked for for over 10 years.I asked the question before I took their offer If I do not take this package,is there a chance you would have future layoffs with no severence package offered? They said yes,so I took the package.I feel I did not quit,but was sort of pressured into making the decision to take the severence package.At the end of my severence I should be able to get unemployment benefits.The company even said I could apply when I was considering.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

Eligibility is determined by the UC agency, not the employer. It would be helpful to your case, however, if the company did not protest your eligibility for benefits. You will have to convince the agency that 1) the company approached you with the offer and 2) gave you the impression that you would be laid off if you didn't accept the offer. After you apply for benefits, your employer will receive a request for information about the circumstances and terms of your separation. There are a lot of people in Michigan in your circumstances who may be applying for benefits, and there will likely be appeals in some of these cases. I have not seen any recent court decisions yet. However, in 1990 in Coleman v. MESC, the court of appeals ruled that where a claimant who is given a choice among reasonable alternatives decides to accept a "buyout" he is subject to disqualification." In this case a GM employee at a warehouse that was being closed was offered three alternatives: 1) accept a transfer to another GM location 50 miles away; 2) a layoff of one year with benefits; 3) a buy-out of $50,000. The claimant chose the buyout. He was disqualified from eligibility for UC for "voluntary leaving." My impression is that your chances of being declared eligible are less than 50-50, but you have nothing to lose by applying for benefits.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

Elliott, here is an excellent article from today's Detroit Free Press by Michael Harper and Joshua Riley on the effect of buyouts on eligibility for unemployment compensation benefits. I agree with the authors' conclusions that the law is unclear and that workers who accept buyouts should be eligible for benefits. Read the article here:

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080425/OPINION02/804250339/1068/OPINION


Joan 8 years ago

Hello Ralph! My husband's employer wants to cut his pay 20% because he's having a slow period. It's a small company and his employer has over-hired. No one else in the co. is affected. My husband is his General Manager and highest paid. He's been there six years. The employer will do anything possible to avoid paying unemployment taxes and virtually refuses to fire people. We feel his is cutting his pay to make him quit, thus effectively keeping my husband from filing for unemployment benefits. Are individuals typically successful in filing in this type of situation?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

Yes. There are several court decisions ruling that a significant pay cut is "good cause for resignation attributable to the employer." In "Wasolaskus (Tom's Grandville Station, 1978 BR55248" the Board of Review ruled that "A 17 percent reduction in wages is good cause for voluntarily leaving part-time work."

RATIONALE: jack Desser, d/b/a/ Jack Desser Biscuit Company v Appeal Board, Wayne County Circuit , No. 324-748 (July 5, 1962) held that a 'substantial reduction' in wages can constitute 'good cause' for quitting one's employment. The 'substantial' reduction in Desser consisted of a 20 percent reduction in claimant's gross commissions. The curtailment of hours imposed by employer upon claimant in this case would have reduced his income by approximately 17 percent if he had continued his employment. The reduction in wages was 'substantial.'

"The part-time nature of claimant's employment does not, per se alter the substantiality of the reduction in claimant's wages."


Mike 8 years ago

An employee was terminated because it was found he violated company policies, including falsification of time sheets, saying he was at work when he was really observed at a bar and at home, etc... We appealed the admin judge's determination and provided proof of above, yet the admin judge ruled in his favor again on the redetermination. I know we can appeal, but just what does it take to prove gross misconduct? Do you think presenting our findings to a judge in erson will have any bearing on the outcome?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

You may well get a better decision in an administrative law judge hearing. It's not at all uncommon for Unemployment Agency redeterminations to be reversed in administrative law judge hearings. The agency employees who make the determinations and reteterminations are not judges. Their workload is big, the information on which they base their decsions is often incomplete and conflicting with the result that they make a lot of mistakes.

You have nothing to lose by requesting a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. However, the burden is on you to prove with more than hearsay evidence that the misconduct occurred. This means that you will have to provide in person testimony at the hearing establishing the facts on which your decision to discharge the employee were based. Intentionally falsifying timesheets are, in my opinion, misconduct under the unemployment compensation statute. But the burden of proof is on the employer.


Jeremy 8 years ago

Hi, I left an 8 year job in construction to take another job. After 5 months the new employer told me my position was no longer financially possible. I started my own business now in construction 4 weeks ago, but ut will be sometime before I actually make an income from this business. I have been receiving UC and was told I am eligible so long as I don't have an income, even though I own my own business. Is this true? If so, when I do my first job do I tell MARVIN I am working?

Thanks

Jeremy


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

The court cases go both ways on these kinds of cases depending on the facts. In order to continue your eligibility for UC you must continue to be attached to the labor market, that is seeking work and willing to accept work in your profession.

In Bolles v. Employment Security Commission the Michigan Supreme Court held..."the test properly to be employed is that of genuine attachment to the labor market."

Facts: Claimants were laid off by employer. Each had been trained in watch repair work and each had at one time or another engaged in this occupation. Consequently, they pooled their resources, rented a building, remodeled and redecorated, and opened it for business under the name of Muskegon Jewleers. They advertised and they did what work they could get. It wasn't much. Each averaged about a dollar a day over the period in question. During the period of 7 weeks of operation claimants reported a total gain each of around $60...During this time both claimants were actively seeking work in industry; both aplied, unsuccessfully, for jobs referred to them by the Employment Security Commission, and both drew their unemployment compensation.

Rationale: ....all courts would undoubtedly agree that the Act was not intended to place a premium on idleness, to stifle initiative, or to penaliize a laid-off worker's attempt to make his time economically productive. The claimants, subsequent to their layoff continued seeking work. Each was ready, willing and able and anxious to continue work in industry. They were genuinely attached to the labor market, neither casually nor as a matter of transition. Their meager efforts to augment their unemployment checks did not break their attachment to the labor market.

In High Scope Educational Research Foundation v Easton the Washtenaw Circuit Court held

Where an unemployed person becomes the proprietor of an antique shop, but remains able and available and continues to seek work, the claimant is still attached to the labor market.

Facts: The claimant was laid off from full time employment. While still unemployed, he invested $3500 and opened an antique shop. The claimant continued to look for work at numerous places, made arrangements for someone to fill in for him if necessary, and was willing to give up the shop if he found suitable employment.

Decision: The claimant was genuinely attached to the labor market.

Koehler v General Motors, Oakland Circuit Court held

where a claimant worked full-time for a self-owned business he was not unemployed within the meaning of Section 48 of the MES ACt. Moreover, when a claimant is preoccupied with developing his own business, putting in hours equivalent to full-time work, he is not available within the meaining of Section 28(1)c.

FACTS: Claimant was a part-owner of an irrigation company. While collecting unemployment benefits, the claimant worked for his company in excess of 40 hours per week and received distributions from profits. During this period claimant sought other work but his efforts were infrequent and indifferent. Claimant did not receive a paycheck from this company but did pay personal expenses out of the business's account.

DECISION: The claimant was not unemployed within the meaning of the Act. Claimant was properly subject to the penalties for fraud.

RATIONALE: Where the claimant is not ready, willing able and anxious to resume work in industry, his efforts should be considered startup as opposed to self-help. With respect to availability, the claimant's indifferent job search efforts established he was not truly attached to the labor market and therefore not available within the meaining of the Act. In light of his representations to the Agency that he was not employed and his failure to disclose his connection to or responsibilities with his business, the assessment of penalties and sanctions was correct.


theo12 8 years ago

Hey Ralph,

I need your help. Im a college student thats been with popular retail hardware company for almost 2 years wiht a great work record. I transfered stores back to my home town for the summer. Today I just got accused of stealing money because i am a cashier currently but i know i have never stole a single penny. They even showed me the tape they had of me but there was no proof and i am inncent but regardless the money is gone somehow and for some reason beyond me they told me not to come back. I have no idea what to do. I need money desperately and If i cant find another job do i have a responsible claim for unemployment? the way i see it is 'Fired without out reasonable cause'? What do to you think.? I need to know.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

You have nothing to lose by filing for unemployment compensation. The company will have to prove their charge against you. You will probably have to through a determination, a redetermination and an appeal to and administrative law judge hearing because the Unemployment Agency will probably go a long with your employer's accusation.


scottfree 8 years ago

well ralph.... i have a question. what happens when a person gets caught receiving earnings and also claiming unemployment benifits at the same time? what are the steps involved after receiving the predetermination notification. not contesting the earnings nor the benefits. the facts that they have are correct with the records that a person has. any help is greatly appreciated.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

You won't go to jail, but there are fairly sever penalties in Michigan and most states for intentional fraud in applying for UC benefits.


scottfree 8 years ago

in most cases do they require you to repay 4x the amount? or in all cases? yikes!!!! no question they are correct in their findings.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

The Michigan statute provides for the following penalties for "knowing false statements":

If the amount obtained as a result of the knowing false statement is less than $500, the commission may recover the amount obtained and may also recover damages equal to 2 times that amount.

$500 or more--recover the amount obtained and damages equal to 4 times that amount.

$1,000 to $25,000--If the amount obtained or withheld from payment as a result of theknowing false statement or representation or the knowing and willful failure to disclose a material fact is $1,000 or more but less than $25,000, then one of the following:

--Imprisonment for not more than one year

--Performance of community service of not more than 1 year but not to exceed 2080 hours.

--A combination of community service and imprisonment that does not exceed one year

I don't have any experience with these kinds of cases. My impression is that jail sentences are uncommon, but that the Unemployment Agency does take steps to recover the overpayments and quadruple damages. If you don't have the money to make full restitution, I believe they allow installment payments. Also, they arrange to deduct amounts you owe from any Michigan income tax refunds which may be due you in the future and a portion of any future unemployment compensation payments for which you may be eligible.


Trevor 8 years ago

I was fired from my job,due to me not taking the employers verbal abuse and threats and standing up for myself.I filed for unemployment like i was suppose to,however my employer claimed i quit,which isnt true,i even called numerous times over a 2 week period to see if i could come back to work,my employer never returned my phone calls or messages.

I filed a protest of determination and faxed it over to unemployment,i called after about 2 weeks and they said they received it and i'd hear something within the next 4 weeks,well today the 4 weeks was up and i heard nothing so i called back unemployment and they stated they never received my fax for the protest,4 weeks earlier i was told they did,my question is what do i do now,besides re-faxing it,because of their mistake(i have the reciept or copy showing i faxed it) am i going to have to wait an additonal 4 weeks again to hear anything back from them,im behind in bills now as it is because of this long dragged out process with unemployement and my former employer lying.

Is there anything i can do to speed up the process or hear something back as soon as possible?? I cant afford to not recieve my unemployement or wait another 4 weeks to hear something. Thanks


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

You may want to call the Unemployment Agency and explain the situation to the representative again, and then follow up with another fax and a registered letter with a copy of your fax and and receipt, addressed, by name to the person with whom you talked. Keep a good record of all telephone and written contacts with the agency. If that doesn't work you may find it helpful to contact your state representative and/or senator in the legislature. If you can get either of them to contact the Employment Agency it might speed up your case.


Carol 8 years ago

Hi,

I was fired in Oct 2007 because I was hurt on the job and the agency refused to reasonably accomadate me for a permenate work related physical disability. I was able to recieve unemployment benifits. Then a MSPB judge ordered the agency to return me back to duty, give me back pay, and give me reasonable accoms. The agency then offered me a position that was no where the same as I had in the past. It was a 12:00 - 8:00 pm shift I had been working 8:00-$4:30pm, it was a posted position at a higher level of pay than I had recieved in the past and the new hires recieve the higher pay, but I was getting payed less than the new employess and I have 10 years of service. I also had filed an EEO because of discrimmination of a known phys. disability. The EEO was accepted into the formal stage in Oct 2007 just before they fired me. So the only way that I would be allowed to return back to work was on the night shift, work for less money but do the same job, and drop the EEO complaint. The agency also payed back the unemployment benefits from my back pay befor they payed me anything. So now unemployment says that I have to pay back all of the taxes because the agecy says it's the employees responseability. So know I have gotten fired again for not taking the agency's offer and I tried to reapply for unemployment and not sure yet if it's been approved. But I also had the taxes taken out of each check and the agency took out all taxes from my retro pay. So am I still responable to pay the taxes a 3rd time?? And because I refused to drop the EEO complaint will I be able to collect unemployment??


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

You've asked several questions that are beyond my knowledge and experience. With regard to your last question about collecting unemployment compensation-- wether or not you are eligible will depend on all the facts of your case. I don't believe "not taking the agency's offer" would constitute disqualifying misconduct under the unemployment compensation statute. It doesn't cost anything to apply. Sorry I'm not able to provide you with better answers to your questions. Good luck.


LotsofFaith 8 years ago

I worked for a company for almost 3 years and then was suddenly let go for "falsification of company records". Basically that means that on my intial application with the company (3 years ago) I did not list I was terminated from a previous employer (which i was). I live and work in the state of michigan. Will the unemployment department deem me as ineligble for unemployment becuase of this?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

Material falsification on an employment application is considered disqualifying misconduct. However, after a reasonable period of satisfactory employment some judges may not rule that you are ineligible for unemployment compensation based on an omission on your employment application. Sometimes employers who need to cut costs fire people and call it misconduct rather than a layoff. If I were representing you at a hearing I would ask the employer witness 1. Why it took so long for them to discover the omission from your application and 2. Whether or someone was hired to replace you after you were fired or whether your duties were reassigned to someone else already working for the company. If someone was not hired to replace you that would be an indication that the employer's action was in reality a layoff cloaked in the guise of misconduct. I think your case could go either way. Probably the odds are that you will be ruled ineligible. However, it doesn't cost anything but your time to file an appeal and go before an administrative law judge.


MamaBug 8 years ago

My husband was employed at a company that contracted him out to a third party as part of their salesforce. The third party decided to 'let go' him and a number of other contractors. In a meeting with his manager, he was given the option to resign and accept two weeks pay (and, incidently, to be the agent responsible for returning samples, literature, and the company car) or be fired. At that meeting, he gave no commitment either way. Later, when he finally was able to talk with HR he found out that the manager had already stated that he had submitted a verbal resignation and that this is what they would tell unemployment when contacted.

My husband has filed and has consistently stated in the 'reasons for' sections that the reason for his resignation was 'resigned after being told company and third party I was contracted to no longer needed my services'. His actual resignation letter also states that these are the circumstances of termination. Under these circumstances - essentially a forced resignation - is it typical to be denied benefits? We are in Washington State and have never had difficulty before with benefits as a result of termination, I'm just worried that the label 'resigned' forced upon him is going to mess things up.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

I am in Michigan, and I am not familiar with the law in Washington. However, most states are similar. In Michigan I would advise your husband to appeal the UC agancy's determination to an administrative law judge hearing. Employers here sometimes use the same old "resignation trick" in an effort to disqualify people from unemployment compensation. He obviously didn't resign and should be disqualified from benefits only for the two weeks' separation pay, or possibly only for the week in which he received the check. Your husband should appeal the decision in my opinion. At any rate he would be eligible in Michigan. Good luck.


Joe R 8 years ago

I held an appointed supervisory position with a municipality for 11 years. When a new administration was elected, I was first renamed as a "temp" assignment with all benefits and salary to remain the same, and on Jan. 4, 2008 I was released.

I filed and was rejected on the grounds of Sec 42 which excludes "appointed" advisory positions. However, I was a full time supervisor, not in any "policy" capacity. I filed my redetermination request over ten weeks ago, and have heard nothing officially about my status or right to appeal. When I call to inquire I'm told that my case is before a "special" hearing board that investigates. I'm told I can do nothing until they "meet". I've talked to supervisors, and legal advocates who cannot understand the delay. All requirements have been met concerning call ins and paperwork deadlines, but still no response. Is a lawyer my only recourse? (btw, I inadvertently sent a copy of this to your email address, sorry for the error.)


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

In my opinion, you should be eligible. I don't have any suggestion for speeding up the process other than, possibly, contacting your state representative and/or senator and ask them to light a fire under the Unemployment Agency.


Needing help 8 years ago

I am in the mortgage business in Michigan. Unfortunatly my company closed my branch. I was approved for unemployment. After 12 weeks, I accepted a customer service position an hour and 20 minutes from my home. I tried very hard to make this work, I had worked there for almost 3 months. Unfortunatly, I could not afford to buy gas to go to work. I was spending $164.00 a week in gas. I have reapplied, stating that I had quit my job, due to distance was greater from my home. It has been over 3 weeks, and money is none. Unemployment keeps telling me to wait 6 weeks. Has anyone been approved for a situation like this?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

Yes, in my opinion, with gasoline prices as high as they are, you had good reason to quit your job. The law on this is not entirely clear on how far or how long the commute has to be to justify quitting. I don't have time right now, but I'll do a little research and follow up on this comment. The Unemployment Agency is swamped with cases, so the delay doesn't surprise me. If you aren't ruled eligible for benefits, I suggest you ask for a redetermination and, if necessary an appeal to an administrative law judge hearing. Good luck.


Needing Help 8 years ago

Thank you! Any suggestions is very much appreciated.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

Needing Help: I was only able to find three cases somewhat similar to yours.

1. Laya v Cebar Construction, 101 Mich App 26 (1980)

The court of appeals held that "voluntary" (leaving) must connote a decision based upon a choice between alternatives which ordinary men would find reasonable.

FACTS: The claimant lived in Warren, Michigan with his family. In 1976 he was laid off and could not find work in his local area. Through his union he learned of work in Cincinnati, Ohio. He accepted the job, lived in Ohio during the week and drove home (272 miles) on weekends. The distance created difficulties within the family and trouble in making the drive. He quit after 25 days.

Decision: Claimant is not disqualified for benefits.

RATIONALE: Where the claimant was not faced between alternatives that ordinary persons would consider reasonable, his choice was "no choice at all," and his leaving was involuntary and non-disqualifying.

2. Gilliam v Chrysler Corp. 72 Mich App 538 (1976)Court of appeals holding: In determining the suitability of offered work, the loss of recall rights to local work must be considered. Further, a job is not automatically suitable because the distance is less than 45 miles.

FACTS: The claimants lived in Monroe and Newport and worked in Trenton. One commuted 15 miles each way and the other drove 21 miles. Both were laid off and subsequently notified of work at other plants. The Monroe resident lived 44 miles from the Hamtramck plant at which he was offered work. The New port resident was called by a Detroit plant, 42 miles from his home. Both claimants refused the offered work, citing the distance. If the claimants had accepted the offered work they would have lost their recall rights at the Trenton facility.

DECISION: The claimants are not qualified for refusal of work.

RATIONALE: "In determining whether distance makes a job offer unsuitable the commission, referee and appeal board should consider where relevant, the age and health of the individual employee, the hours during which travel will be required, the time involved in traveling, traffic conditions and availability nd reliability of a means of transportation, as well as any other facts which may relate to the distance factor and its bearing upon the suitability of the employment."

"Offered employment which is otherwise suitable may be unsuitable if it jeopardizes good prospects for recall to local work in an individual's customary occupation."

3. Korhonen v Brown and Winckler, No. 23110, Ingham Circuit Court

Circuit Court Holding: Where an individual leaves nearby work and moves 75 miles away for personal reasons, the separation is disqualifying but a refusal to return to the former employment is not disqualifying.

FACTS: The claimant worked as a legal secretary. She was disqualified for voluntarily leaving a Lansing position in order to move from Lansing to Northville. The claimant requalified, but refused an offer of recall to the Lansing job, because the distance from her home was 75 miles.

DECISION: The claimant is not disqualified for refusal of work.

RATIONALE: "The appellants assert that she had a job here in Lansing which was open, available to her which she could come to and earn a wage. "That, therefore, she was not seeking work pursuant to the statute because she did nto accept the employment with them.

"The Court finds, contrary to the assertion of the appellants, however, that she need not be available for work in Lansing because of the distance which exists between Northville and Lansing."

"The Commission correctly found, the referee correctly found, and the Board of Review correctly found that the work offered to the claimant by the appellant was unsuitable because of the distance involved which she would hav to travel to in order to enjoy that work."

[The reasoning in the above cases could be applied to your case depending on the facts: distance and time of commute, cost of gasoline, etc. Basically, your eligibility will be based on whether your decision to quit was what a reasonable person would do under the circumstances. If you are determined not to be eligible I suggest you request a redetermination and, if necessary appeal to an administrative law judge hearing. Be sure to appeal within the time limit. The time limits are enforced very strictly. Good luck!]


la donna 8 years ago

hi mr. deeds at my last job we had what was called a performance bank wich held 1oo points every time your written up for company infractions points are deducted from your bank when your banktotals 0 or goes in the negative you are terminated this happend to me. my employer claims i QUIT before a disiplanary conference was held and unemployment has denied me twice but i did have aconference and was told i was terminated at that conference in front of union representation and at that conference was told i could resign in lieu of termination and that way would still recive vacation pay i had accrued i was also told by my employer and by my union rep it would not affect me getting unemployment i have a copy of the write up where it states i had a conference and who was present but it does not state that i was fired just that i was assesed 10 points leaeving me with -9points no where does it say i was fired i did sign a letter of volantary resignation do i have a case?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

I recommend you request an administrative law judge hearing. It sounds to me like you were fired and tricked into signing a resignation letter in an effort to keep you from drawing unemployment compensation. Your case will depend on how serious the incidents(s) for which you were disciplined are.


LaDonna 8 years ago

Thank you very much


AndyBaker profile image

AndyBaker 8 years ago from UK

Very useful information - thanks.


Big Sky Jeff 8 years ago

Mr Deeds,

Would greatly appreciate your imput on my case. Was terminated from my job on May 1st of this year. My former employeer sstaed"it just wasn't working out" Well i knew that wasn't the real reason....the reason was because of a traffic accident I was involved in using a company vehicle on April 18 of this year. I filed for UC(Florida) and received a letter stating what my weekly benefit would be. On the 27th of May I received a later denying my benefits because of misconduct. I have since appealed that decision and my referee hearing via telephone is July 1st. I was cited for the accident but there was really know way I could avoid the accident...believe me I tried. I certainly had no intention of getting in that accident and up until that time had a flawless driving record(37yrs of no tickects) I have studied the statute and Florida case laws regarding matters such as this and I feel I have a pretty good case. I have no prior history of damaging company property and to my knowledge have never been reprimanded or written up for any violations. Would appreciate your insight on this matter. Thanks.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

In Michigan you would almost certainly ruled eligible for Unemployment Compensation. I'll look up a couple of cases and give you the reasoning. The burden on the employer is to show (intentional) "wanton or willful disregard of the employer's interest." In the case of motor vehicle accidents, this would require proof (a ticket or testimony) that the accident resulted from a violation of the law or serious negligence of some sort. Also, prior instances of accidents or violations would be taken into account.

A Michigan Unemployment Agency bullitin says the following:

"What court cases have said: Unemployment compensation cases say that to be misconduct, the actions by the worker must be harmful to the interests of the employer, and must be done intentionally or in disregard of the employer's interests. Actions that are grossly negligent may be enough to disqualify a worker from unemployment benefits. A worker who commits many infractions may be disqualified, even if none of the infractions, alone, would be misconduct resulting in disqualification. However, the final incident in a series, for which the worker is fired, must itself show qan intentional disregard of the employer's interests.

However, if the actions by the worker show merely the worker's inability to do the job correctly, or show an isolated case of bad judgment or negligence, then the worker will not be disqualified. (This does not necessarily mean the employer did not have a good reason for firing the worker.) Acts committed by the worker that have no connection with the work will not result in disqualification if the employer fires the worker for them.....If either the employer or the unemployed worker appeals the case to an Administrative Law Judge, then the employer must prove that the worker engaged in misconduct and that the misconduct occurred in connection with the work. Except in the most serious offenses, the employer must also prove that the worker was aware of the employer's work rules and that the actions of the worker were harmful to the employer...."

NOTE: The above applies in Michigan. The law may differ somewhat in Florida.


ted 8 years ago

how long after i get laid off do i have to collect? is it to late if i was laid off in oct 2006? thks for your help


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

There is no provision for payment of benefits for periods prior to the filing of a timely and valid application in accordance with your unemployment agency's procedures.


Tee 8 years ago

My recent protest of a determination was also denied due to the fact my former employer states i quit when he actually fired me, another thing is unemployment says my protest wasn't received by the agency in the 30 day time frame.

I know that is wrong because i filed it right away and even waited the 48 hours and called back to make sure they received my Fax,the person i spoke to from unemployment said it WAS received and to wait 3-4 weeks to hear something back, after 4 weeks was up i called again and was told nothing was ever received and that my protest has been denied as well due to not getting my protest in to the agency in the alotted 30 day time frame.

I even once again faxed over documents and receipts showing that i faxed my protest within the time frame,so why should i be denied benefits because of a mistake on the unemployment agencys end? They made the mistake and refuse to take responsiblity for that and instead continue to deny me me benefits....what can i do next?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

You could try filing an appeal for an Administrative Law Judge hearing or writing to your representative in the legislature. And perhaps you could go in person to an Unemployment Agency office and talk face to face with a real live human and show him or her the documents showing that you faxed the appeal on time. The Unemployment Agency has lots of cases and some fall through the cracks.


nicky63 8 years ago

Please tell me what my chances are for unemployment. I was fired for supposedly

calling another employee a lesbian

. What I said was "Does she even like boys" They are saying I was fired for misconduct

. I was never written up or gave warning.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

The burden for establishing misconduct is on the employer. If I were the judge I would rule in your favor. However, there is a fairly large misconduct gray area. And we are in an era where remarks about race, sexual orientation are not tolerated. It would have been more reasonable, in my opinion, for the employer to investigate the situation and warn you to avoid remarks about sexual orientation in the future. If the individual about whom your remark was addressed heard you or became aware of it and was offended, your employer could have asked you to apologise. Dismissal strikes me as quite severe in the case you described. If I were you I would appeal your case to an Administrative Law Judge hearing. I think your chances of winning are better than 50-50. An appeal doesn't cost anything. Be sure and get your appeal in within the time limit and show up at the hearing on time. Good luck.


James 8 years ago

Ralph, I filed for unemployment in Michigan due to lack of work, got over a months worth of benefits. When I filed I answered that I was in school part time and would NOT quit school if work conflicted. I had no return to work date but have returned to work and was assured it was just due to the american axle strike. They have asked for ALL the money back. I wrote for a redeterimination and was denied, I am writing again to request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. I am wondering what you think my chances of winning are? And any advice you could give me to help in this matter would be greatly appreciated.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

Well, it's hard to make a prediction without reading the file. However, the basic principle is that in order to qualify for benefits you must be available and seeking work. Being in school doesn't automatically disqualify you. There are several cases where students were allowed to continue receiving benefits if they indicated they were willing to adjust their class schedule so as to allow them to work while going to school. The law does not require you to quit school in order to be eligible for benefits. Once you have filed a timely appeal you will receive a notice of hearing and a list of advocates who can assist you in presenting your case to the administrative law judge. Having an advocate or lawyer would be to your advantage. You are free to call as many of the people on the list as you wish. You should not wait until the last minute before selecting an advocate. You need to give him or her time to sign on to your case and get a copy of your case file, read it and discuss your case with you. Also, find out where the hearing office is located and make sure you get their on time, preferably a half hour ahead of time in case there is a need to tie up any loose ends with your representative. The state pays a small fee ($100) to the advocate for advising you on your case and appearing with you at the hearing.

If you were in school part time when you were laid off and you returned to your part time job when you were recalled I think you should be eligible for benefits. However, your case is not a slam dunk. The judge may rule that you were not available and seeking work during your layoff and therefore ineligible. Yours is a borderline case so far as I can tell without reading the case file. Good luck!


OttMitt 8 years ago

I was employed for six years with a company that just eliminated my position. It was basically an executive position and I was a model employee. I DID receive unemployment benefits for the past six weeks.

My employer told me personally that she felt bad for ending my employment and she was going to include two weeks vacation pay on my last regular paycheck. My last paycheck included the extra two weeks pay that was described as vacation pay. I had earned three weeks vacation at my anniversary date two months before my release. The vacation was a benefit listed in my original employment agreement that I signed six years ago. The agreement did not state whether the vacation could be taken as a cash payment or had to be taken as days off. I had requested my vacation time every year for six years and was denied all requested time for the entire six years of my employment even though it was in my agreement. The employer had sometimes paid other employees (that did not even hve a written agreement) cash instead of taking vacation.

I just received a letter from UEA questioning my eligibility and asking me to answer several questions. The questions ask about two seperate payments. The owner has told them that I was also given a seperate severance pay check...I received no such check.

The owner feels that the two weeks vacation pay should be considered income after my termination and I should be disqualified for benefits for the first two weeks. The owner also lied about a severance check being given to me.

My question is: Does vacation pay that was earned as a benefit for working the previous year count as regular pay for the next two weeks after my job ended when it was a benefit and not regular pay? How would a severance check effect someone's benefits...I never rec'd one, but I am now curious.

Thank you!

Whe


OttMitt 8 years ago

I was employed for six years with a company that just eliminated my position. It was basically an executive position and I was a model employee. I DID receive unemployment benefits for the past six weeks.

My employer told me personally that she felt bad for ending my employment and she was going to include two weeks vacation pay on my last regular paycheck. My last paycheck included the extra two weeks pay that was described as vacation pay. I had earned three weeks vacation at my anniversary date two months before my release. The vacation was a benefit listed in my original employment agreement that I signed six years ago. The agreement did not state whether the vacation could be taken as a cash payment or had to be taken as days off. I had requested my vacation time every year for six years and was denied all requested time for the entire six years of my employment even though it was in my agreement. The employer had sometimes paid other employees (that did not even hve a written agreement) cash instead of taking vacation.

I just received a letter from UEA questioning my eligibility and asking me to answer several questions. The questions ask about two seperate payments. The owner has told them that I was also given a seperate severance pay check...I received no such check.

The owner feels that the two weeks vacation pay should be considered income after my termination and I should be disqualified for benefits for the first two weeks. The owner also lied about a severance check being given to me.

My question is: Does vacation pay that was earned as a benefit for working the previous year count as regular pay for the next two weeks after my job ended when it was a benefit and not regular pay? How would a severance check effect someone's benefits...I never rec'd one, but I am now curious.

Thank you!

Whe


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

Regulations for severance pay and vacation pay in Michigan provide that laid off employees are disqualified for the week in which the pay is received unless the employer in the severance letter or agreement specifically allocates the pay over several weeks. The way this is handled may well vary from state to state. My experience is in Michigan only.


Jennifer 8 years ago

I won my case and now my previous employer has offered me a job! The problem is the pay is less and the hours are less. Do I accept the job? What do I say to MARVIN?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

Well, it depends on how much less the pay and hours are for the job to be deemed suitable. Your employer may be trying to disqualify you from benefits. If you refuse the job he will probably inform the agency that you declined an offer of employment. You are required to accept offers of "suitable" employment. "Suitable" has been interpreted to mean work in your occupation which you have done before for comparable or similar earnings. One court case ruled that a 17% reduction in earnings was "substantial" and good cause attributable to the employer for quitting. I'm not of any magic number for determining whether a job offer is suitable. The courts would compare your pay rate and hours before you were laid off with the current offer and determine whether it was reasonable for you to decline because it was "unsuitable," that is the pay rate, hours and earnings would be sufficiently lower that it would not be reasonable to expect you to accept the offer. The unemployment agency may have internal yardsticks for determining whether a job offer is suitable, but they haven't published them to my knowledge.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

Error: I'm not [aware] of any magic number.


Jennifer 8 years ago

Some one told me that there was a sliding scale to figure it out. What they are offering me is 50% less than what I was making with that company 5 months ago. I just dont know what my next step is. They sent me a letter saying that they had a job opening. I am supposed to respond. I am also supposed to call MARVIN on Tuesday. What do I tell MARVIN when he askes me if I have refused any job offer? I dont want to lie but its hard to reason with an automated phone service!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

If it was clear from the letter that you would be making 50% less than before you should be okay if you decline the offer. I'm sorry but I don't recall the wording of MARVIN's question about refusal of a job offer. You should answer the question accurately. It could lead to a redetermination against you, in which case you should protest on the basis that the job was not suitable because the pay was 50% less. If that doesn't work you should appeal to an administrative law judge hearing.

Please let us know how this turns out. I and I'm sure others would be interested. Sorry I'm not able to give you a definitive answer. Good luck!


MamaBug 8 years ago

I wrote awhile back about my husband being forced to resign. It has finally found it's way through to someone's desk and they are making a decision, however his company is now flat out lying to unemployment about the circumstances. They are claiming he up and resigned because he believed he was about to be fired for poor performance. Unfortunately, gave signs that she might be buying it. He is trying to get some supporting evidence from the boss, from others who were let go at the same time, and possibly even from the company that he was contracted with in the first place - hopefully before the company realizes what he is doing and starts trying to get people to shut up. Just wanted to give you an update, looks like we would qualify if the company in question wasn't acting unethically. I wish my husband had listened to me when I told him that they weren't being 'nice' to him by giving him 2 weeks severence.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

Well, the outcome may depend on whose testimony at the hearing the judge finds more credible. Tricking someone into resigning in order to receive severance pay should not disqualify anyone from unemployment benefits.


MamaBug 8 years ago

Should and what is don't always line up in this life.

Right now it is still on the unemployment case worker's desk for initial judgement. We just know that they are contesting his version of events and claiming that his resignation was completely voluntary. Luckily, he does have an email from his boss which states 'I gave you the choice between resignation and termination and you chose resignation' which seems to undermine their claim that there was no immediate threat of firing. My husband is also going to try and get confirmation from the company he was contracted with that they were the one's to discontinue his services. Since there should be no liability to them for telling a contractor not to work there anymore we hope they will provide it.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

In Michigan severance pay disqualifies for UC benefits only for the week or weeks in which the check or checks are paid. I heard on NPR this afternoon that a laid off worker in Florida was disqualified from benefits due to severance pay. But they didn't provide the facts of the case. If your husband was forced to sign a resignation letter in order to get severance pay, that's not a bona fide resignation. Again, it's impossible to judge a case without reading the case file and even then it's uncertain until you hear the testimony and evidence presented at the ALJ hearing.


MamaBug 8 years ago

We know it isn't a bona fide resignation, but now we are in the position of having to prove it. The problem is the head of HR is actively lying to unemployment about the terms. She is claiming he resigned of his own volition with only the "possibility" of being fired had he not increased sales in his territory. This is not what happened. His manager gave him two options, walk out of the meeting terminated and receive no benefits or send in a resignation letter and get two more weeks pay plus the possibility of health care into the following month.

Essentially, it is boiling down to a 'he said, she said' argument with only my husband's resignation letter and a brief email from his former manager as the only documented evidence. I'm still cautiously hopeful that the investigator will make the initial judgement in my husband's favor so that the company is forced to appeal and not us. I don't know how good a poker face the investigators have - so far this one seems to be buying a lot of what the HR manager is selling. We are trying to hook up with the local Unemployment Law Project for guidance (and possibly representation) if it does end up going to court.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

I would appeal the case all the way.


joe 8 years ago

In Michigan are you legally required to attend an unemployment appeal hearing if the employer appeals your determination/re-determination?

I collected benefits for a few months, then got another job. Now I got a letter saying I have to attend a hearing. I do not care about the unemployment anymore and I know if I win this appeal the employer will just appeal again. I just want to put this all behind me.

Whats the worst that could happen if I leagally don't have to attend besides paying a few thousand dollars back if they win their appeal?

What if the judge determines that I have been fired for misconduct by the employers testimony, will I have to pay any penalties?

I appreciate you taking your time to answer my questions. Thank you.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

If you don't appear at the hearning the judge's decision will be based solely on the employer's un-rebutted testimony which means that the re-determination will likely be reversed, and you will be required to re-pay the benefits you have received. There are no penalties for not attending the hearing. The hearings are fairly informal. They usually last a half hour or so. They are tape recorded and appeals are decided on a transcript of the taped hearing record.


Peanut 8 years ago

I have read through your comments. They have helped many people. If you could please assist with one concern I have.

I was recently released from my nursing position due to the loss of a contract. I am receiving a short severance and have had my unemployment adjusted appropriately. (not my question) My concern is the question on Marvin that is directed towards returning to school. Oddly enough the question includes if the individual is gaining a pension or has started school. Relevance of the two escapes me... However.. I digress... I am now returning to school. As much as it would appear by the title RN there are not jobs out there for me. I have not worked in a hospital or with direct patient care since I first graduated. Most job listings require quite a backing of experience. I have since learned it is not my preference to provide direct care. Please dont take that comment to meant I do not care dearly for my patients. I have evolved my career down the administrative path and presently have my BSN. I would like to advance my career with education while I am on this forced hiatus. However, I am not quite certain how the reply to this question on Marvin will play out. Can you please enlighten me. Thank you for any assistance you can provide.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

Sorry for the delay in this reply. I have been out of town for 10 days and wasn't able to keep up with my email. Returning to school full time could affect your eligibility unless you continue to seek full time employment and are able and willing to suspend your classes or adjust your school hours to accomodate a job. Being in school doesn't automatically disqualify you from benefits. It depends on the individual circumstances. The intent of the law is to provide benefits for individuals who lose their jobs through no fault of their own and who continue to seek employment. Severance pay disqualifies otherwise eligible individuals during the week or weeks in which the severance pay is received.

NOTE: Answers to questions are based on my knowledge of the law in Michigan and are correct to the best of my knowledge but not guaranteed.


Julie-Ann Amos profile image

Julie-Ann Amos 8 years ago from Gloucestershire, UK

Nice hub, have linked one of mine to it as the topic is relevant


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

Thanks!


alley 8 years ago

I was unemployed due to my plant closing. I worker there for 30 years.I have been looking for a job and have went for a few orentations. I was told I could start at a new store that was opening in my town the next day after orentation. But the job was only part time and was $7.75 an hour and I had been making 12.52 when my plant closed.I di not take the job because of the pay and I had never did retail work before and would have to purchased new clothes to work there for just 20 hours a week. I had orentation for another job and expected to start there the next week. I have not heard from the other job which would have paid $9.00 I am wondering when I call in to certify if this will cause problems with my unemployment. Will I have to say I turned down work?Will I be denied my unemployment?


alley 8 years ago

I was unemployed due to my plant closing. I worker there for 30 years.I have been looking for a job and have went for a few orentations. I was told I could start at a new store that was opening in my town the next day after orentation. But the job was only part time and was $7.75 an hour and I had been making 12.52 when my plant closed.I di not take the job because of the pay and I had never did retail work before and would have to purchased new clothes to work there for just 20 hours a week. I had orentation for another job and expected to start there the next week. I have not heard from the other job which would have paid $9.00 I am wondering when I call in to certify if this will cause problems with my unemployment. Will I have to say I turned down work?Will I be denied my unemployment?


LD 8 years ago

I filed for unemployment back in June due to our company (a charter school) changing management companies and everyone in the company was let go. When I filed, I stated I was fired as there was no accurate box to check. The truth of the matter is the school board quit the employer without cause and fired them. I clearly stated what took place, but was denied benefits. Since I had nothing more to add to my claim, I did not protest. I didn't think it would do any good to restate what I already stated.

Later I discovered that others from my school received benefits so I inquired. I protested late, and asked for a redetermination. I have been denied due to not having good cause for protesting late.

Do I have any hope if I go to a hearing? If so, what reasonings do I need to provide.

When speaking with representatives from the unemployment agency, they stated that there is no reason why my benefits should have been denied, and that the person who originally looked at my case must have overlooked my statements. A second time I talked to them regarding my request for redetermination, they stated that whomever looked at the redetermination request only addressed the issue of back pay and didn't even see the request for redetermination. This made it twice that unemployment workers stated that someone within their agency didn't do an accurate job. Is there anything that can be done about this type of negligence. People are not educated in unemployment law and these workers seem to take advantage of it. Perhaps they are trained to do so in order not to spend so much???

Thank you.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

Alley, I don't believe your not accepting a part-time job at a much lower rate than your previous job will disqualify you from unemployment compensation.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

LD, the judges tend to enforce the deadlines for appeals fairly strictly. However, appealing doesn't cost anything, and you might win based on the argument that your failure to protest resulted from incorrect, innacurate information given you by the unemployment agency. An appeal is worth a try. Some of the judges are more sympathethic to claimants than others.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

LD, one factor possibly in your favor--sounds like your former employer is not likely to show up at the hearing. Neither is someone from the agency. Judges are more likely in close cases to rule for claimants if the employer isn't objecting and if the employer doesn't send a representative to the hearing. Also, the judge should consider the fact that other employees in your exact situation received benefits.


Lanie M. 8 years ago

Mr. Deeds,

I was a co-op/intern student at a corporation for 5 months. When my term ended, I was let go and I had also graduated from college. I wasn't sure if co-ops/intern were eligible to file and I couldn't find any unemployment laws in Michigan prohibiting it. After 2 month of not being able to find a job, I decided to file for unemployment to see if my application would be accepted.

Since I was a Co-op there, my term ended. On the unemployment application, I stated that I was fired because there wasn't an option that fit the reason why I left.

Yesterday, I called to inquired about my case, and the man I spoke to over the phone stated that my employer put down "temporary assignment" on the Monetary Determination/Fact Finding as my reasoning to leaving. He also changed my reason to leaving as "laid off." He said there should be no reason why I had to wait that long (for a review) since I technically didn't "quit" and my employer even stated that.

I had concerns about that, so I called back today.The gentleman I spoke to today stated that He said he saw nothing wrong with my application/case because the employer stated what I wrote above. I didn't understand how "temporay Assignment" would elate to "laid off"

Most states allow co-ops/interns to recieve unemployment benefits. I couldn't find anything on MI. I am concern be cause I don't want to recieve any benfits I'm not entitled to. I was so concern I even asked the representative "If there are any laws in Michigan that says co-ops/interns are ineligible for unemployment?" and he said, "No, not that I'm aware of."but I'm still concern.

Here are a few questions I'm hoping you may be able to assist me with.

Are interns/co-ops eligible for unemployment?

If a employer were to protest a claim, how long do they have to protest? Is there a due date when the employer can no longer protest?

If I used the benefits because I was eligible and the employer protests, would I have to pay the benefits back?

Should I be concern at the fact that the representative changed my reason for leaving to "Laid-off"?

If this helps, I applied for unemployment at the end of July. (July 26 or 27 or 28)

I spent so long waiting because when you "quit" it takes a month for a Determination. I still haven't recieve Determination.

I applied and I'm eligible for unemployment benefits. (The representative told me I should be recieving the benfits this week). I've been call MARVIN for the past month. I'm just so afraid that there is some mistake, and I would have to pay every penny back. I've been reading up on unemployment and see that this is often the case. I have made it clear on my unemployment application that my job title was "Engineering Co-op."

Thank you for your help.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

1. Keep calling Marvin.

2. Your benefits should not be affected prior to the date of an employer protest including a short statement of the reasons for termination.

3. Be patient--the unemployment agency is flooded with applications, appeals, protests, etc.

4. If your employer protests and you receive a redetermination that you are not eligible for benefits promptly request a hearing before an administrative law judge. I see no reason why you should not be eligible for benefits.


Pat 8 years ago

I lost my job due to my actions that landed me in jail. I have filed for unemployment and have been waiting 8 weeks now. What I did had nothing to do with work. I was in a fight outside of work, on my day off. I called my employer from jail and asked if they would do work release and they said no. Am I screwed or is there a chance for me to still obtain benefits?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

It doesn't cost any thing to appeal. During an appeal it's important to continue to certify in accordance with procedures (in Michigan calling Marvin).

Section 29 (1) (f) of the Michigan statute reads as follows:

421.29 Disqualification from Benefits

Sec. 29(1) An individual is disqualified from benefits if he or she:

(f) Lost his or her job due to absence from work resulting from a violation of law for which the individual was convicted and sentenced to jail or prison. This subdivision does not apply if conviction of an individual results in a sentence to county jail under conditions of work release or day parole as provided in 1962 PA 60, MCL 801.251 to 801.258, or if the conviction was for a traffic violartion that resulted in an absence of less than 10 consecutive days from the individual's place of employment.

I was unable to find a case which would tell me for sure whether the above exception applies in your case. I believe it does, but I'm not sure. An appeal would be worth a try in my opinion. The above exception to disqualification could be interpreted, in my opinion, to mean that because your sentence allowed work release you were not guilty of disqualifying misconduct.

[If you do appeal please let us know the result.]


avatarlagi profile image

avatarlagi 8 years ago

I think compensation for unemployment is labour intensive jobs


Ryder560 8 years ago

i lost my job August 19,2007 because i was 1 minute late for work because of my child care provider didnt show up on time for my 22 month old son. I filed unemployment that same day and still have not received a check yet. I keep calling MARVIN on my schedule day. I finally called unemployment again and they said my Employer never responded so now they will review it and make there own decision. I'm just wondering how long this will take and will i even receive my unemployment? Thanks so any info.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

The Unemployment Agency should have issued a determination shortly after you applied for UC. Sounds to me as if you should long ago have been receiving benefits. Sometimes it's better to write a letter than relying on commitments over the phone. Don't give up. Being late occasionally due to a child care issue should not disqualify you from benefits.


Ryder560 8 years ago

Right after i filed they sent me a determination saying if approved i would be getting $362.00 a week in benefits. When i called today they said my claim is in review because my employer never responded after several attempts of letters they have sent them. So someone in the unemployment department is reviewing it to decide if i get it or not because i was fired. I already filled out the inquirey they sent me asking why and how i got fired. How long will it take them to review it,ive been job hunting for 6 weeks now with no luck. I work for this company for 6 years too. Thanks for any info


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

I suggest that you keep pestering them. It might help to contact your representative in the Michigan Legislature. The agency should have awarded you benefits long ago. However, they are flooded with applications due to the high unemployment in Michigan. You should not have to wait for benefits just because your former employer hasn't responded. The agency should pay benefits or rule you ineligible based on the information you gave them on your application and subsequently. If you told them you were only late a minute or two due to a child care issue that should be enough to qualify you for benefits.


Ryder560 7 years ago

Just wanted to drop you a quick line and tell you my unemployment came through today (FINALLY) !!! They backed paid me the 6 weeks :) Thanks for all your info.......and pestering them did help.....finally!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

That's great news. Thanks for the report. I hope you find a good job before your benefits are exhausted!


Tracy 7 years ago

My hearing is tomorrow and I just wanted to say......I WISH I WOULD HAVE FOUND THIS THREAD EARLIER!!! I am so nevous.

I am in FL. and this is a telephonic hearing, my first appeal.....I just wanted to thank you for this site and these answers, I read a lot of them. So, even for those of us who don't send questions, This is still a big help. I learned a lot, just wished it calmed my nerves. :-/

~ Tracy


sad92002 7 years ago

Mr. Deeds,

I was fired and accused of profanity in the work place...COMPLETELY FALSE.. and was DENIED UNEMPLOYEMENT BENEFITS under MES ACT, SEC 29(1)(b) which I have read. I am planning on appealing this week. My situtation is: I wasn't given verbal or wriiten notices, I never recieved a employee handbook of office policies, it is her word against mine because we were behind closed doors, just the office manager and my self, and other employees have documented proof of her lies in the past....they will support me. BUT HOW DO I PROVE MY INNOCENTS on the charge? I am 61 yrs. old, own a home and live in Oakland County, Michigan need I say more? I will be added on to the long lists of foreclosures soon. I was fired 8-7-08 and time is running out.

Any advice? Thank you in advance!

Sally


Brenda 7 years ago

Ralph please help!

I was fired 7 weeks ago from my job of three years. The day I was pulled into the conference room my manager told me that due to several tardies, absences, and my recent requests for time off(3 unsignificant dates in the span of two months due to a moving process) that they needed someone more reliable and I wasn't working out.

Now they never specified which dates they were talking about. I was never shown the days I was supposedly tardy or absent. Now I do recall a few times I was tardy but I called in before I was to show up to work and told them the reasoning(I was stuck in a car wash the day after halloween due to eggs and other legitimate situations), they never once said this was being written up, or that this was going to cause issues for me.

Several fellow employees have been fired from this company in the span of a year, more like 8. I've noticed with several of the ex employees, there were people hired in and trained right before someone was fired.

I think this happened in my case as well. A part time came in, was trained, promoted to full time to learn my position. Another part timer was hired, and then I was fired. I went in a week later to collect my check and there she was in my desk doing my work.

This company has thrown me around that office and I never once denied any of their schedule changes. there was a misscomunication in the scheduling and I did come in to work late one day, but we actually had a discussion about that privately and she agreed that there was a lot of confusion in all of the changes.

I live and work in Michigan and I know its tough for these types of unemployment but I need some reassurance that I have a chance.

Might I add that they never gave us any type of break or lunch?! Can I add that and get something from it, or is that just playing dirty?

Also, Ive been shown an employee handbook once, when I was first hired in as a part time. I was never given a copy of the handbook to take home but I did have to sign something.

I could also get witnesses or written statements from past employees regarding their behavior and how random the punishment/discharges have been if that could help?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

The burden of proof is on your employer to establish misconduct. From what you said it doesn't sound to me as if you were guilty of misconduct which has been defined by the courts as "wanton or willful disregard of your employer's interest."

Requesting time off in advance certainly is not misconduct. Neither is being late for work once in a while. That's normal for most employees. Moreover you apparently received no warnings, write-ups or reprimands before you were fired. Normally there are several preliminary steps prior to dismissal except for serious misconduct such as use of drugs, alcohol, theft, insubordination and the like.

It will be to your advantage to get an advocate to assist you at the administrative law judge hearing. Get to the hearing early enough to discuss and clear up any last minute items with your advocate or lawyer.

Written statements don't help much at appeal hearings. Witnesses with first hand knowledge of the issues in the case can be helpful. Discuss this with your advocate. He or she will want to know exactly what testimony your witness is prepared to give. It might be helpful for you to point out that you were frequently asked to work through or during your lunch period, especially if you weren't paid for the time worked. Good luck!


Lisa 7 years ago

I had resigned from my employer due to mistreatment by certain managers. These managers were writing inaccurate information within my performance reviews. During employment, I told the head manger what the other managers were doing. That they were basing my work performance on "hear say". Once I told the head manager this, he disciplined the managers. The managers received written warnings. After that, the mangers retaliated against me by harassing me. Some harassment included following me, questioning me about my work performance as well as constantly observing me. They continued this for 4 months. I finally resigned. I filed for unemployment. The employer appealed the decision. The day of the hearing, the employer did not show. Therefore the judge dismissed their appeal. Then the employer filed for "reinstatement" and it was granted. The 2nd hearing is coming up this month. If the judge rules in the employer's favor at the 2nd hearing will I have to pay back all benefits even though the judge had ruled in my favor the first time because of the employer's "no-show"? Thank you for any advice you may offer.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Yes, you will be requested to repay the benefits you received if the administrative law judge rules in favor of the employer. The state will grab any future state income tax refunds that are due you, and they will take a portion of any future unemployment compensation benefits for which you may become eligible. The state will not take your house or car or 401k plan.

As indicated in the text above, the law presumes that a reasonable person will find another job before quitting the one they have. Therefore, the burden will be on you to convince the judge that you had "good cause attributable to the employer" for quitting. The "good cause" bar is pretty high. However, there is a fairly big gray area in which it is within the judge's discretion to rule in your favor or in favor of the employer. It will be to your advantage to find an advocate to assist you in preparing for the hearing and to represent you at the hearing. Quit cases are difficult for claimants to win. Perhaps you should consider subpoenaing the "head manager" to testify on his action as a result of your complaint to him on the harrassment. I would not subpoena him, however, unless he says, in advance, that he is willing to testify that he disciplined your supervisors for harrasing you. Also, you might be able to contest the propriety of the decision to allow the employer a second chance at a hearing. That would depend on why they failed to appear at the original hearing. Best of luck!

ps, If it's not too much trouble, let us know how the hearing turns out.


Sean 7 years ago

Ralph, I stumbled across this post and was very impressed, being that you are familiar with how all this works I was hoping to get a little help from you, I hope you don't mind. Summary is that I was fired for attendance issues from a company that uses a point system, due to a lack of child care in my son's first year. I received a determination disqualifying me under Mes Act, Sec. 29(1)(B).

Now, the really confusing part for me is that I have been making my calls to MARVIN for 2 months and have NOT received any benefit payments, yet the letter I just received says: "YOU ARE DISQUALIFIED FOR WEEK ENDING XX/XX/2008 UNTIL COMPLETION OF A $X,XXX.XX EARNINGS REWORK REQUIREMENT WHICH HAS NOT BEEN SATISFIED." Should I be concerned that they are trying (or may try) to collect benefit payments from me? -and- I have contemplated protesting this, but I only have a month to contend with it before I ship for boot camp (Military). I don't want to start something I can't finish... Any details you might want, simply let me know. I am extremely grateful for any insight you can provide! Thanks, -Sean


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Well, first of all, automatic attendance point systems are not valid for establishing misconduct because they don't take into account the reasons for absence or tardiness. Absensce, per se, is not misconduct. Repeated absence and/or tardiness without reasonable cause is misconduct. The employer has the burden of establishing misconduct. That is difficult or impossible to do solely based on an attendance point system that racks up points without regard to the reason for the absences or tardinesses. I assume that you initially were determined eligible and received benefits and then based on information furnished to the Agency by your employer you were determined to be ineligible. If you had filed a timely appeal for a hearing before an administrative law judge you would have had a good chance of getting the Agency's determination or redetermination reversed. Since you have not appealed the ruling the Agency is likely to request that you repay the benefits you received. Practically speaking my understanding is that they don't pursue repayment requests in a ruthless manner, but they will grab any future state income tax refunds for which you may be eligible in order to satisfy your obligation to repay the benefits. They also will reduce any future unemployment compensation benefits for which you may be eligible. [It's hard for me to offer solid advice without reading the information in your file.]

If you think of it let us know of any additional developments. Best of luck in the military. I hope your don't get sent to Afghanistan! (or Iraq)


tammy 7 years ago

Ralph, I recently filed for unemployment due to lack of work and the initial determination was approved. However, the employer filed a appeal and my benefits were then reversed for which I filed an appeal and had my telephone hearing today. The employer did not show up for the hearing today and I wondered if that makes my chances better for getting the redetermination turned back into my favor?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Yes, it does, especially if the issue doesn't involve resignation. In resignation cases the burden of proof is on you, not the employer. When the employer doesn't show up the judge rules based on the claimant's testimony. However, it the employer didn't show up because of some credible emergency, the judge could honor his request for another hearing. That doesn't happen very often.


tammy 7 years ago

Thanks Ralph, I hope your right because I'm having a tough time finding a new job but I keep trying. I was let go for lack of work, so I was told but when my employer appealed orginally he said he let me go for attendance. I was never documentented for attendance problems and the judge today stated he had nothing more than a statement from my employer about certain dates. The judge just asked me about specific dates and why I missed and whether I was ever given a written or verbal waring of which I wasn't. I told the judge what was said to me on my last day which was there wasn't enough work in the office for him to keep me and I could give him a letter of resignation for which then he would give me a good reference. Of course I didn't provide him with the letter of resignation because I knew that would mean I quit. Anyway, my former employer didn't show up for the telephone hearing today and the judge said he would render a decision as quickly as possible. Thanks again for your input.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Sounds like a winner to me! You were smart not to fall for the "Just sign this letter of resignation and I'll give you a good reference" trick which many employers use in an attempt to disqualify you from receiving unemployment compensation. They are given bad advice from shyster lawyers. Some even tell employees that they won't receive any pay for unused vacation or other pay due unless they sign a resignation. Others offer the choice of resigning or being fired even though the truth is that the termination is a layoff. Cheesey employers will do almost anything to avoid having laid off employees draw benefits against their account.


Tammy 7 years ago

I don't know so much about smart as lucky, it wasn't till after the fact when I got home that I realized I was glad I didn't give him a letter of resignation because of unemployment reasons. The funny thing is he even called be later in the week to touch back with me to see if I was sending him a letter or not. I didn't take the call I let him go to voice mail. Thanks again for your input. I hope your right and I win....I need to make a house payment!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

The unemployment compensation tax is experience rated, i.e., based on the frequency and duration of claims against each employer's account. Last I heard the top tax rate charged employers who have laid off a lot of employees is more than 13 percent. The lowest rate charged employers experiencing few or no layoffs resulting in charges against their account is under one percent. Thus, there is a powerful incentive for unscrupulous employers to avoid charges against their account by disguising what are really layoffs as resignations or dismissals for misconduct. The admnistrative law judges are aware of this and try to prevent employers from unfairly disqualifying employes whom they terminate. Usually it's the small employers that are inclined to do this, not the auto companies or other major employers. Car dealers and nursing homes are among the worst offenders as well as some small temp agencies.


Tammy 7 years ago

Funny you say that because this was a small company. Insurance agency to be exact with 3 employees. My guess is his tax rate is low. Guess I will know in about a week whether things go my way.


Abbie 7 years ago

How do Michigan Laws approve in favor of the employee thats quits a job for a good reason. I guess what is a good reason to quit a job and be entitiled for unemployment


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Michigan law presumes that a reasonable person will not quit his job until he finds another job UNLESS he has a very good reason for quitting such as unsafe working conditions, being asked to do something illegal, being sexually harrassed by a supervisor, being discriminated against due to race, religion, age or sex, having a substantial reduction in pay, or cancellation of important benefits such as health insurance, repeated bounced or late paychecks, violations of the wage and hour law. Moreover, the employee who quit must be able to show that he attempted to correct the issue by filing a grievance or using established complaint procedures and giving the employer an opportunity to correct the problem.

In cases involving resignations the burden is on the claimant to prove that he had good cause attributable to the employer for quitting. These cases are among the most difficult for claimants to win.


brian 7 years ago

i recently filed a claim for a job that i was fired from. i had to write in and answer a few questions of my employment for determination. today i recieved a notice of determination. it states " You were discharged from (name of company) on 8-5-08. Available information does not establish that your seperation was for misconduct."

in the next paragraph it says "it is found that you were not fired for a deliberate disregaurd of your employers interest. You are not disqualified for benefits under mes act, sec. 29 (1) (B) "

this is really not clear to me and i have no idea if this mean i am going to start recieving checks or if i am not qualified for recieving unemployment check.

Does this mean i have been approved and will start recieving unemployment checks and if so how long will it take to get my first check? Thank You. Brian


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Yes. The determination means that you will start to receive benefits. However, you employer has a right to request a "redetermination" and furnish information on why you were fired. The burden of proof for establishing misconduct is on the employer. If the redetermination goes against you, your benefits will stop. Then you have a right to request a hearing before an administrative law judge. Meanwhile it's essential to continue to call MARVIN until your case is settled. The judges are pretty good at getting the facts out in their hearings and arriving at a fair decision. Misconduct is defined under court decisions as "wanton or willful disregard of the employer's interest." This is a pretty high bar for the employers to get over. Pointing to a couple of unexcused absences isn't enough.


Ron 7 years ago

I just received two determination letters and am confused.

For the past 15 years Iworked part time for a volunteer ambulance service. This is a State Licensed position and it requires extensive amounts of time for continuing education. My State medical license expired on 8/8/08 and I had log ago made the decision not to renew it. That and the fact that I am 56 years old solidified my decision. I good part of the timeworking on an ambulance is spend lifiting heavy people onto stretchers and into the ambulance.

So at 56, my age was the other contributing factor, (Iwas concernedabout injuring myself. That "Determination Letter" states

"You voluntarily retired from ***** Ambulance Service. Your leaving was voluntary and not the fault of the employer"

You voluntarily retired from your job without good cause attributable to your employer.

It goes on to state that I am disqualified from benefits under MES Sec. 29(1) (A)

Here is where it gets confusing

It further states "You are disqualified for the Week ending 08/09/2008 until completion of a $4,344.00 Earnings rework requirement which has not been satisfied.

(4,344.00) is the yearly total of my pay from the Ambulance service for 2008.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The second Determination is from my full time employer where I was terminated for no good cause and without prior notification.

That Determination states "You were terminated from +++++ on 9/4/2008. The available information does not establish that your seperation was for misconduct.

It is found that you were not fired for a deliberate disregard of your employers interest. You are not disqualified for benefits under MES Act 29 (1)(B)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Does this mean I will be getting benefits from my full time employer and not from the ambulance service?

Thansk in advance for your help

Ron


Ron 7 years ago

I just received two determination letters and am confused.

For the past 15 years Iworked part time for a volunteer ambulance service. This is a State Licensed position and it requires extensive amounts of time for continuing education. My State medical license expired on 8/8/08 and I had log ago made the decision not to renew it. That and the fact that I am 56 years old solidified my decision. I good part of the timeworking on an ambulance is spend lifiting heavy people onto stretchers and into the ambulance.

So at 56, my age was the other contributing factor, (Iwas concernedabout injuring myself. That "Determination Letter" states

"You voluntarily retired from ***** Ambulance Service. Your leaving was voluntary and not the fault of the employer"

You voluntarily retired from your job without good cause attributable to your employer.

It goes on to state that I am disqualified from benefits under MES Sec. 29(1) (A)

Here is where it gets confusing

It further states "You are disqualified for the Week ending 08/09/2008 until completion of a $4,344.00 Earnings rework requirement which has not been satisfied.

(4,344.00) is the yearly total of my pay from the Ambulance service for 2008.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The second Determination is from my full time employer where I was terminated for no good cause and without prior notification.

That Determination states "You were terminated from +++++ on 9/4/2008. The available information does not establish that your seperation was for misconduct.

It is found that you were not fired for a deliberate disregard of your employers interest. You are not disqualified for benefits under MES Act 29 (1)(B)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Does this mean I will be getting benefits from my full time employer and not from the ambulance service?

Thansk in advance for your help

Ron


KT 7 years ago

Ralph, I could really use your expertise.

I was employed in the mortgage industry for the last 15 years. I have lost 2 jobs in the last 18 months due to lack of work. I searched for a stable job for almost 7 months and finally found a job, part time as a cashier in a hospital. I took this job knowing there would be room for advancement, full time available after 12 months and kick a#$ benefits. I have worked there now 2 1/2 months.

My former employer called me this week and offered me my job back. He offered me full time, 80% of what I was making with full benefits. I turned it down. I have MANY reasons for not accepting. First is his health benefits are $700 a month, I am only paying at the hospital $130 a month. He has no vision or dental, hospital gives me both. Hospital I also get life insurance, pension, plus many other benefits. The distance is only 20 miles round trip, other job is 40 miles round trip. And here is the most important reason I turned him down. I spoke with the other 4 individuals that were still there when I was laid off and only one is left. The other three people had their hours and pay reduced and were forced to leave for more stable employment with other companies. EVERY ONE of them told me NOT to go back. My former employer is close to bankruptcy and had to move offices because he couldn't make his rent payment. He called me back NOT because the company is doing better (he's actually doing worse), but because everyone else is gone and he is desperate. They said it's only a matter of time before the company folds.

So I still receive limited unemployment (it's reduced due to my part time income), but without it I will be in serious trouble financially. When I let MARVIN know next week that I failed to accept a job, is there a good chance due to all the facts of my case that I will still be eligible to collect the little bit I've been collecting? I know I am supose to accept it because it's more than 70% of what I was making when I got laid off and I am obviously already trained in that field, but it is a SINKING SHIP! I offered my boss to help out a few times a week (I work midnights at the hospital), but he wasn't interested in having me there part time. I would LOVE to go back, full time, but considering the stability of my old job in comparison to my new part time job, it wouldn't make sense. I'd be back on unemployment in the next 6 months.

What is your advice? I am sure I will be immediately cut off, and wondering what will happen. It almost makes you want to lie to MARVIN, but I would never do that in fear it will bite me later on.

Thanks for reading!!!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Ron, It sounds like the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. I don't know the answer to your question. I suspect the effect is that you were not disqualified for misconduct but you were were disqualified for resigning without good cause attributable to your employer. You could call the agency and try to get an answer or explanation or just wait and see if you get benefits. Also you have the right to appeal within 30 days and request a hearing before an administrative law judge. In the meantime hou must continue to call MARVIN and certify that you are unemployed, etc.

KT, Your benefits will probably be terminated as a result of your declining a job offer by the employer from which you were laid off and collecting benefits. If so, you should request a re-determination stating the reasons why you did not accept the offer. If the re-determination goes against you, you have the right to appeal to an administrative law judge. I would rate your chances of being found eligible for benefits no better than 50-50. In the meantime you should continue to certify to MARVIN until your case has been resolved.


KT 7 years ago

WOW! I really appreciate you getting back to me so quickly.

I was afraid that was the response I was going to get from you. Isn't it a shame I have to worry about losing my little bit of benefits that puts food on the table or gas in the tank because I thought I made a well informed decision that will probably keep me off unemployment in the future rather than a quick money now, but wind up on unemployment again in the near future decision?

Oh well. I will just call to certify next week and keep my fingers crossed.

Thanks again!!


Ron 7 years ago

Thanks for your quick reply.


Jim F 7 years ago

Ralph - My job was eliminated and I received a severance for 6 months, which was paid out every 2 weeks. I filed a UE claim after my severance expired. My former employer challenged my claim stating (incorrectly) that I received severance during the benefit week I filed for. In my reply, I informed the Unemployment agent over the phone that my severance ran out 3 weeks before I filed my initial claim. At this point, everything is status quo and my benefits will not be affected, but can an employer make a case for my ineligibility going forward because they gave me 6 months of severance pay?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

No. I don't believe he can. He can try, but I don't think he'll succeed.


Jim F 7 years ago

I didn't think so. There is nothing in my severance agreement regarding unemployment claims, just the standard waiver of legal claims (i.e. age discrimination and other lawsuits). Thanks for your quick response.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Note: I will be out of town and unavailable to respond to comments or questions October 29--November 4.


Vicki 7 years ago

I voluntarily left my job after 10 years of employment. The reason I did this was to be with my husband, whose business relocated to another part of the state. This would make the commute about 180 miles one-way. From November 2006 until June 2008, I lived with my mother-in-law to be able to continue to work and visited with my husband on weekends. However, this created difficulties between us and I left my job. My last day of employment was June 30, 2008. I filed for unemployment on September 8th, 2008. I was denied benefits on October 25, 2008 due to MES Act 29(1)(A). I plan to appeal the decision, but if there is anything that you could advise, I would appreciate it. Thank you and have a great day!


Victoria 7 years ago

I filed a claim in March 08 and recieved a letter stating I needed to mail in my birth certificate, SSN and Marrage certificates to verify my surname. I have never been married before. And I couldn't find my birth certificate so I had to order a new one. There was a problem with that and I finally got in in July 08. So I re-opened my case and never got a letter stating I needed to mail in those papers to verify my surname so I thought it must have been a clerical error in the first place. Anyways I have been recieving my benefits since 08/08. I just recieved a letter stating that they are cancelling my benefits because I never sent in those papers. I am filing an appeal, but I was wondering if I will be able to appeal it and get my benefits reestablished or if I was really in the wrong and won't be able to get my benefits anymore. PLEASE HELP!! Thank you.


Victoria 7 years ago

I wrote the comment above. I just thought of another thing. Should I send in copies of my social security card and birth certificate with the appeal letter? Since that is what they were asking for back in March 08. They were also asking for marriage licenses and any surnames I have. Which I do not have either. I've never been married or have gone under any different last names. I have though been known as "Tori", my full name is Victoria, but I don't think that would make a difference. Anyways, should I mail in copies of my SSN and birth certificate with my appeal letter? Do you think that I have a good chance of getting my benefits back? I am a single mother of two kids and can not go without employment.

THANKS!


Dennis 7 years ago

Ralph,

Thank you for this service.

My wife works for an airline as a flight attendant and recently the company offered something they call a SLIP leave. The leave was intended to reduce flight attendant workforce without the need for involuntary layoffs. The leaves were voluntary, you bid on them and were awarded them based on seniority.

At the time the leaves were offered, the company published a letter explaining that unemployment benefits would be paid depending on the state in which you were unemployed. They explained that while they do not make the decisions on eligibility, they would not protest a claim by employees on SLIP leave for unemployment benefits. They went on to say that if asked about the nature of the leaves that they were "leaves in lieu of layoff of a junior employee."

Initially, my wife was approved for unemployment benefits and we received payments for the first 2 months. We just received a letter stating that we are now denied benefits due to not being umemployed, but on a voluntary leave of absence. We were asked to repay the amount that we had collected.

My wife called the unemployment office to inquire about the denial and was subsequently grilled about the nature of the leave and was told in no uncertain terms that she was ineligible due to the leave being voluntary.

This same type of leave was offered in 2001 by the same company and those employees were able to collect benefits. I think there is a section in Michigan unemployment law about voluntary leaves when there is a lack of work, which definitely applies to this situation since the goal was to reduce the active workforce...excess flight attendants.

What is the likelihood that we will be denied benefits through an appeal process?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Victoria, you are the first person I'm aware of who has been asked for a birth or marriage certificate. I would go ahead and send the Unemployment Agency copies of what they are asking for. Apparently they have a question about your identity. I am in Michigan and have experience only with Michigan procedures, not other states. Procedures are similar from state to state but not identical.

Dennis, I have not been able to find a provision in the Michigan statute or a court decision on the issue in your wife's case. My impression is that auto industry employees who are laid off under "reverse seniority" agreements (i.e., the lowest seniority employees are laid off first)are eligible for unemployment compensation benefits. It seems to me that your wife would have a good appeal argument that her SLIP leave was in effect or comparable to a layoff because if nobody had applied, somebody would have been laid off. If I were her I would appeal the re-determination because they are frequently incorrect and reversed by administrative law judges. It doesn't cost anything to appeal. It might be helpful if she could provide the judge with a statement from her employer to the effect that the procedure was adopted for the sole purpose of reducing work schedules. Finding her eligible for benefits would be consistent with the purpose of the Act. I can't predict which way the decision will go, but IMHO an appeal is worth a try.


Victoria 7 years ago

I am in Michigan also. I sent in my appeals letter and copies of my birth certificate, social security card and drivers license. Hopefully it will be enough for them. It sounds to me like maybe someone is using my identity and got married but I got my credit reports and nothing like that has happened at least it doesn't show it on there. I am thinking it will be enough for them. I think maybe the issue may be because my employer had me down in their system as Tori Martin, instead of my full name Victoria Martin. But that wouldn't explain why they needed a marriage certificate when I've never been married.

Do you think I should worry?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Well, I'm not an expert on identity theft. But I would keep my eyes open and perhaps get replacement credit cards with different numbers.


Victoria 7 years ago

I'm sorry. I meant do you think I'll have trouble getting my unemployment back up and running?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Well, I'm not sure. If you keep pestering the Agency you should be able to get the mixup straightened out. And if you get an adverse determination request a redetermination and if necessary a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. Also, be sure to comply with all the time limits. The Agency is very strict about that. It's not uncommon for the judges to reverse the agency's decisions.


Miss Conduct, allegedly 7 years ago

due to my amount of pay and the fact that I was 2 months away from full company benefeits, I found myslef being fired over the phone. Now when my unemployment was denied due to some kind of misconduct. I stated in my redetermination letter that no such action happened as a matter of fact I never had any written warnings or anything of that nature. I asked to see, and for my former employer to prove why they denied my unemployment. With no paperwork or anything to back up their false claim, I am assuming I will be found in favor, and reinstated. How long can I expect this to take?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

It's hard to say how long it will take. Unemployment agencies all over the country are very busy. After a redetermination, the next step is an appeal to an Administrative Law Judge hearing. At that hearing the burden on the employer to prove misconduct. The judges usually take only a few days to mail you their decision, and the Unemployment Agency is usually pretty quick, if the judge rules in your favor, to mail you a check for your benefits. It's important for you to continue to certify every two weeks in accordance with Unemployment Agency procedures until your case is resolved. Good luck.


Miss Conduct 7 years ago

Thanks! I faxed in my appeal friday and now am waiting on the Judge. Is the hearing a physical court where I have to go? I am 4 hours north of grand Rapids. Where is the nearest court of appeals here the judge is located? Much Thanks


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Hearing offices are located in Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Livonia, Saginaw, Traverse City and Troy. Here's a link which has their addresses and phone numbers:

http://www.mhascarchives.com/ucp/law_office_locati...

Usually the hearings are assigned to the office nearest your residence or nearest the employer where you worked.

You can request a telephone hearing if you are unable to travel to the location where the hearing is scheduled. Good luck!


Kevin 7 years ago

Hi Ralph,

I like to ask for your advice. I was fired for tardiness in August and was denied unemployment. The determination wrote "You were fired for repeated lateness after being warned in writing. You knew your job was in jeopardy. You state you needed to visit your father whose hospitalized while on way to work. You felt this was more important. There is no evidence to show you made employer aware of situation. to perhaps work this out. in order to protect your job. This will be part of hearing."

In my defense, the written warning was in January. I never received any type of writtern or verbal warning during the few months prior to my termination. I felt that I should not be held at fault for tardiness caused by circumstances beyond my control, as my father was very sick in the hospital and I do have medical records. Although it may have been in the best interest of my employer to fire me, I believe my actions do not rise to the level of misconduct. Ralph, can you give me any advice on this? My hearing will be next week.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

I agree that you should be eligible for Unemployment Compensation. Whether or not the judge will agree is hard to say. It will be helpful to bring information concerning your father's illness. Be prepared for the judge asking you why you were not able to visity your father after you completed your work day. The result may depend on how many times you were late and how late you were. It's also relevant whether your supervisor said anything to you on the occasions when you were late. If he didn't you would have an argument that your employer condoned your tardinesses, that is led you to believe that it was okay for you to be late when you had to visit your father in the hospital. It will be to your advantage to have an advocate represent you. And be sure and get to the hearing on time (preferably early) because being late for the hearing definitely would hurt your case. Good luck.


Kevin 7 years ago

Thanks Ralph for the response! I will post the results after the hearing


Jim  7 years ago

I was offered a Voluntary Separation Package for Salaried workers by Ford and accepted it in 2007. Since then, I have tried very hard for other engineering jobs but have had no luck. I can not move out of Michigan as I lose about 1/3rd value of my home. Question is - Can I be eligible to claim unemployment benefits? Also will there be any tax savings/relief for us when we file our 2007 taxes? What do we show and how do we survive? Any thoughts suggestions? I see no light at the end of the tunnel...it is very dar and I can not breathe either............


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Your eligibility for benefits may depend on the terms of your separation package. You may be able to convince the Unemployment Agency that your leaving was not truly voluntary. It doesn't cost anything to apply for benefits. It could be worth a try. I am not a tax expert and can offer no advice on your taxes.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

The Detroit Free Press reported November 14, 2008 that 40,000 Michigan employers will pay an extra $67.50 per employee in 2009 to help pay off a $472.8 million shortfall in the unemployment benefits trust fund. That's money the state had to borrow from the federal government in order to pay benefits to an estimated 650,000 people this year.

The added solvency tax will affect businesses whose laid-off employees have collected more in benefits than the employers paid into the state unemployment fund. It's the first time the surcharge has been imposed since the recession of the early 1980s.

In addition, most employers will pay $21 more per employee to pay off the state's debt to the federal unemployment system.

Michigan's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in September was 8.7%, second only to Rhode Island.

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=200...


Kevin 7 years ago

Hi Ralph,

Just like to follow up on my previous post. I was terminated for tardiness because I had to visit my dad in the hospital. I just had the hearing. My manager did not come but she sent her assistant manager to come, (someone I've never met before), and they had their lawyer. Towards the end. their lawyer requested that the person from the labor office I spoke with to be present, or something to that extent. The judge declined his request saying that he has enough information to make a decision. We were running out of time and their lawyer said he was not done asking me questions so the judge had to adjourn the hearing to a future date. Usually, how long does it take because I dont want to sit home waiting for another 2 months? Any thoughts? Thanks!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Probably a couple of weeks or a month at most.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Don't forget to keep calling MARVIN to certify every two weeks on your scheduled day.


miss conduct 7 years ago

i filed my redetermiation letter 2 weeks ago and have not heard anything. Kevin had his hearing in a week? Is this normal or is my former employer stalling? Whats the usual expected time to wait for a redetermination hearing?

Thanks Ralph!!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

No more than a month. However, as you know the unemployment agancy in Michigan is quite busy these days. Don't forget that you must continue to certify by calling MARVIN until your claim and appeal is finally settled and thereafter if you are found eligible for benefits.


P  7 years ago

Unfortunately I moved to this state with hopes of pursuing a better life for me and my child. But since moving here I have seen an economic downfall of severity. Like many others here in this state I was fired from my job due to my job title changing in which I had no experience. Filed my unemployment claim like everyone else, gots pieces of paper in the mail did the protocole like I was suppose. Waited a month still heard nothing, finally got through the Marvin help line after a week of continous calling to get a woman that was not very helpful. All she could tell me was that they had 5-7 weeks to work on this claim due to the fact that I was fired. I said yes but there was no serious misconduct on my part. So I gritted my teeth and waited 3 more weeks to finally getting through only after 4 days of calling to get a woman that said oh your claim hasn't been worked on I will have to forward this to my supervisor and I stated ok will this be taken care of today. "No ma'am we are back logged so its going to be an additional 7-10 days before you get an answer. So I'm still searching for work but very limited here in this state since as most of you know. Moved to this state with high hopes - resorted to having to get my truck repo'd and living not sure where as of yet with myself and daughter since we know no one in this state. Aye Michigan a wonderful state to live in........... I hope no one else has to deal with the severity of michigan unemployment overlooking there claim as well. Bless you all.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

You have my sympathy. But I don't have a good answer for your problem other than keep calling them, and maybe they'll take some action. IMPORTANT--Keep calling MARVIN until your claim and any appeals are finally settled. Good luck.


Victoria - In Michigan 7 years ago

My benefit year is ending in March and I've been reading up on the extentions that were passed, but I'm still ot sure if I'll be able to get the extentions or not. I have not been back to work and have never gotten an extention or applied for one yet. If my benefit year ends in March and my regular benefits end in Jan. will I be able to get the full 13 week extention or just until March when my benefit year expires? I live in Michigan.

Thank you, I am so confused.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

A 13-week extension was signed by President Bush yesterday. I have no further information on it. I'm sure the state Unemployment Agency will soon make an announcement. You may receive something in the mail. It's likely there will be information in the newspapers. In the meantime you should keep or resume calling MARVIN if Agency procedures provide for or require this. I have no previous experience with procedures for UC extensions. Sorry. I will post whatever information is available when I get it.


Marnie 7 years ago

Hi--

My husband resigned from his job (verbally) and gave his employer 2 weeks notice. He has another job lined up to start in 2 weeks. With a week left his company decided that his services were no longer needed and they decided to lay him off. Is he eligible to receive unemployment for the week inbetween? He has 2 personal days he can use but nothing else for the 3 days,

Thanks

Marnie


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

I'm pretty sure he is but I'm not positive. Won't hurt to apply. (Im on vacation out-of-town and don't have access to my copy of the statute and court decisions.)


Alex 7 years ago

Hi Ralph,

Just a quick question. Is it common for judges to subpoena evidence such as records or documents in unemployment hearings? Thanks!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Not in my experience. The judges get a copy of the case file which includes the original application for benefits submitted by the claimant and material submitted by the employer as well as any other material submitted in response by the claimant. I've never handled a fraud case which might be one type of case when the Unemployment Agency might subpoena evidence about earnings which were not reported to the Agency. It's not uncommon for judges to issue subpoenas of witnesses upon request of claimants or employers, however. The judges normally issue subpoenas only upon request of one party or the other, in my experience.


brian 7 years ago

hi i have been recieving benefit payments for 6 weeks now i recieved a monetary redetermination in the mail everything is the exact same on this form from the ones i have recieved before. Except for the referance code of 12 and a code 25 which states that the benefits have been redetermined for the benefit year. I am really not sure what this means i did call marvin on my scheduled time and they said that i would recieve my payment on wednesday novermber 26th but i never recieved the payment. Does this mean that my payments have been cut off and I am going to have to go in front of a judge for a hearing? im just very confused because marvin said i would recieve my payment and the weekly benefit amount is still the same on my redetermination.

Thank You, Brian


CJ 7 years ago

Hello

I am receiving unemployment benefits, I live in Indiana, I recently took a retail job 3 weeks ago and am only getting around 25 hours a week. There are starting to cut my hours, so now it will be less than that. I have gotten my unemloyment benefits while I am working, but they are reduced of course. I want to quit this job and keep looking, because I receive a lot more money from the unemployment. If I quit this job, will I lose my benefits? Thank You.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Brian, sorry I can't help you with that one. I don't have access to the definitions of the Agency's reference codes. You should continue to receive benefits unless the written redetermination says that you are not eligible. You'll have to check with the Agency or wait and see. Be sure to keep calling Marvin.

CJ, in Michigan and I suspect also in Indiana, the rule is that if you quit your job without good cause attributable to your employer you are disqualified from receiving benefits. If they reduced your hours significantly that might be good cause for quitting and not affect your eligibility. You should check with the Indiana Unemployment Agency before you quit in order to avoid risking the loss of your benefits. Sorry I'm not able to give you a more definite answer.


Lynn 7 years ago

Hello Ralph,

I filed for Unemloyment in July, 2008 due to lack of work and have been receiving benefits since. In Novermber 2008 I received a request for information from UA stating that my employer said I voluntary quit, I answered the questions and faxed them back. In the meantime I still received benefits through November, 2008

However December 1, 2008 I receive a determination from Unemployment that I am disqualified for benefits under 29(1) (A) and restitution is due.

It also states I am Not Disqualifed under Section 62 (b) of the MES Act.

Can you help explain to me what this means. I plan to protest.

Please advise.

Thank You


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Section 62 (b) of the Michigan statute provides for stiffer penalties for people who collect benefits as a result of making INTENTIONALLY false statements on their application or in information furnished to the unemployment agency.

Section 29 (1) (a) provides that persons who voluntarily leave their jobs without good cause attributable to their employer are disqualified. Apparently your employer told the Agency that you quit without good cause. Someone who quits is not eligible for benefits UNLESS they (1) had a serious problem (for example, pay checks bouncing, forced to work in unsafe conditions, instructed to do something illegal or dishonest, siginificant reduction in pay or benefits, discrimination or harrassment) and (2) they followed the complaint or grievance procedure and gave the employer an opportunity to correct the problem. The burden in the court hearing is on the employee to establish that he or she resigned for good cause attributable to the employer and that the matter was called to the employer's attention.These protests are not easy to win, in my experience.

If your position is that you did not resign or leave voluntarily, the judge will base his decision on your testimony and that of your employer, whichever he finds more credible.

And be sure to CONTINUE TO CALL MARVIN until your appeal is resolved!

If you think of it, let us know how your case turns out. Good luck!


valerie 7 years ago

My husband was fired from his job, when he filed for unemployment, the company disputed and said that he refused an offer they made to him. he got denied for unemployement benefits for refusing suitable work, we had the appeal last week and are waiting on the decision. The judge wanted to hear nothing about him being fired, or quittin, she only wanted to hear about job refusal, my husbands point was how do you defend yourself against that when you were never offered a job. There were 2 and my husband when they fired him, at the hearing one said she offereed him a postion making the same amont of money, then the owner, said it was a 20, 000 difference, one said he quit right then, the other said she didnt know what happend, she left it up to the owner and him, they were all 3 in the same meeting, and my husband pointed out that, he pleaded with them for his job, then they went on to say he had poor job performance, and that the positon they offered him was not available, he was a district, and they were trying to say they were going to put him in a unit, (demotion), he stated that the unit they said they were offering was not availble cause he had a manager in it, and they said she was being promoted, he did not know that, so i guess they were trying to say they were swapping their positions, anway, What will the judge be going by their indesprencies. Its kinda of a he said she said, so who has the burden of proof, and should my husband have said to defend himself.


valerie 7 years ago

it should have read, he tried to prove the position they offered was not available. the judge didnt ask alot about the difference in the jobs neither, how will she figure out if the job was really offered, as they had no written proof, just their word, We figure he will be denied again, since it was 2 against one, we even sent in notarized statments from the other managers stating that the one that fired him told them she had fired him and the reasons, but the judge didnt want to hear it cause it was wheather he was fired/quit, and she was there for job refusal. what does the company need to have to prove that he refused a job, he had worked there for 7 years, and had always been dedicated, he even left our wedding reception to go into work, and to be fired, for no reason and then for the company to lie has really upset us


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Valerie, please let us know how the judge's decsion turns out and what her reasoning was. Seems to me she should have taken testimony and allowed cross examination on your husband's position that he was told he was fired for poor performance because, if that was the employer's claim that he refused an opening wouldn't make sense. Also, offering him a significant demotion might well constitute good cause for leaving attributable to the employer. If one of the parties requests consideratin of an issue not on the Notice of Hearing, the judge can allow it, provided the other party agrees. If not, the hearing should be adjourned to allow the other party to prepare its case on that issue. Further as you noted, there was a significant discrepancy between the two employer witnesses. That should cast doubt in the judge's mind on the credibility of their testimony. Was your husband represented by an advocate or attorney at the hearing?


valerie 7 years ago

no we didnt get someone to represent us, we thouht we had enough proof going into the hearing to prove that he was terminated, but once hearin started, and she didnt want to hear that, we realized it was not good. i will be sure to let you know the decision, and i assume we can appeal it again? What would be considered good cause for refusing a job to the judge, since that is what she gathered facts on, and who had the burden of proof, she started with the company first, do they have to proove that the job existed, after searching the net for days, i have found that this is a weird case, and have not found any other case like it. My opinion would be that he would be entitiled, he lost his job, he did try to keep his job for months prior, the woman that fired him was promoted at the beginnng of the year, so once she had power over him, which she hated him, she startd making his job horrible, which we had to file with the eeoc, so my husband went to the owner asked to be transfered in august to another district, but was told nothing was available, and the owner said the 3 of them should have a meeting to get it out, now granted the owner and the one that hates my husband are like best friends, so he even watched himself to not say anything bad about her. so moreless, 6 weeks later, she decides to get rid of him, on the statment she first sent in to unemployment she put on it, that when he quit, he stated twice that he did not want to work for her, during the hearing he made it a point to ask her if he had ever said that to her, and she said so and so said, and he said did i ever tell you that, and she said no, she had told unemployment the new job offered was the same amount of money on the intial letter, on the phone she said it was 5000 different, then the owner said it was a 20,000 difference. But we dont know what or how he was to defend him self to prove that they didnt offer him the job, and fired him without giving the facts about being fired.

i really think the person who first gathered facts on the case, did a bad job, cause they went by everything the company had said even after my husband tried to explain to them what had happened. Their determination was "refused offer of suitable work for personal reasons." Which is crazy cause he knew she was trying to get rid of him, and did everything he could to try and keep his job. But i guess the woman, was nice enough to wait until a week later, after we closed on our new house, to get rid of him. She knew we was purchasing it, and had all of a sudden became interested in it.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Yes, you have the right to appeal the judge's decision to the MES Board of Review in Lansing, Michignan. Your appeal must get to the B.O.R. within 30 days of the date of the judge's decision. (A postmark within 30 days isn't good enough. The Board of Review must RECEIVE the appeal within 30 days of the judge's decision. The Board usually doesn't reverse the judges' decisison but it doesn't cost anything other than the postage on your appeal letter, so it might be worth a try if the decision goes against your husband.

One point worth noting: For claimants and employers who are not represented in administrative law judge hearings, the judge has an obligation to act in lieu of the unrepresented party to assure that he or she gets a fair hearing. If you husband believes the judge did not assure him a fair hearing it might be worth pointing out in your letter of appeal why he believes that. (This could be, for example, the judge didn't allow testimony or evidence which could have helped your case, or the judge allowed hearsay testimony on behalf of the employer, etc.)Good luck!


Miss Conduct 7 years ago

UPDATE:

It will be another 4-7 weeks until the judge can get to my paperwork. I asked when and where the hearing would be held and the person on the other end said it would be a paper hearing..meaning the judge looks at all the paper work and everything sent to him/her and would make the decision.

My question is this..everyone here says they went in front of a judge for a hearing and I am being told that I dont have to. Is something wrong here or am I just too early in my redetermination case and havent gotten that far along in my appeal yet? It is my first appeal for redetermination.

Thanks Ralph.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Miss Conduct,

You didn't say what state you are from. In Michigan all administrative law judge hearings are in person hearings or telephone hearings. These hearings are tape recorded. If either party appeals, the transcripts are typed up and sent to each party and to the Board of Review in Lansing. The Board of Review rarely holds hearings. Except in unusual cases it bases its decisions on appeals on the written record of the case, the Administrative Law Judge's decision and on the transcript of the hearing.

If you have requested a re-determination of an initial determination by the unemployment agency there will be no hearing. You will receive a re-determination based on the information you sent them and on any additional information sent to them by your employer. Once you receive a re-determination you have 30 days to appeal, requesting a hearing before an administrative law judge. It's very important to get that appeal in WITHIN 30 days. A post mark isn't good enough. The Agency must RECEIVE your appeal within 30 days. Also, keep calling MARVIN in Michigan or certifying in accordance with the Agency's procedures in your state. Otherwise, even if you win your case you won't get benefits for weeeks for which you don't certify. Good luck.


jonathan 7 years ago

how long does it take to receive a decision after you have had your appeal hearing, the referee, said she would have her decision by the end of the day, that was over a week ago, is it a good sign, since it is taking longer.


krllyy 7 years ago

OMG, i have been on unemployment since march, and am now on the extension, i just received yesterday, a letter for appeal, the hearing is for tomorrow, on "appeal filed timely", how can the company i used to be employed with, try to appeal it 8 mths later, and why would i have to attend this hearing, what could i possibly have to say about wheather or not they filed thier appeal timely...

thanks for any information, as i am not sure as what i am walking into..


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Jonathan, normally the decisions are out in two or three days or at most a week. Give it a few more days and if you don't receive it call the judge's secretary. Perhaps it got lost in the mail.

Krllyy, its hard for me to give you an answer without seeing the file and the Notice of Hearing which states the issues that will be decided by the judge after the hearing. It does strike me as a bit late for the employer to be appealing--it's possible that the employer timely protested the original determination awarding you unemployment compensation and lost on the re-determination and filed a timely appeal of the re-determination requesting a hearing before an administrative law judge. It sounds as if there is a question whether the employer filed his appeal on time. If he was late, the issue will be whether or not he had good cause for a late appeal.

Make sure you get to the hearing on time! If you don't have an advocate the judge is supposed to act as your advocate and make sure you get a fair hearing.


Krllyy 7 years ago

thanks, yeah the did protest the intial determation, and i won, and they never did appeal it, i filed in march, started receiving in may. I am already on my extension of ui, so dont understand why they would try to appeal now. The responded to the intial determination. and lost. so since the hearing is on wheather the appeal was filed timely. why do i need to be a participant. I feel the company should have filed somethin over 6 mths ago, it they wantd to appeal it, the actual one attending the hearing is the insurance company for the company i worked for, they stated they did not receive the paperwork until recently, how does the insurance company have anyting to do with my claim, i guess their rates must be high or somthing.

thanks for the advice


kimm 7 years ago

Hi

I am trying to get an answer to an unemployment question and was hoping you could help. I was hospitalized because I had three kidney stones, one of which obstructed my left kidney. I used up PTO time for the three days I was in the hospital and on the fourth day, I had surgery and only 4.5 hours of vacation time remaining. Because I was short 3.5 PTO hours, I was terminated for violation of company policy, which was no unpaid time off. I submitted letters from my doctor, discharge papers from the hospital, and returned to work the day after my surgery because I was told that if I tried to utilize my short term disability, which kicked in the 8th day of sickness, I would be terminated for abandonment of my job, which was missing three days of unpaid time off. I worked for 4 days and on the 4th day, my employer fired me for taking unpaid time off (the 3.5 hours I was short of PTO time on my surgery day). I filed for unemployment, which was denied because it was determined that I was terminated for excessive absenteeism which is a violation of company policy and it was found that I was fired for a deliberate disregard of my employers interests. I have since protested that determination, citing that absences without reasonable cause is misconduct and that illness or child care needs, court appearances and the like are not absence without reasonable cause. My question is, how long can unemployment take to process my redetermination request. It took them 7 weeks to determine I was not eligible for benefits and I am really struggling to make ends meet. I have continued to certify and I have submitted documentation of my illness to them with the protest. I have been calling the unemployment agency toll free number for two days and cannot get through to them because they are experiencing high call volume.

Thank you for any information you can give me.


Valerie 7 years ago

UPDATE and still need advice, ok as the blogs from earlier had the hearin on the issue of work refusal, receive a letter today stating all the info that was discussed at the hearing and then this

In the unemployment insurance program letter number 984, addressed the issue of what constitutes "New Work" Theh dept held, in part, that if a workers present employer tells the worker that he will lose his job if he refuses to accept a transfer to other duties or a change in duties, terms, conditions, of his employment, which are not authorized by the existing employment contract then the worker as been discharged and offered "New Work" If a worker faced with such a choice, becomes unemployed by refusing the offer of "new work" his entitlement to benefits must first be based on the THRESHOLD dishcarge issue:and then on the SUBSEQUENT work refusal issue.

Wherefore, there can not be a work refusal without first being a severance in employment, this case is to be remove from the Appeals Branch docket. The ui determination dated oct. 9 is to be voided and held naught. This case is remanded to the local office to investigate the claimants job separation from the captioned employer.

ok, so we have to start over?? Is this for real, so now who is investigating, what and how are they investigating it, now what do we have to proove. Its getting to the point where i am thinking we are going to need a lawyer, but how would a lawyer, make things any quicker, or even get this resolved. Any info you have would be very beneficial. Does this mean that we have to start at the bottom of the totem pole, and wait for someone to work the case again, and will they contact us for more information, or use what they got. I am finding all of this so ridicoulous. What i am taking from this letter, is that he got denied, because someone did not do their job, and then the judge isnt allowed to make a decision, that she has to send it back to the,. we are so confused, and broke at that, This has been going on since Sept, and to get this saying the judge did not even make a decision is dramatizing.


Valerie 7 years ago

UPDATE and still need advice, ok as the blogs from earlier had the hearin on the issue of work refusal, receive a letter today stating all the info that was discussed at the hearing and then this

In the unemployment insurance program letter number 984, addressed the issue of what constitutes "New Work" Theh dept held, in part, that if a workers present employer tells the worker that he will lose his job if he refuses to accept a transfer to other duties or a change in duties, terms, conditions, of his employment, which are not authorized by the existing employment contract then the worker as been discharged and offered "New Work" If a worker faced with such a choice, becomes unemployed by refusing the offer of "new work" his entitlement to benefits must first be based on the THRESHOLD dishcarge issue:and then on the SUBSEQUENT work refusal issue.

Wherefore, there can not be a work refusal without first being a severance in employment, this case is to be remove from the Appeals Branch docket. The ui determination dated oct. 9 is to be voided and held naught. This case is remanded to the local office to investigate the claimants job separation from the captioned employer.

ok, so we have to start over?? Is this for real, so now who is investigating, what and how are they investigating it, now what do we have to proove. Its getting to the point where i am thinking we are going to need a lawyer, but how would a lawyer, make things any quicker, or even get this resolved. Any info you have would be very beneficial. Does this mean that we have to start at the bottom of the totem pole, and wait for someone to work the case again, and will they contact us for more information, or use what they got. I am finding all of this so ridicoulous. What i am taking from this letter, is that he got denied, because someone did not do their job, and then the judge isnt allowed to make a decision, that she has to send it back to the,. we are so confused, and broke at that, This has been going on since Sept, and to get this saying the judge did not even make a decision is dramatizing.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

 

Kimm, As you know there are a lot of unemployed people in Michigan and around the country. The Unemployment Agency is quite busy. From what you said it sure doesn't sound to me like your absence was misconduct.  I'm not sure how long the redeterminations are taking so I don't have an answer for your question. Don't give up and keep calling Marvin until your case is finally resolved. Good luck!

Valerie, it sounds like your case is starting over at square one. I am not familiar with unemployment letter number 984 and I can't help you much on that one.  In Michigan, significant (a bit of a gray area in case law) changes in an employee's job or compensation can be considered good cause for resigning attributable to the employer. I believe there is a case where the court ruled that a 15 % cut in wages was good cause. Cancellation of health care insurance or the pension plan might also be good cause. Other changes in job title, shift, or duties would not be considered good cause for resigning or refusal of an offer. Let us know the outcome. So, the bottom line may likely be the nature of the changes offered to you. If they were radically different you may be okay. Otherwise you may be held not eligible. Let us know the outcome. Good luck.

 

 

 


Jamie 7 years ago

Mr. Deeds,

I was let go from a tv station in Michigan that happened to have a union. The wrong union (UAW instead of something that would be geared toward tv), but I was fired for "surfing the internet." I have several problems with this. One, my boss just didn't like me anyway and I believe he has been searching for quite sometime to find a reason to fire me. When I was fired I had worked there 2 months shy of 2 years. To be honest I did use the internet. For my job and for personal use. Everyone does. Everyone in the building does, it's a known thing through out. Every once in a while a manager might say something like, "try to stay off the internet." But no one really took that seriously. They still do not. I see updates on myspace from several friends still working there, that say they are at work or working, etc. I also believe I was fired under the intention to cut costs. When I was working there, there would be two workers in my dept. with two jobs to do. One job required your entire 8 hour shift, the other was normally done within 2 to 4 hours. Leaving extra time with no extra work. Managment started to catch onto this. I know for a fact that they have not replaced my position. They didn't hire another full time operator but they use the couple of part timers to switch on and off a couple days to make up for my absence. I have spoken with several workers there and they laugh when I tell them my official reasoning for being fired. I can prove that others still use the internet for personal time while at work, even after they are told not to. I am currently trying to protest my determination but I'm having a hard time with it. Can you be of any help? Are there any "loop holes" that my story fits into? Also, I just found a job the other day but I would still like to collect my unemployment for those two months...as I am severly in debt now. Is this possible?

Also...just to let you know it took me about 5 to 6 weeks to get a determination in the first place. So it is a bit slow.

It said that I was fired under the MES ACT, SEC. 29(1)(B)...what does that say exactly?

Jamie


Jamie 7 years ago

Mr. Deeds,

I was let go from a tv station in Michigan that happened to have a union. The wrong union (UAW instead of something that would be geared toward tv), but I was fired for "surfing the internet." I have several problems with this. One, my boss just didn't like me anyway and I believe he has been searching for quite sometime to find a reason to fire me. When I was fired I had worked there 2 months shy of 2 years. To be honest I did use the internet. For my job and for personal use. Everyone does. Everyone in the building does, it's a known thing through out. Every once in a while a manager might say something like, "try to stay off the internet." But no one really took that seriously. They still do not. I see updates on myspace from several friends still working there, that say they are at work or working, etc. I also believe I was fired under the intention to cut costs. When I was working there, there would be two workers in my dept. with two jobs to do. One job required your entire 8 hour shift, the other was normally done within 2 to 4 hours. Leaving extra time with no extra work. Managment started to catch onto this. I know for a fact that they have not replaced my position. They didn't hire another full time operator but they use the couple of part timers to switch on and off a couple days to make up for my absence. I have spoken with several workers there and they laugh when I tell them my official reasoning for being fired. I can prove that others still use the internet for personal time while at work, even after they are told not to. I am currently trying to protest my determination but I'm having a hard time with it. Can you be of any help? Are there any "loop holes" that my story fits into? Also, I just found a job the other day but I would still like to collect my unemployment for those two months...as I am severly in debt now. Is this possible?

Also...just to let you know it took me about 5 to 6 weeks to get a determination in the first place. So it is a bit slow.

It said that I was fired under the MES ACT, SEC. 29(1)(B)...what does that say exactly?

Jamie


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

The easy part first:

Sec 29(1) An individual is disqualified from receiving benefits if he or she:

(b)Was suspended or discharged for misconduct connected with the individual's work or intoxication while at work.

Questions: Did you receive an employee handbook stating a rule against surfing the Internet? Was such a rule otherwise clearly communicated to employees?

Was the rule applied uniformly to all employees, or selectively?

From what you said the rule was not enforced. If not, this means that the employer "condoned" the use of the Internet by employees. This is probably your strongest argument.

Had you been specifically warned on previous occasions not to use the Internet? If so, that won't help. If not, it's a point in your favor.

Had you received any previous formal warnings, reprimands or disciplinary action for other issues? If not, that's in your favor.

As you observed, the fact that your position was not filled after you were dismissed is an indication that the your employer's real motive was to reduce costs and had nothing to do with Internet use.

Another important factor is whether you neglected your job in order to use the Internet. If you used the Internet during lunch or other breaks and when you were caught up on your work, that's in your favor. The employer should be required to prove that you wasted time on the Internet and neglected your job which would be misconduct. Occasionally using the Internet as did many other employees when there was a lull in your work would not, in my opinion, be misconduct. However the judge could go either way on this case. Some are stricter than others. They simply say "You violated a published reasonable company rule and that is misconduct." End of case. The case should turn on the issue of whether your use of the Internet was frequent enough that you were wasting time when you had work to do and therefore neglecting your job, not whether you violated a rule that was commonly violated by lots of other people as it is in nearly every office in the country.

It will be to your advantage to get an advocate to assist you in preparing for the hearing and represent you at the hearing.

Be sure to continue to call MARVIN until your appeal is finally resolved.

[A couple of years ago I helped win a case against one of the auto companies who fired an employee for sending a couple of personal emails from the office. He said and I knew from several friends at the company that lots of people at the company used their office computers to send personal emails, much the same as personal phone calls at the office. The claimant told me that his boss often communicated with his wife by email. We asked him at the hearing if that was true, and he admitted it was. The claimant won his case.]

Good luck!


valerie 7 years ago

another update, and becoming very disappointed in the unemplyment system.

we recevied another determination, no one had even contacted my husband for information, but this determination is another denial.

benefits are not payable whan a worker is discharged for misconduct connected with the work. the clamaint was discharged for unsatisfactory work performance.

The claimant was aware of his job responsibilites, but repeatedly failed to perform the work satisfactorily. the employer had warned the claimant. therefore, the discharge was for miscondut in connection with the work.

with that being said, okay so the company sends in that he quit, then during the appeal they stated that when my husband requested the meeting to be transferred, because he was being harassed, but the company said that they made it an opportunity to tel him about his job performance. not true, he has worked for this company for 7 years, and all of a sudden he does not know how to do his job? this is crazy, how does it go from being a quit, to know being fired for not doing his job. so i guess we have to appeal again. i just wanted to know, is there anyone higher up than all these unemployment people, that we can contact regarding this case, we have been given the run around, and no one is investigating any thing. the company dont even have write ups or nothing, so where are they coming up with this decision. its to the point, of why even bother with it, we have already lost everything we had, had to move in with our parents with our 5 kids, it just really disappoints me that our system is this messed up.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Valerie, I suggest you appeal and request a hearing before an administrative law judge and get an advocate to represent you. Advocates are provided without charge by the Unemployment Agency. Your husband has 30

days from the date of the determination to get his appeal in to the Unemployment Agency (A postmark isn't good enough. They Must RECEIVE IT). It doesn't cost anything to appeal. You have nothing to lose and plenty to gain if you win your appeal. The Agency is busy and makes mistakes which are often reversed by the administrative law judges.


valerie 7 years ago

thanks, what is the difference, between the referee and the administrative law judge, is that where you actually go into a court house, or is it done over the phone also. Another question, now since this determination is for work performance, what will the employer have to provide, there are not write ups and stuff, so will it all be based on hearsay again. lol or will it be different this time, and they actually have to prove something, we have all the p&ls, that show his numbers, and his job description, theres not that we know of that the compnay can use for poor job performance. I just dont understand, who decides what laws need to be applied. From all this, is almost like they are working for the company. If the company has the burden of proof, what exactly does that mean. I used to be a paralegal, and that is why all of this is blowing me away. I dont understand, how when we have all kinds of stuff like witnesses, written statemnets to prove his side, yet no one wants to hear it, and all of the decisions are being based of "just what the company says"

if we get an advocate what exactly do they do, do they know the laws about this stuff, and does it look better, do they move things along faster. I would assume, we would have to go over everything with them, and how do they know how to answer the questions correctly for the judge.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Referee=administrative law judge. In Michigan there are 15 or so hearing offices where administrative law judges hold hearings on UC appeals. The hearings usually last around a half-hour to an hour depending on the number of witnesses and how complicated the case is. The hearings are usually in person, but telephone hearings can be arranged if you live far from the hearing office. You can be represented by an attorney or an advocate if you wish. If you are not represented it is the duty of the referee or judge to make sure you get a fair hearing.

Hearsay testimony is not admissible. Records kept in the ordinary course of business are admissible--for example timeclock records, attendance records and the like. In misconduct cases the burden of proof is on the employer.

Advocates are tested and certified by the Unemployment Agency. The process is as follows: The agency sends you a list of advocates. You call as many of them as you like. If they aren't too busy when you call they will discuss your case with you over the phone. You then select an advocate and give him your case number and other information. He gets a copy of your case file from the Unemployment Agency and reads it. He then discusses the case again with you and prepares you for the hearing. The advocate does not "answer questions correctly for the judge." He asks the claimant questions designed to present his side of the case in a concise and orderly way. The claimant answers the questions put to him by his advocate and by the judge. And the advocate has the opportunity to cross-examine the employer witness(es). The judge sends the claimant and the employer his written decision, usually within a week.

If you think of it, let us know how your husband's case turns out. Good luck.


Tony 7 years ago

Hi Ralph, I had been on unemployment for the past several months then 2 weeks ago finally got a job. The problem is that during my first week of employment I become very ill and had to miss 2 days. The company had a policy of of during first 4 weeks of employment you could only miss 1 day any more and you would be terminated. My question is I reopened my claim and I was wondering if it would be approved? Does missing work due to illness disqualify you?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

In my opinion, you should be eligible for unemployment compensation. Absence due to illness is not misconduct under the UC statute. You should contact the agency and re-activate your applicaton for benefits or re-apply. I'm not sure exactly what the procedure is. Good luck. If you think of it let us know the result.


Tony 7 years ago

Thanks Ralph I will let you know the outcome. Happy Holidays!


Jelly Bean 7 years ago

Would eligibility be questioned in MI for vacation time spent out of state, even though the vacation was planned/paid for prior to collecting benefits, but occurred during a time of collection?


Jelly Bean 7 years ago

I am uncertain as to how to handle the above question in regard to unemployment. Do I claim the weeks I am gone?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

The answer might depend on how long you are out of state. If the agency finds out that you are out of state for an extended period it might question your availability for work. If I were you I would continue to call MARVIN and certify that you continue to be unemployed and seeking work. I looked but was unable to find a court decision on the circumstance you described. In my opinion, taking a vacation does not mean that you are no longer attached to the labor market.


Lgali profile image

Lgali 7 years ago

nice hub


Scott 7 years ago

Hi Ralph, I live in Michigan and will be laid off after next week. I've already signed up for classes for the upcoming winter semester starting in January, but will this disqualify me from receiving unemployment insurance? Should I drop the classes to be on the safe side? Thanks in advance.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

The classes could affect your eligibility. I would not drop the classes. You can still be attached to the labor market and seeking work while you are in school, especially if you aren't taking a heavy schedule. If the issue comes up you can tell the agency that you are willing to drop out of your classes if you are offered a job or you will work durning hours when you aren't in class. Plenty of people have done it.


Scott 7 years ago

Thank you so much for the quick reply. This issue has been making me nervous since I found out about the layoff, but I feel much more positive about it now. Thanks again.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

If you think of it let us know how your situation works out.


Sandy 7 years ago

I left a position with a temporary employment agency due to a maternity leave. When I was ready to return to work (the specific date confirmed by a letter from my physician), the position was no longer available. No other positions were available.

I was notified by the UIA that my employer indicated that I voluntarily quit. There is a redetermination pending.

I sent in my response and letter from my doctor. What are my chances that I will lose my UI claim?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

You should be found to be eligible beginning with the date you were able to return to work from your maternity leave. One question--what did you tell the temp agency when you started your maternity leave? What did they tell you?


Sandy 7 years ago

Thanks Ralph. I appreciate the quick feedback.

I told the temp agency that I would be available to work after 6 weeks - however, I was not ready for 8 weeks (if that matters). The plan was to try to place me back on my previous assignment, or find something else. Nothing was available. That is when I filed for UI.

I did obtain a letter from the agency verifying that I took maternity leave and contacted them when I was available for work, but no work was available.

This temp agency outsources their payroll needs, and it was this outside firm that indicated I had "voluntarily quit". I have not been able to reach the individual who indicated that I quit. However, the temp agency admitted an error was made and is supporting my claim 100%.

My concern is that I took a maternity leave from a temp agency. They are not obligated to hold a job for me - such as would be the case if I was a direct employee. So, technically, I'm thinking that a maternity leave would be considered "quitting" in this situation.

Hopefully not. Again, thanks so much!!!! I'm so glad I found you.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

You are entitled, by law, to take a maternity leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Doing so should not be considered "quitting" or a voluntary leaving under the UC statute. I wonder why the payroll firm responded to the Unemployment Agency's request for information about your claim?? Is it possible that you are actually an employee of the company that does your temp agency's payroll? Apparently, the company that does the payroll also is paying the unemployment insurance tax. These kinds of outfits tend to do anything and everything they can to prevent anyone from collecting unemployment compensation against their account. If you think of it, please let us know how your case turns out. Good luck!


Linda 7 years ago

I was employed by a temp services. My 1st assignment was a temp to perm position, however the company decided to close the office after 8 months and send the jobs out of state. I applied for unemployment and started recieving benefits. After 6 weeks I got another temp to perm position. I got fired after 29 days. I was not aware that I had to re-certify. I now know all the locations where this information is located. I have decided to appeal the decision because I live paycheck to paycheck and really need the money. The letter states good cause was not established. What is good cause? What is the legal way around this?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

It sounds to me that the good cause refers to your failure to re-certify. The Agency is quite strict about enforcing all of its rules. It won't cost you anything to pursue your case. However, the bar for establishing good cause for failure to certify is pretty high--hospitalization, death in the family, serious illness or the like. The unemployment compensation statute and regulations are full of little fishhooks or traps for unwary applicants. Sorry I don't have a more encouraging answer for you. Some of the judges are more sympathethic to claimants than others. You might get lucky.


mark 7 years ago

i have an appeal hearing coming soon, and the issue, is discharge for misconduct, unsatisfactory work performance. dont they have the burden of proof, and will they have to prove i had bad work performance, or is it based on just what they say.

and what is the best way of going about proving otherwise.


mark 7 years ago

i have an appeal hearing coming soon, and the issue, is discharge for misconduct, unsatisfactory work performance. dont they have the burden of proof, and will they have to prove i had bad work performance, or is it based on just what they say.

and what is the best way of going about proving otherwise.


mark 7 years ago

i dont feel that i performed badly, my numbers were the highest in the compnay, and i never missed work, i figured i would send in my numbers to the judge, will that help, but what will the company need to send in to prove i perforemed unsatisfactoily. i had only had 1 write up in 7 years, and it was nothing related to my performance, it was for things beyond my control that the people beneath me did, but i guess i was to control thier actions before they did them so i got wrote up. if i send in paper evidence will it be looked at, if the compnay sends none, and after reading some of these posts, it seems as if judges make their decision, on hearsay. so should i waste my tme, in sending anything in, or should i spend my time on coming up with questions to prove my case.


Dustin 7 years ago

Mr. Deeds:My wife recently accepted a new position in California. I gave my Michigan employer more than 2 weeks notice, asked if there was a possibility of staying on in the new location (which was not possible), but eventually quit my position to move with my family. After a few months without a new position I applied for unemployment and was recently denied.I have read your descriptions of MES Act Sec 29(1)(A) previously posted - does moving for family reasons automatically disqualify me from getting unemployment benefits? Assuming I move forward with my appeal, can I appeal a decision without appearing (I have no cost effective way to get from California to Michigan for a hearing)?Thanks for this site - I've gained more information in the last 15 minutes than I have from the hours of wading through the UIA.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Mark, Yes, the burden of proof is on the company by non-hearsay testimony (actual eye witnesses) and records kept in the course of business (time clock records, attendance records, production records, records of recent previous disciplinary write-ups and the like). You or your advocate or representative will have the opportunity to cross-examine the employer witness(es) and, if appropriate object to any hearsay testimony the employer attempts to offer. If the employer brings more than one witnesses, the additional witnesses should be sequestered (instructed to leave the room and wait until called to testify). After the employer witnesses have testified and been cross-examined you will have the opportunity to testify. Your testimony will take the form of questions from the judge and/or your advocate and your answers. In addition you have the right to submit relevant written material as claimant exhibits in support of your case.

It will be to your advantage to obtain an advocate to assist you in preparing for the hearing and in the hearing.

An hour is allowed for the hearings which are tape recorded in case either party appeals the judge's decision. If there is an appeal the tape recording is transcribed and a copy given to each party. The appeals are decided by the Board of Review based on the written transcript of the hearing and any exhibits.

Misconduct under Michigan law is defined as wanton and wilful disregard of the employer's interest. The alleged must be significant (serious) and intentional, not a single instance of carelessness or taking a few minutes too long for lunch. Don't forget to keep calling MARVIN.

Good luck at your hearing! Let us know how your hearing turns out.

Dustin, thanks for your kind comment. I looked through my summary of unemployment compensation cases and was not able to find one that fits your circumstances. Therefore, I'm not able to answer your question. However, it doesn't cost anything to appeal to an administrative law judge hearing, and you don't have to appear in person. You are entitled to a telephone hearing if you send a request for one in advance to the judge named in the Notice of Hearing. In the meantime you should continue to call MARVIN to certify every week until your case is finally resolved. You will not be eligible for benefits for any weeks for which you do not certify in accordance with Unemployment Agency procedures, even if you win your appeal. I'll do a little more looking around for an answer to your questin tomorrow, and I'll post anything that I find. Good luck!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Dustin, I'm sorry, but I wasn't able to find anything helpful to your case. I may be missing something but I don't think so. Just in case you may as well appeal. It doesn't cost you anything. Good luck!


Lisa 7 years ago

I was fired a little over a month ago...I was told it was because I had to many overrings and voids, but I never recieved a letter from Homeoffice warning me that I had to many voids and never recieved a verbal warning from my boss. While sitting in this meeting I was told that by the guy from HQ loss prevention department that somthing recently came to their attention about me, (mind you that I was told this meeting was about showing us how to read p & l statements and we had our own private meetings times) Well the guy from HQ had said that to me and I knew right away what he was getting at, I have had my wages garnished due to judgements that were placed on me, more than one garnishment. I admitted that to him right away, I had told my boss about it when the payments where first being garnished, about 5 weeks before I was fired. While sitting in the meeting I began to realize that this meeting wasn't about P & Ls and that he was trying to accuse me of something. I kept telling him that I was confused and he just kept using words like, have you knowingly missed used the POS (overrings and voids) for personal gain, I had replied no, then he asked other questions about overrings and manager discount. I told him I never used manager discount for any thing else other then for management discount. He asked about my personal life, what was going on, about my husband and I had admitted that I had personal issues, ( I knew again that my boss had said something because I have confided in her about it). In the end he said that I had 108 dollars in overrings that are unjustified. I told him I thought that was wrong. I knew that my boss had asked me to void a 66-70 order out because she had forgot to do it when she was their and I did, so I thought that was the unjustified overring I did and it didn't amount to 108 dollars. Well, I was fired and asked to pay them 108, but they never used theft, steal or stole anything. I felt that they were trying to get rid of me due to my judgements/garnishments. I know that met with another manager right after me, because he/she came while I was in my meeting. Well, I applied for unemployment in MI and said I was fired for other and I had two employer to claim from (18months) I just recieved a re-determination (what is a redetermation?) The amount is still the same, however the time frame is different just one year now (instead of the 18) and the amount of money is only 10,000 (for my earnings for the time frame)...then the same day recieved a letter stating they need me to explain the follow.... (then it read that the employer stated I was fired for theft.) they wanted to me state the date I was fired and why and did I steal the items if not what did i take etc...I'm confused, what do I do? What does this mean? Before I filed I called my boss and asked what to put down for unemployment and she said she didn't know. If I was denied for the one employer will I be accepted for unemployment from the other? Is this why I recieved a redetermination showing only income I made from that employer who didnt reject my claim?

Help....


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

If you appeal your redetermination (that just means a second decision or determination that you are uneligible) your former employer will have to come to a hearing before a judge and prove that you are ineligible due to misconduct. You or your representative will have the opportunity to cross-examine any employer witnesses, and then you will have the opportunity to testify in response to questions from the judge and/or your representative. The judge's decision will be determined on the evidence presented by your employer and by you and whether he believes your testimony or that of your employer. Without reading the entire record I'm unable to comment on your likelihood of winning an appeal.


Eric 7 years ago

I worked in Auto Sales for the last 2 years I walked into work today to a meeting they said we were going to part ways today and had me sign a termination paper that stated "At Will" the manager stated that it will help me get unemployment till I find another job. Is that true? I hope.


Jim 7 years ago

Ralph,

I'm in Michigan and was fired from a radio station due to lack of work. I was one of a few that were let go. They all filed 'lack of work' and received benefits right away...I filed 'fired' because I was...but not for disciplinary or other reasons...and I have been waiting for benefits since before Thanksgiving...it is now January 5th! I have kept up my MARVIN calls as scheduled...returned my question form promptly and have been waiting and waiting...for my employer to respond which probably won't happen...how long do they have to respond? Based on your previous advice to others, I am confident I will receive benefits but when?...I have read where you wrote to be patient due to the busy unemployment claims especially here in Michigan...and I saw where you mentioned to call or write UI...but they won't even take calls...it is a 'we are experiencing high call volumes' recording all day long. It has been over 6 weeks and believe me Christmas was awful...am I doing everything i can?...is there more to do?...where can I call that someone will answer? should I just calm down and wait?...Thanks, Jim


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Eric, You should be eligible for UC. The document indicates that you were an "at will" employee not covered by an employment contract. You were laid off and should get UC. Be sure and pay close attention to all the rules and procedures. The Unemployment Agency is very strict about deadlines, calling every two weeks on the appointed day of the week, etc.

Jim, I don't have any good remedies to suggest. From what you said you should be eligible for benefits. The agency is very busy right now and that's why they are slow in making a determination of eligibility on your case. When you told them you were "fired" that may have raised a question in their mind about your eligibility due to possible misconduct. It would have been better if you had used the term "laid off due to lack of work." You might try to see if you could get some help from Michigan Works http://www.michiganworks.org/page.cfm/98/ There you can actually speak face to face with actual humans. There is an office in Troy as well as other locations around the state. Good luck!


Mary 7 years ago

What does a re determination mean? Also, If I was denied unemployment from one employer, can I be approved for unemployment from the other employer. Both of which I had worked for durning the last 18 months. (Based in MI)


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

A determination simply means a decision or ruling by the Unemployment Agency on your eligibility for benefits. First you get a determination. If you tell the Agency you don't agree with the determination the will review your case and any additional information you and/or the employer send them and make a "redetermination," that is a second ruling on your eligibility. If you disagree with the re-determination you have a right to appeal within 30 days and request a hearing before an administrative law judge. There may be circumstances where you might be eligible for benefits as a result of your work at a second employer. That's a bit of a long shot, however. I'm not able to evaluate your situation based on the information you supplied.


Jackie 7 years ago

I been working with my job since 2006, at the end of the month I will recieve seperation papers due to the fact that I am pregnant and the company does not offer maternity leave. will I beable to appy for unemployment?


Mary 7 years ago

My redetermination doesn't give me a answer of weather or not I will be getting benifits, just states that Instead of be eliable from July 2007 til Nov 2008, I am eleiable from July 2007 to June 2008..this makes no sense...plus the amount of money I made change as well, from 35,000 to 10,000. I call marvin and still there is no date of when I will recieve the money.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Mary, I can't tell what happened to your claim. Keep calling Marvin until your claim and any appeals are settled. If you disagree with your redetermination I suggest you file an appeal requesting a hearing before an administrative law judge. They are pretty good about correcting determination errors by the Unemployment Agency.

Jackie, you should be entitled to a leave of absence under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Aside from that, the Michigan Supreme Court in WArren v Caro Community Hosp, 457 Mich 361 (1998) ruled as follows:

When a claimant is willing to continue working but is advised by a doctor not to work because of a temporary or sthort-term self-limited medical condition properly documented by the treating physician, the claimant did not voluntarily leave work by following the doctor's advice. If an employer refuses to allow the employee to return as soon as medically possible, the employee is entitled to unemployment compensation.

FACTS: As she neared the end of her pregnancy, claimant submitted a request for a medical leave. The request was denied under the collective bargaining agreement. It was the employer's policy to refuse leaves to employees who had not been employed a year. Shortly thereafter, the claimant gave birth and consequently failed to report to work. When released by her physician, she sought to return to work at the hospital, but was refused. She did not seek unemployment benefits for the period that she was medically unable to work. Rather, she only sought to return to work following her pregnancy.

DECISION: The claimant is not disqualified for voluntary leaving.

RATIONALE: "We continue to hold that whether a person is entitled to unemployment benefits is a two-part inquiry. Under the first prong, we must determine whether plaintiff voluntarily left her position. If we find that she left her position involuntarily, the enquiry ends and she is entitled to unemployment compensation...However, if the court finds that plaintiff left her position voluntarily, we must advance to prong two to determine whether her leaving was 'without good cause attributable to the employer.'" The claimant was advised by her doctor not to work beyond a certain date. Fault should not be ascribed to the claimant simply because a medical condition rendered her temporarily unable to work. Because she received medical advice not to work, she did not voluntarily leave, and thus is entitled to unemployment benefits for the period she was medically able to work, but her employer refused to allow her to return.

You can judge for yourself whether your circumstances fit the above Supreme Court decision. Good luck!


Jean 7 years ago

I hope you can give me some good advice. I was offered a new position earning $46,000 a year. However, after the initial training I was only earning 50% of what I was promised. I susbsquently had to leave that position and return home. I filed for unemployment. However, I'm not quite sure if that qualifies under a "good cause" for leaving my job. I received a notice with a request for information relative to possible ineligibility or disqualification. What's your opinion?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

It's hard to say based on what you've told me. The answer might depend on what your contract or employment agreement said, in writing, how long you worked at the job, the circumstances of your leaving from your previous job and perhaps other factors. From what you said, it sounds to me as if you had good cause attributable to the employer for resigning. However, the burden of proof will be on you to establish good cause attributable to your employer. In my experience, voluntary leaving cases are the hardest to win. It helps if the employer doesn't protest or object to the Agency when it is notified of your application for unemployment.


dukemom 7 years ago

Mr. Deeds, I could really use your help! I am staying with my sister since I could not afford to live on my own anymore, and also enrolled in college classes. The only problem is she lives in Ohio. My first question is can you be disqualified for attending classes out of state? My other question is that I was summonned for jury duty. If I give them a letter from school stating that I am in class out of state, can I be disqualified from receiving unemployment that way? My permanent address remains in Michigan.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

dukemom, I doubt very seriously that the court that summoned you for jury duty would send information that you furnish to the Unemployment Agency. As far as your college classes are concerned, I don't think it matters whether they are in Michigan or Ohio so long as you can honestly certify that you are unemployed, available and seeking work. Cases like yours are judged on the facts of each case. As long as you are able, if you can find a job, work the job in along with your class schedule or drop your classes in order to accept an offer of a suitable job you should be okay. The Unemployment Agency should be encouraging people who are unemployed to study and improve their education and job skills.


Paul 7 years ago

I would appreciate your help. I have two questions. First- I filed over the phone for unemployment, and gave them a back to work date of Jan. 5th- which is what I was told by management when I got laid off before Christmas. Before I went into work on the 5th, they called and said don't come in until the 6th. On the 6th they said don't come back until Feb. 4th. My question is this- because I originally told them I have a back to work date, do I now have to refile or do anything different because my layoff was extended? Or, do I just continue calling Marvin and my original back to work date really doesn't matter.

My next question is, I got laid off on Mon. Dec. 13th. I called probably 50 times that week to file for unemployment, but could never get through- the message was try calling back when we are less busy. I tried the internet also, but it kept freezing up when I went to the next page. The following Monday I finally got through and was able to file. I was told at that time I was inelligible for the previous week because I didn't file in time. My question is- do I stand a chance of winning the dispute (which I plan on sending in)? My argument is that I followed the methods of filing from the State of Michigan website- by phone or by internet- and even tried many many times, but was unable to, due to circumstances I had no control of. (Side Point- Had I known that I had to file within that first week, I probably would of tried to call 500 times, but I didn't know).


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

I don't know the answer to your first question. I'm not sure what the correct procedure is. You can protect your rights by continuing to call Marvin and certifying that you are still unemployed. If they don't find you eligible, request a redetermination and appeal to an administrative law judge hearing if necessary.

On the second one I think you should be found eligible. The problem was not of your making. An appeal is worth a try. Good luck.


unemployed woman 7 years ago

Well, it happened to me too, for the first time. The business where I worked for many years, closed. I filed for unemployment benefits and was approved. But when I filed for the first week, I was very sick, laying with awful flu and in the question “were you eligible for a work for this week" I put "no", I told the truth, as I was SO sick, I couldn't pick up my head. So I was denied benefits for this week. They say it’s the law. It’s very unfair, as I was not claiming welfare; I was claiming my own money, paid for me by my boss for many years to help me in situation like this. Even with my boss I had certain amount of paid sick days.

They say I may appeal. Can you advise how to do it so they’ll pay me for this week? Can I win at all? It’s about $250, but this money is crucial for me with all the bills coming.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

According to the law you were not available for employment during the week. You can request a re-determination by following the instructions on the notice from the Unemployment Agency, but I doubt that they will change their mind. You have 30 days to appeal from the date of the determination. And the agency must RECEIVE the request for re-determination within 30 days. A postmark within 30 days is not good enough. It will be hard for you to retract what you told them about being ill during your first week of unemployment. About the best you can do is to tell them that you were at home, not in the hospital, not under the care of a physician and that although you were feeling under the weather you would have dragged yourself into work if you had received an offer. You might get lucky and get a sympathetic person doing the redetermination. You are supposed to get the benefit of the doubt under the unemployment compensation statute. Best of luck. Even if you don't get a favorable redetermination that doesn't mean that a week will be deducted from your eligibility for 26 weeks plus 33 weeks of federally funded E.U.C.-- extended unemployment compensation (in Michigan)-- if you still have not found a job. The week you missed will be added on to the end of your eligibility for benefits.


unemployed woman 7 years ago

Mr. Deed, thank you for your encouragement and information. I have another question about my perspective. In our small town there’s little possibility for me to find the same type of job with the same payment. If I find a part-time or lower paid job, will I be getting any unemployment money to make up the total? And what total might it be, like to fill up to my former wage or to unemployment benefit total?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Section 27(a) (6) (c) (2) provides

"(2) Each individual shall have his or her weekly benefit rate reduced with respect to each week in which the individual earns or receives remuneration at the rate of 50 cents for each whole $1.00 of remuneration earned or received during that week."


Holli 7 years ago

I wanted to know if you had any incite on this situation...my husband applied for unemployment back on 12/7/08. We have been filing the bi-weekly claims as required, he has been determined financially eligible, but we have not yet gotten the final determination. We contacted the unemployment office in PA which is where we live and they said they are waiting for his employer to get back to them I guess with the paperwork. How long are we expected to wait for this? Is there a standard time limit in which the employer has to reply? Please offer any advice as it is SO VERY HARD to get through to the office, the phone is always busy.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

I don't have any experience with unemployment compensation issues in Pennsylvania. However, I think you should be getting a determination soon based on the Unemployment Agency's analysis of the information your husband and his former employer furnished to the agency. They probably give the employer 15 or 30 days to respond. If the employer doesn't file an objection your husband should receive a benefits check soon. Because of the bad economic situation unemployment agencies all over the country are having trouble keeping up with the flood of new applications. The Christmas-New Years' holiday may also have been a source of part of the delay as well. Best of luck.


Mary  7 years ago

Ralph,

Hello! I was laid off from my job back in April 2008 and I am still collecting from unemployment.I applied for the extension in December and I received it. My extension runs out in 4 weeks and I have been looking for work every day and unfortunately, jobs in Michigan have been scarce. It has been very difficult finding a job with my credentials. I have applied for numerous jobs and I have not been successful. If I don't find a job before the 4 weeks I wont have any money to pay my bills so, is it possible to get another extension? or can I apply for an emergency extension?...Please help

Thank You


Holli 7 years ago

I hope you are on the right track...Thank you for the advice. It is greatly appreciated!


Skipper 7 years ago

I have been recently layed off after 3 yrs and will be getting unemployment. I also will be retiring in March but have to get unemployment before my retirment kicks in, My question is can I collect unemployment and social security benefits at the same time. Can you enlighten me of any facts on this subject.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Receipt of Social Security benefits does not affect unemployment compensation.

You may not collect unemployment benefits charged against the account of an employer while you are receiving a pension from that employer.

While you are receiving a pension from an employer other than the employer whose account is being charged for your unemployment benefits you may collect unemployment benefits.

Of course whatever the circumstance you must certify for each week that you receive unemployment benefits that you are unemployed and available and seeking employment.


Skipper 7 years ago

Hello Ralph,

I appreciate your timely response, Your forum is invaluable to important questions individuals have on these subjects. Noone but "you" has been able to answer my question, not even the Social Security offices. You are an asset to your endever.

Thank you

Skipper.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Thanks for the kind comment. I wish you well in these tough times.

I may have given you a slightly wrong or incomplete answer on the effect of pension benefits.

Here's what the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency says in it's "green book" for claimants:

Retirement/Pension Benefits

To receive unemployment benefits, workers who retire must be able to work, be available for work, and be looking for permanent full-time work. Workers who voluntarily retire may be disqualified. (See Item 1 Under "Disqualifications."

If your employer paid the entire cost of your retirement benefit, the full monthly amount of the retirement benefit will be prorated to a weekly amount and deducted from your weekly benefit amount. If you contributed something, but less than one-half of the cost of your retirement benefit, one-half of the prorated weekly retirement will be deducted from your weekly benefit amount. If you contributed one-half or more to the cost of your retirement benefit, no deduction will be made from your weekly unemployment benefit amount. Social Security benefits have no effect on your UI benefits.

DISQUALIFICATIONS

1. You may be disqualified if you quit your job without good cause atributable to your employer or if you voluntarily retire.


Skipper 7 years ago

The employer that layed me off offers no retirement pension, I am scheduled for Social Security only. Is vacation pay from my last employer that layed me off considered earnings that i would have to claim on my UIA on the MARVIN system the first time that i call which is scheduled on the 21st of this month. I have already recieved my confirmation of UIA benefits.

Thank you

Skipper


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Vacation pay paid in a lump sum at the time of layoff or subsequent to layoff in a lump sum payment must be reported as remuneration for the week in which it is received unless the employer has elected to "allocate" the vacation payment over a designated period of weeks AND has notified the laid off employee in writing of its intention of allocating the accrued vacation payment over a period of weeks in which case the payment is considered remuneration for each of the weeks to which it is allocated. For example, if you have 3 unused weeks of accrued vacation pay entitlement and the employer pays it to you in one lump sum check, you are obligated to report the payment as earnings only for the week in which you received it. However, if the employer notifies you that it is allocating the vacation payment over three weeks, the agency will consider it remuneration in each of the three weeks.


Miss Conduct 7 years ago

I am going to my third redetermination hearing now in front of a judge. What should I expect? What should I bring to plead my case? I have letters from former supervisors and pay stubs to show bonuses, etc..

Is this in person and in a court room, who will be allowed to be there?

Thanks Ralph.


Miss Conduct 7 years ago

I am going to my third redetermination hearing now in front of a judge. What should I expect? What should I bring to plead my case? I have letters from former supervisors and pay stubs to show bonuses, etc..

Is this in person and in a court room, who will be allowed to be there?

Thanks Ralph.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

In Michigan the judges allow 1 hour per case. Usually the hearings last less than an hour. The witnesses testify under oath and the hearings are tape recorded in case there is an appeal. If the issue is alleged misconduct the burden is on the employer to offer first-hand testimony (not hearsay) proving the alleged misconduct. You or your representative and/or the judge may cross-examine the employer witnesses. Then you will have the opportunity to testify in your own behalf, either in response to questions from your representative or from the judge who has the duty of insuring that claimants who are not represented by attorneys or advocates get a fair hearing. Good luck.


Skipper 7 years ago

Thank you for your previous answer, On the spot as usual...

If i might bend your ear one more time, I will be calling MARVIN tomorrow morning for my fist time and reporting my vacation pay. It stated in the Green Book that I have to call UIA regarding the vacation pay after reporting it on MARVIN, I'm curious as to why that is necessary.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

I assume that it's necessary to call UIA regarding vacation pay because the rules regarding receipt of vacation pay are somehwat complex and may depend in part on whether you received your entire vacation pay entitlement in a single check or you are receiving it a week at a time or whether your employer has elected to "allocate" your vacation pay week by week for the number of weeks to which you are entitled. Got that? :-)


Skipper 7 years ago

I receieved my vacation pay in one lump sum by check, I'm assuming what your saying is that they need to clarify which method you are recieving the vacation pay as to how many weeks it will effect my UIA benefits.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

That means you will not be eligible for unemployment compensation during that week, provided your employer did not "allocate" the amount over the number of weeks for which you received vacation pay.


Jawad UK  7 years ago

Thanks Ralph on delivering such a informative resource.


Jawad UK  7 years ago

Thanks Ralph on delivering such an informative resource.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

You're welcome.


Tommy T 7 years ago

Ralph,

I was recently terminated for allegedly stealing company property. My employer claimed I stole something and had me arrested for felony theft. After bonding out of jail I sought legal counsel and went through the legal motions. At my preliminary hearing that charged was dropped. I was not convicted of any felony or any theft. I was deemed uneligible on the grounds that "there is sufficient documentation to establish theft." This seemed odd as I was not convicted nor did I steal anything. Is there any way I can obtain that documentation from UIA? I am planning to appeal and would like to know what "documentation" is being used against me so that I may effectively protest?

Also, after my hearing I applied with and was hired by a competitor of my former employer. They (my new employer) knew the situation and what actually happened(i didn't steal anything) and put me to work. I was ready to move on and get back to business. When my former employer found out where I was working and began calling other companies in the industry, both locally and all over the country, as far away from Michigan as Texas and Florida, to give them my name, my new employer and what he claims happened involving this alleged theft. Long story short, it created so many problems for my new employer and potential a loss of business, that they had to let me go. Is this something I can handle at my appeal or should I go to civil courts with it? I t just seems unjust that he can fire me, get me fired from another job, and be able to deny compensation.

I know it's a mess.......but I appreciate anything you think might help.

Thanks


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

I'm not sure what you mean by handle--your eligibility for unemployment benefits as a result of your termination by your second employer or filing suit for civil damages against your first employer.

I'm not a lawyer, but it seems to me that you might have a basis for suing your former employer depending on who you could get to testify and any other evidence you could come up with to prove that he was spreading malicious, innacurate comments about you.

So far as your eligibility for benefits is concerned, from what you said it appears to me that it will be hard for your second employer to meet his burden of proving misconduct on your part. Misconduct has been defined in Michigan courts as "wanton or willful disregard of the interest of the employer." This is a high burden for employers to get over. Of course the unemployment compensation hearing will deal only with your elibibility for unemployment compensation, not with the issue of whether your employer had good cause for firing you. Michigan is an "at will" state where, in the absence of an individual employment contract or union contracrt, employers are not required to have good cause for firing an employee, except for discrimination.


Tommy T 7 years ago

Thanks for the tip....Is there anyway I can obtain the "sufficient documentation" used to "establish theft" by the UIA prior to an appeal hearing???

Thanks Again


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

You can go to the appeals office where your hearing is scheduled and ask to review the case file. Or if you have an advocate or attorney they can get a copy of the case file from the Unemployment Insurance Agency if there is sufficient time before the hearing.


Sue L. 7 years ago

I have been receiving unemployment after being terminated. I have just been notified that my unemployment has been extended for an additional 13 weeks. I am considering creating an LLC to do freelance consulting. As of yet I have no clients. Will forming this company disqualify me from the additional 13 weeks?

i


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Not until you start making enough money to disqualify you or to reduce the amount of your benefit SO LONG AS YOU ARE STILL AVAILABLE AND SEEKING SUITABLE EMPLOYMENT. You need to be able to tell the agency if anyone asks that you would accept a suitable job if you were offered one. Beware of your former employer protesting your benefits if they become aware that you are trying to start a business. The case law is on your side. The act is not intended to discourage people who are drawing benfits from trying to start a business.


KN 7 years ago

Hi Ralph,

i was terminated for failing a drug test...i know. as expected i was found ineligible. i'm considering appealing this on the basis of, after the test results, i talked with my employer and placed on probation. i was supposed to begin treatment in a rehabilitation program and give a clean test prior to returning to full-time field work(we worked on the road, out of town). a couple of weeks later, and before completion of my treatment, i was told i was going back on the road and my rehab would have to wait. at the jobsite, field tests were administered and low and behold, it was still dirty.

can i appeal


KN 7 years ago

(sorry i got cut-off)

can i appeal on the grounds that proper dot procedures were not followed in my termination? and that if i showed any disregard for the employers interests, they were no less than his own disregard by sending me back out knowing that i had a problem? or should i just save some taxpayers money amnd time and chalk it up as a loss??

Thanks,

KN


Sandy 7 years ago

Hi Ralph -

I responded to a redetermination notice about 6 weeks ago. My employer reported to the UIA that I quit my job voluntarily, when I actually took a maternity leave. This notice asked for a response from me.

I sent a fairly detailed response back, with a doctor's note AND a note from my employer indicating I did take maternity leave and when I returned the position was not available (the company outsources their payroll dept and it was this company that indicated I quit). I sent you a note on this when I got the notice (in a panic).

So I mailed my response over 5 weeks ago but have heard nothing. I cannot get through on the toll free line. Is no news good news in a situation like this? I've also received 3 unemployment checks since I responded. Seems crazy that they would continue to send checks to ask for them back later.

Anyway, I'm still a little nervous waiting for some type of response. What are your thoughts on what is going on.

Thanks so much!!!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

There are several "problem resolution offices" around the state where you can talk face-to-face with a UIA representative. It might be worthwhile for you to visit the nearest office. They should be able to check and tell you the status of your case. Here's a link to their web page:

http://www.michigan.gov/uia/0,1607,7-118--78925--,...


KN 7 years ago

I guess better luck next time..?


KAD 7 years ago

Hi Ralph,

I quit a job in MI to take a job in Chicago, IL. I was then laid off from my job in Chicago after 3 months due to workforce reduction. I was told by the IL Unemployment Office that I was not eligible to file in IL and that I would need to file in MI. I did file in MI at the begining of Dec. I have set up the online account, the direct deposit account, posted my resume with Michigan Works and have been calling MARVIN at my scheduled times. I still have not heard whether or not I am approved from unemployment benefits. Can you shed any light on the likeliness I will be approved or how long cases like this take for a determination? Any information would be helpful, as I'm having a very hard time getting through to anyone in the offices.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

I'm not sure off the top of my head what the correcct answere to your question is. I'll try to do some research and get back to you. You may want to call the help line on the Michigan UIA website. In the meantime KEEP CALLING MARVIN until your case and any appeals are resolved!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Kn, your only chance as far as I know would be that the lab that performed your test didn't follow the prescribed protocol. However, it doesn't cost you anything to appeal for an ALJ hearing. You might get lucky.


Dennis 7 years ago

Hi Ralph,

I posted here about three months ago in regards to a SLIP leave my wife had taken and was subsequently denied unemployment. We filed for the redetermination about 3 months ago and we have heard nothing back. We have called the UIA several times during this time. The last two times we called we got the "I'm walking this in to my manager right now" schtick. Do they have a legal time limit within which they need to respond back? This has moved beyond unreasonable in my mind and if we need to bump this up the legal ladder we will do that.

Also, we are coming up on the 26 week time limit. Will they consider us for an extension even if we are currently considered eligible?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

You should have received a redetermination long ago. You may want to go in person to the nearest "Problem Resolution Office" and speak in person to a UIA representative. Keep an accurate record of each contact, including the name of the representative with whome you spoke, you have with the Agency by phone or by mail. Contacts by letter are better than by phone because the letters become a part of the record of your case. In situations like yours I would document your case by registered return receipt mail. Also, to preserve your eligibility claim you must continue to call MARVIN to certify for each week for which you are claiming benefits. The 26 week limit has been extended in Michigan to, as I recall, 39 weeks. However, if your wife has continued to call MARVIN, if determined to be eligible, she should get a check for those weeks.


Brettq 7 years ago

I was a 1099 paid contractor for most of the year. But i also was paid on a W-2 also for part of the year, will i be denied because of the 1099


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

You are obligated to report all earnings (1099 and W2) to MARVIN week by week. The Unemployment Agency will determine your eligibility or partial eligibility for each week based on the amounts of earnings you report to in accordance with Agency procedures. The calculations are based on your earnings each week, not the 1099 and W2 amounts for the entire year.


blessed 7 years ago

Hello Ralph,

My husband was employed with his former employer for almost 9 years, he relocated from Alabama to Ohio march of 2005, we married on Jan. 14, 2006, and our son and I moved to Ohio on Jan 16, 2006. And I became employed with the same company on Jan 31, 2006, and about 9 months later my husband was offered a promotion as operations manager. My husband worked hard to receive the promotion even after he received the promotion he stayed committed. He worked long days and nights, he also received many awards and saved the company contract with the client and also received vendor of the quarter at the call center numerous times. and did not receive the raise that he was promised but my husband continued to work and loved his job and the people there because this is all he has known for the last 9 years, and on June 9, 2008 my husband was terminated. And the reason that he was given for dismissal, was that he left work early on 2 occasions, one was 30 minutes and 1 hour early, on may 9th and 13th. This was a shock to us. My husband explained to his boss that on these days he did not take a lunch and also his boss checked his card swipes at the entrance. So then my he applied for unemployment and he was denied, and we were in a financial bind he was the bread winner and I was trying to maintain my job and work overtime, we have a son and bills, we could not avoid to pay rent and other expenses with just my income, my husband applied for jobs and was not successful, then we received a notice from the landlord, and so we had to relocate, we did not have family in Ohio, and no were to go, no money, so I had to resign from my job, and we moved back to Alabama, applied for unemployment and I have been denied, I have appealed it twice, still denied, I have my over the phone hearing on next week and I just wanted to know if you think that my resignation is good cause, DO I have a case?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Note: I have no experience in Ohio. In Michigan, I doubt that you would be found to be eligible. Absent compelling reasons attributable to your employer, employees who resign are not eligible for benefits. From what you said your husband was eligible for benefits. His actions did not amount to disqualifying misconduct, in my opinion. If not, his termination was actually a layoff disguised as a termination. I wonder if he was replaced by someone after he was terminated. And I wonder if there was not some other reason behind his termination.

I'm sorry I'm unable to provide you with a more encouraging opinion.


Matt 7 years ago

I live in Michigan and I am confused by the requalify by reworking. For instance, if you are found ineligible to receive benefits because you quit a job without good reason, then you can requalify by finding a new job, work there, and make atleast 12 times the WBA. So if you had a WBA of $362 and times that by 12 times you would get $4344. Is the rule saying that if you work somewhere and make that much money that you can now quit that job since you are now eligible again? Also is that $4344 before or after taxes. Thanks for your help!

One more quick question about the fact finding questionaire that they give out in Michigan. What exactly are those forms for? Does the person that reviews those forms actually read the information/answers that the unemployed person wrote down. Thanks again

Matt


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

When you quit a job without "good cause attributable to your employer" you are not eligible for benefits. Good cause can be unsafe working conditions, being instructed to do something illegal or dishonest, bounced paychecks or other serious problem which you have complained about but has not been corrected.

Yes, the Unemployment Insurance Agency claims examiners read the information you furnish on the questionnaires. They use the information you furnish to determine your eligibility. Also, they notify your employer of your application and send the employer a similar questionnaire. Your eligibility is based on the information you furnish and the information your employer furnishes. You and your employer have the right to contest an agency determination or redetermination by requesting a hearing before an administrative law judge.


Miss Conduct 7 years ago

After the hearing with the Admin Judge, is there another appeal if I should lose or is that it? Is there an appeal available for the employer when I win (as my advocate is highly suggesting)?

I just dont want to win and have the bulk of the back pay come to my bank and then have to repay it if I lose an appeal from my former employer.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Either you or your former employer, whoever loses before the administrative law judge, has the right to appeal to the Board of Review in Lansing (which must RECEIVE the appeal within 30 days). Beyond that a case may be appealed to the Circuit Court and Michigan Supreme Court and to the federal courts. As a practical matter, few cases are appealed beyond the Board of Review. And, in my experience, the Board of Review more often than not affirms the ALJ decisions. Good luck!


Rick 7 years ago

Thanks for all the help you have given us. I live in Michigan and voluntarily quit my job in order to take a full time and permanent position with another company. I worked there about 4 months and was laid off. I applied for the benefits and they sent me a fact finding questionaire to ask a few questions such as "did you quit your job to accept another full time job" and "was the job expected to be permanent" etc. I filled it out and sent it in. I was told in about 6-8 weeks they would make a decision. I have not head anything yet but I contacted the employer who laid me off and they said they have not received any info or questionaire to fill out from the unemployment agecny. Would the agency just go off of my answers and not compare them to the compnay that laid me off? I was trutful on the questionaire because I bascially met all the requirements pointed out in the Michigan unemployment handbook, so I have nothing to hide. Thanks for any advice you may have.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Rick,

It sounds to me like you are eligible. As you might imagine the UIA is very busy these days. It might be a good idea to go in person to one of the agency's "Problem Resolution Offices" and talk face-to-face with a representative. In the meantime continue to call MARVIN in accordance with agency procedures. Good luck!

Here's a list of the PROs: (There's a link to the PRO website above.)

Detroit (Temporary) - 3024 W. Grand Blvd., Suite L-500, Detroit, MI 48202

Gaylord - 400 W. Main St., Suite 102, Gaylord, MI 49735

Grand Rapids - 3391A Plainfield NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Lansing - 5015 S. Cedar St., Lansing, MI 48910

Livonia - 33523 W. 8 Mile Rd., Livonia, MI 48152  

Marquette - 2833 U.S. 41 West, Marquette, MI 49855

Saginaw - 614 Johnson St., Saginaw, MI 48607

 


Rick 7 years ago

If I go into one of the offices, could they determine if I am eligible right there on the spot? I would bring in all the info that I have along with the fact finding questionaire of course. They told me to try and call sometime next week and they would have a manager take care of it. If I can just go into the office, I would much rather do that. Thanks


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

I doubt that the rep would be able to give you a determination on the spot. He or she should be able to check on your case and perhaps jar it loose and even give you an opinion on your eligibility. It might be a good idea to keep a careful written record of all your contacts with the Unemployment Insurance Agency, noting date, time, who you spoke to, what they told you etc. My impression from talking to others that phone calls don't always achieve the desired results.


Rachel 7 years ago

I was reading through this information to hopefully get some more insight on my situation. Hopefully you may be able to point my in the right direction. I was recently let go from a bank job that I worked at for about 2 and a half years Oct 8th, I filed that same day I was let go. I went through all the questions about previous employment and I had to fill in all the information. While I was working at the bank I was also working a small part time job as a Massage Therapist a couple hours a week. This job was only appointment based and I was working both at the same time. I decided to leave that place and my last day was Oct. 2nd. I quit the Massage job (employee) for another Massage job (independent contracted position) that I thought I was going to get more clients at and it was closer to the bank I was working at. While working at the place I left, I had only grossed a total of $130 for the whole time I was there. I had just gotten out of school and was able to get into that place to get started. I wanted to go to the other place since it was closer to the bank and I was under the impression I would be able to get more clients working there. I filed all this information for the unemployment from getting let go at the bank and I got the Determination back saying I was qualified benefits from the bank but I was disqualified for the benefits due to leaving the Massage job. I sent in a protest on the decision and they are still denying me because of that job and they are saying I didn't meet the "leaving to accept" requirements. Now I dont know what to do. I dont understand how that job had anything to do with getting let go from the bank when I quit before I was even let go from the bank. If you could give me any advise I would greatly appreciate it as I dont know what to do at this point.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Unusual case. I'm not sure of the answer. Seems to me tht the agency's application of the 29(5 leaving to accept provision is not consistent with the purpose of the act as stated in 421.2, Sec. 2 "Declaration of policy. The legislature...declares that the public policy of the state is as follows: Economic insecurity due to unemployment is a serious menace to the health, morals, and welfare of the people of this state. Involuntary unemployment is a subject of general interest and concern which requires action by the legislature to prevent its spread and to lighten its burden which so often falls with crushing force upon the unemployed worker and his family, to the detriment of the welfare of the people..."

In Godsol v. M.U.C.C., 302 Mich 652 (1942) the court ruled as follows: "The purpose of the unemployment compensation act is to releive the distress of economic insecurity due to unemployment. It was enacted in the interest of pub lic welfare to provide for assistance to the unemployed, and AS SUCH IS ENTITLED TO A LIBERAL INTERPRETATION."

In my opinion, the agency's interpretation in your case was anything but liberal and not consistent with the purpose of the unemployment statute.

It doesn't cost anything to appeal to an ALJ hearing. You have nothing to lose.


Rick 7 years ago

I wanted to inform you how backed up the UIA really is. I was asked if I was in good standing with the company that had laid me off after I originally quit my job to work for them full time. I told the UIA rep that I was and they told me to go and have the company put down a few statements on company letterhead such as "Was the job expected to be permanent" and "was the job full time." They want me to write my name, ss #, and a few other minor details and have me fax it in to them. I already filled out my fact finding form and sent that in about 8 weeks ago. I can't believe that they never mailed anything to my former company. I guess they could have mailed something out today and I would have to wait another month or so to find anything out so I give them credit for letting me go directly to the company and deal with it that way.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

That's worse than I suspected. Thanks for getting back. Your comment may help others.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

The Economic Recovery and Investment Act passed yesterday provides the following:

If you exhaust regular unemployment benefits by the end of the year, you'll qualify for a 33-week extension. Current rules required exhaustion by March 31.

Added $25 a week to unemployment benefits.

For nine months, the federal government will pay 65% of health insurance premium for unemployed people falling under the COBRA program, which allows some workers to keep the coverage offered by their previous employers.

13.6% increase in Food Stamp benefits:'

Source: Detroit Free Press Feb. 14, 2009


Matt 7 years ago

So, in Michigan that means the potential for 26 weeks (regular benefits) and 33 week extention for a total of 59 possible weeks of unemployment. That should hopefully help some people out who would have otherwise missed the extention deadline.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Yep. One problem is that the Michigan unemployment compensation statute and agency procedures are full of "tricks and traps" for the unwary which result in a significant number of people who should be eligible being declared ineligible.


Thomas 7 years ago

I originally qualified for 26 weeks of unemployment at $362 per week here in Michigan. I have about 17 weeks left and I wondered what are the qualifications that have to be met in order to receive the extention of 33 extra weeks? Also how does the extention process work? I understand that something will come in the mail prior to the ending of normal benefits and one would have to reapply for the extention. I guess I am just wondering what they could possibly look at to see if one is eligible for the extention. Thanks


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

I don't know what the procedure is. I assume everyone is eligible for the extension. The Unemployment Agency is very busy. You could try calling them or visiting one of their Problem Resolution Offices. Or just keep certifiying by contacting MARVIN and wait til you get something in the mail. (As you may have gathered, I don't work for the Unemployment Agency. I'm an independent appeals advocate.)


Thomas 7 years ago

I completely understand. From what I gathered, it seems like everone is eligilble as long as you follow the same procedures that regular unemployment requires. (Look for work, don't turn down work, etc.)


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

I think that's correct. But I haven't actually seen the rules or procedures yet. I'll try the UIA website linked above and see if there's anything on it yet. Here's a link to the latest info on the official UIA website.

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/uia/Extended_Ben...


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Here's what the U.S. Department of Labor website says:

http://workforcesecurity.doleta.gov/unemploy/exten...


Al 7 years ago

Mr. Deeds, I was laid off due to a plant closing in Sept. '07. The plant closing fell under NAFTA as our customer moved the job to Canada. I am currently going to school under TRA/TAA. The company told the employees that they had talked with UIA and that the vacation/severance pay we got will not be considered as earned wages and not to claim this money. The company gave everyone a memo concerning this and in it cited the UIA Manual of Precedents, Benefit Interpretation No. 20-641 (7-15-02) and UC Manual, Part V, Wage Record Handbook, 6576 (6) WR. In a nutshell this states that any renumeration that is a direct result of a plant closing.....will not be considered as earned wages for the purpose of calculating unemployment compensation, regardless of when the payments are made. The company specifically instructed us not to claim any of this money.

I have received a letter from UIA asking me to repay the money I received from them for the week in which I received this vacation/severance check. The UIA said the money is considered renumeration under Section 48 of the MES Act. I went to the PRO office and filed an appeal and now I'm scheduled for a hearing.

So, the question is, am I lost in a bureaucratic maze of conflicting rules or do I stand a chance of winning?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Here's a link to the UIA bulleting on severance pay

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/uia_SeverancePay...

Here's a paragraph from the Agency's General Rules

R 421.302 Vacation pay.

Rule 302. When an employer is entitled to designate, pursuant to section 48 of the Michigan employment security act, vacation pay to a period of

layoff, forced vacation, or other separation, the employer shall either deliver to the affected employee and to the employee's bargaining

representative, if any, on or before the employee's last day of work, written notice of such designation stating that such designation may

render the employee ineligible for unemployment benefits during the designated period or shall post such notice conspicuously in easily

accessible places frequented by employees and deliver a copy thereof to the employee's bargaining representative, if any. However, as to an

individual laid off prior to the time of designation, posting of the notice shall not substitute for the requirement of delivery of the notice to such individual by mail.

I don't have a copy of the UIA Manual of Precedents. I'll see if I can find it On-line.

The general rule on severance pay is that it is disqualifying during the week it is received or for weeks to which it is "allocated" by the employer in accordance with UIA procedures.

I can't say for sure what your chances are before the ALJ. You have nothing to lose by appealing. Good luck. If I find any other information, I'll post it here.


Mike S 7 years ago

This past September I left my job as an Auto sales Consultant in Michigan to travel to Arizona to donate a Liver to an old friend. I had gotten the time off approved with my employer. Ten days after surgery my employer called mt wife and was demanding payment for my health insurance premiums. As I was still in the hospital recovering from some complications it was an unpleasant call for my wife to field at the time. She called back and told the owner that she thought they didn't care about their employees very much and didn't think much of them herself.

Ten days later I received an e-mail from ownership stating they felt I should find a new employer. I was still recovering from this surgery and wasn't able to answer this in a timelt matter.

After three months I was awarded U.I.A. benfits, but the employer appealed and I was cut off-Owing $3000 in benefits received. I appealed and lost the hearing. The judge had the answer to the complaint post marked less than an hour after my hearing and it was in my mailbox the net morning.

What is the best way for myself to appeal this verdict?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

The material in the website above and the material (Green Booklet) which you should have received from the UIA explains the appeal procedures. You have 30 days from the date on the judge's decision to appeal to the Board of Review in Lansing. The address and how to appeal is on the bottom of the judge's decision. The Board of Review must RECEIVE your appeal withing 30 days of the date the decision was mailed. All you have to do is write a letter stating that you disagree with the judge's decision and that you request that the Board of Review review the judge's decision. The Board of Review will render a decision based on the transcript of the hearing before the judge. I would have to read the judge's decision and the case file in order to predict the outcome. Sounds to me like you had good cause for not being able to make timely responses to your employer or to the agency. The Board of Review usually doesn't reverse the decisions of the administrative law judges, but sometimes they do.


Mike S 7 years ago

Thank you for your comment. How could I get the decision to you-I'd love to discuss this more with you.


Al 7 years ago

Thank you for your help.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

I'll call you if you provide me your phone number by emailing me through Hubpages or by posting it in a comment box.


Mike S 7 years ago

Was the "I will call you" comment for myself Mr Deeds?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Yes.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

FEDS EXTEND UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITSStat-Fed Program Pays Up to 13 Additional WeeksSome unemployed workers in Michigan may be eligible for up to 13 additional weeks of unemployment benefits after they have exhausted their state unemployment insurance benefits and their two existing federal extensions."Michigan is now eligible to pay extended benefits through the federal-state Extended Benefits program," said Stephen Geskey, director of Michigan's Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA). 

"Citizens who establisheda claim for state unemployment benefits on or after February 3, 2008, may qualify for the new Extended Benefits program once they exhaust their federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC).

"To qualify for Extended Benefits (EB), Geskey said that eligible workers must:·    

Be unemployed or underemployed·    

Have an unemployment benefit year that ends on or after January 31,2009.  A benefit year is a 52-week period starting from the week in which aworker applies for state unemployment benefits;·    

Have exhausted all of their state and federal unemployment benefitsand federal extensions (EUC) and cannot establish a new claim; and·    

Perform a work search and list the employers contacted each week.  Asevidence of their work search, workers will have to supply the names of employers they have contacted over the prior two weeks, as well as the name

of the individual they contacted at each business, their method of contact,type of work they sought, and the results of their contact.

The EB program pays unemployed workers what they received in state unemployment benefits up to an additional 13 weeks.  The weekly benefit amount is the same as what the individual received in state benefits.

The EB program starts when a state's insured unemployment rate (IUR) climbsabove 5.0 percent and is 20 percent higher than in the previous two years.Michigan's IUR surpassed 5.0 percent for the week of January 10 and was 42 percent higher than the average for the same period for the last two years.The week ending January 31 was the first week for which EB was payable.Once EB triggers on, it remains in effect for at least 13 weeks.

UIA mailed letters to approximately 250 unemployed workers in the state that it identified as being potentially eligible for EB at this time. Going forward, unemployed workers will automatically receive notices to file for EB when they are about to exhaust their final EUC benefit payments.  The notice will tell them how to apply for EB.Extended Benefit costs are shared 50/50 by the federal government and the state for most employers.  The state's share comes from the UI trust fundand is then charged on a prorated basis back to the employer(s).

Governmental employers are charged 100 percent for EB.In Michigan, the state unemployment insurance program provides up to 26 weeks of benefits, the first federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation(EUC) program provides up to 20 weeks of benefits, the second part of EUC grants up to 13 additional weeks and EB will now provide up to 13 more weeks of benefits to qualified unemployed workers.

Courtesy of state representative Gilda Jacobs's "Capitol Report"


Susan F 7 years ago

I was laid off om 1-31-09 because the company I worked for closed. I applied for unemployment and received a monetary determination of 362.00 per week. I interviewed for another positon two weeks later and accepted it , even though it was for 58% less than what I had previously been making. I was told at the interview everyone was hired for 30 days as a temp. and then it would be decided who would be asked to remain on permanently after the 30 day period was up. During the temp weeks I will be working fulltime hours with overtime, earning as much as I would have been paid in unemployment. Should I continue to certify with Marvin during this "temp" period of time? I realize I will not receive unemployment payments during that time even if I do certify. I don't know that I will be able to get to a phone to call Marvin, because I will be too busy working. If I don't call Marvin what happens? If at the end of 30 days, I am not kept on as permanent, what do I do? If I call Marvin all along, do I report that I am working fulltime (when it is considered a temp position to start)? I assume I'd be OK, as I would just report no earnings after 30 days again. If I quit calling Marvin, then do I have to recertify if I find out I will not be kept on as permanent? I am new to all of this. I have worked my entire life and have never been through this before. Thank You for any help!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

I confess. I'm not fure of the answer to your question. But to be on the safe side I would continue to call MARVIN to certify. In any event, you should be able to file again and become eligible if you are not hired at the end of your 30-day period.


valerie 7 years ago

hello, my husband had his hearing yesterday, and during it , the judge told the employer that it sounded like he was discharged for a personality conflict. And the employer said most definitely. With that being said, is that a reason to be denied UI. It was stated that my husband had tried to transfer to get away frm the person he had a conflict with but was denied, and shes the one that actually terminated, In 8 years he only had 1 write up which was in july, and he was fired in october. The judge had asked what did he do currently and what was the final straw that made you decide to discharge him, and they could not come up with anything. Does this sound like a slam dunk case, or could they come back with something, about the personality confict, and deny him, or the one write up from 3 months prior hurt him. They also had said that he had performed his job satisfactorily.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Sounds like a winner! (for your husband)


Susan F 7 years ago

Thank you for your quick answer. I have been in limbo over this matter for days. But just to confim: Shall I answer yes, when Marvin asks if I'm working fulltime. Or shall I answer no, because it really isn't a full time job. It is merely a temporary position at this point. I almost wished I wouldn't have taken it all now because it's become so confusing and it's for a much lower wage ( which was explained at the time I applied). I've only worked 3 days so far. If I quit, I assume I would lose all my benefits. If for some reason I cannot get to a phone to continue to certify, because of the demanding hours of this job, could I just reopen an existing claim at a later date? I really appreciate your help, because so many of us going through this for the first time in their lives, just don't know what to do. The hotline number is constantly busy and one cannot get through to a live person to get help. I just want to be clear on everything. Thanks again!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

You should call MARVIN and answer "yes" to the first question which is "Are you back to work full time." Then enter your 6 digit back-to-work date. And on question #7 report your earnings.


Jennifer Dalton 7 years ago

I am having the same dilema with a temporary position I just started. I have found temporary work for 6 weeks with fulltime hours. After 6 weeks I will be let go due to lack of work when the position ends. All the while I am working should I continue to call Marvin and report my earnings? Or once I tell Marvin I am back to work fulltime (even though temporarily) will I no longer receive benefits at all? Or should I just quit calling Marvin and after I am laid-off from the temp position, just reopen a claim at that point? What is the difference between reopening a claim and activating a new claim? Perhaps what I would be doing is opening a new claim? There may be a slim chance this job could turn into permanent partime work at best. I am very confused and can't get through to the hotline number. You are so informed and helpful with these matters. Any thorough information is greatly appreciated.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

I'm not positive of the answers to your questions. You may want to contact the agency here'

http://www.michigan.gov/uia/0,1607,7-118--79590--,...

In my opinion you can't go wrong by continuing to call MARVIN and report your earnings. If your earnings are low you may be eligible for a partial benefit. I am not sure exactly what the procedures on this are and I don't have time right now to research the issue. Sorry I can't be more helpful.


caseyjones 7 years ago

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We met with an Administrative Law Judge with the unemployment office concerning our appeal of a family owned business law which limits our, my wife and me, unemployment benefits to seven weeks. Our appeal was an attempt to show proof we had contributed to the unemployment fund for almost twenty-seven years and had never drawn once on that fund. Under duress our bank requested we sell our business and close the doors on November, 2008. The bank forgave much of our loans and we sold at a huge loss and left with zero profit. The company that purchased our business agreed to hire us and after one week of employment they let both of us go. At ages of 61 and 62 we are unable to find even a part time job. Our benefits will end in two weeks under the limitations set forth by the UIA and our appeal was denied. I clearly understand why the law was adopted as family members could abuse the system under normal day to day business. This case is clearly different and something appears unjust. The Law Judge today recommended we contact you for your assistance as he agreed with us. Could you please comment?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Wow! I'm surprised that the judge would send you to me if he couldn't help you. I would be curious which judge said that. You have the right to appeal to the Board of Review in Lansing, if you get the appeal to them within 30 days. (A postmark won't do it.) It doesn't cost anything to appeal. However, I wouldn't count on getting the judge's decision reversed. His ruling sounds correct to me off the top of my head without researching the issue or reading your file. I could discuss the case with you if you sent me a phone number via HubPages. You have my sympathy, but no good ideas occur to me.


Jack T 7 years ago

What happens when one is unsure of the exact amount of earnings that will be received in a given week when calling Marvin? I generally know I work close to 30 partime hrs at 9.15 per hr. and can come close, but perhaps not exact, because I don't see the actual pay check until 1 week later. Marvin asks for dollars and cents amounts for specific weeks. THere is always one week I'm not sure of until I see the actual check. Is it oK to come relatively close on the amount? I have called that toll free number for days and cannot get through. The system is ridiculous. The red tape and problems of getting through to get an answer is unbelievable. Someone has to do something to help us get answers. You're one of the few who care. Thanks for any help.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

You could try going to one of the Problem Resolution Centers and talk to a human being, face-to-face. I can't imagine that being off a bit on an estimate of your earnings would cause a big problem. However, my understanding is that the Unemployment Insurance Agency has computer access to your earnings. So, your estimates had better be pretty close. I've never gone through this process so I'm not absolutely sure what the right answer is. As you probably know the agency is very busy these days.


Lenore W 7 years ago

My Michigan application for unemployment benefits is a royal mess and I am unsure how to proceed. Even trying to give you a short synopsis is a challenge, but I'll try.

I quit my job for what I believe is good reason. They cut my full time hours to part time then demanded the same level of performance. At the same time I quit, I received an application for extended benefits from my last employer. I filled out the form listing my most recent employer and last date worked of 7-25-08. 7-31-08 I filed by telephone for benefits from the most recent employer, and told the representative about the EUC form. I began receiving extended benefits, and made numerous calls to the help line to be certain the correct information was being processed. From late October 2008 until late January, 2009, the UIA phone lines were so jammed it was impossible to get through on any line, except MARVIN. I am 100 miles from the nearest Problem Resolution Office.

I never received a Determination on my 7-31-08 application. In early November I received two different but similar "Fact Finding Forms" that I filled out and returned. Both forms had different information regarding benefit year and claim filing dates, none of which were correct, or even close.

A few days later I received two different monetary Determinations if otherwise qualified regarding my last employer, each with different dates, none of which were correct.

In late January, 2009 I received two separate "Notice of (Re)Determination" forms and two forms for Notice of Restitution Due. The 13 weeks of payments I received that ended in October, 2008 were apportioned in different amounts by the UIA between my last employer and the extended benefits from my previous employer. None of the forms had any of the correct dates and they differed from each other.

One of the (Re)Determination form said I was disqualified for benefits from my last employer based on a statement made by the employer. I never received a Determination on my 7/31/08 application. or a Protest or Notice of Appeal filed by my last employer, or an opportunity to challenge the employers statement.

A Determintion and a Redetermination have different appeal processes. But what is a (Re)Determination when there has been no Determination? I have been working on filing a "Protest" and request for Redetermination, but maybe I should be working on an Appeal of Redetermination.

The Michigan Employment Security Act provides for determinations to be made promptly. The Act does not define the word "prompt," but I don't think it means 6 months! It also requires certain filings to be made by the employer within specific time periods. None of those things occurred here. The Agency is also supposed to make available to the public a copy of the Act, and copies of its Rules of administration. Neither is on the website. The Act I can find online in public laws, but nowhere can I find a publication of the Rules. There is a booklet "Employment Benefits in Michigan," but it does not include UIA Rules.

Sorry this is so long.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

You might try going to a Problem Resolution Office and talking face-to-face with a UIA representative. Here's a link to this service. You might be able to get a copy of the UIA rules there or get to look at a copy. Michigan Works might also be helpful. http://www.michigan.gov/uia/0,1607,7-118--78925--,... The next step after you receive a re-determination is to ask for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. Be sure to file your appeals within the time limits and in accordance with agency procedures. Also, I recommend that you make a record of all contacts with the agency including the date, time, the name of the individual with whom you spoke and what you were told. The agency has huge backlogs and is taking longer than usual to process the applications and making more mistakes than usual.

http://www-michiganworks.com/claim-michigan-unempl...


Theresa 7 years ago

Hi Ralph -

Do you know how back-to-back claims work? I was on UI in MI when I was hired into a short term contract position. The position lasted 4 months, over 2 quarters. The salary meets the requirements for a UI claim. However, once the position was complete, and nothing else was made available to me, I applied for UI again. They reactivated my old claim. I had 21 weeks of benefits remaining.

This claim is about to run out. Now there is the 20 extention. However, would I be entitled to file a new claim? I've read the pamphlet sent to me but it is not clear. I don't know if I should file for an extention or file a new claim.

Would you know? Thanks so much.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

The information on this link should answer your question

https://cwam.unemployment.state.mi.us/euc/WebConte...

Information on extension of unemployment benefits http://www.michigan.gov/documents/uia/Extended_Ben... On November 21, 2008, the President signed into law another extension of unemployment benefits. It provides that unemployed workers already on the original extension, Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC), or who have exhausted EUC, may receive: Up to another 7 weeks of federally-funded EUC benefits, for a total of 20 weeks maximum (increased from a total of 13 weeks maximum). Up to an additional 13 weeks of federally-funded EUC benefits in states such as Michigan with unemployment rates above 6%. For those currently receiving regular state unemployment benefits: Up to 20 weeks of federally-funded EUC benefits after regular benefits are exhausted. Then up to an additional13 weeks of federally-funded EUC benefits, when they exhaust those benefits and cannot establish a new regular state claim. The Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) will notify by mail all unemployed workers who have already exhausted their extensions or are about to exhaust their extensions, with instructions on what they need to do. These workers can expect letters by the week of December 12, 2008. Moving forward, the Agency will automatically notify unemployed workers by mail how to apply for the extension as they exhaust their regular benefits. Extended Benefits Q & A


Jack N. 7 years ago

I can thankfully say I'm fortunate enough that I have not had to experience the unemployment world. However if I should ever it's nice to know there is such a system out there for all of us who encounter hard times.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Yes. It's a lifesaver for a lot of people. And it helps promote recovery from economic recessions. Thanks for your comment.


Miss Conduct 7 years ago

After the 3rd appeal the Judge finally saw things like I did and reversed the previous decision, my old compnay didnt prove I was let go becuase of bad intentions. They have 30 days to appeal.

How long till I get my back pay? and does the new unemployment figure (395/week)affect all my back pay or just whats happened the last month.

Ralph-Thank You for your kindness to us out in Michigan dealing with this hardship, your website and knowledge is unsurpassed and highly recommended.

Thank you so much, from me and my family and probably the credit card companies, they can get paid finally.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

It usually doesn't take very long. The judge sends his decision to the UIA and they send out the checks. Of course they are very busy right now and everything is taking longer. My guess is that you should get a check within a couple of weeks. Remember to keep certifying by calling MARVIN. Thanks for getting back on your case and for your compliment. Good luck!


Eric 7 years ago

Ralph, I recently took a "Voluntary" buyout from Chrysler. While I understand it was my decision to accept the buyout offer, it was clearly stated by Chrysler management that if not enough employees accepted the buyout, a layoff would result. They also issued a WARN act letter to all employees about possible layoffs. In addition the company petitioned the federal govt for Trade Adjustment Assistance citing "lack of work" and was approved. I now qualify for this TAA eligibility.

The state of michigan denied my unemployment claim citing that I voluntarily quit my job without good cause citing that continuing work was available.

How can in one program(TAA) they site lack of work to obtain benefits for employees and threaten employees with layoffs unless they take the buyouts, and now say that work is available?

Also, the state of michigan also stated we cannot be eligible for benefits until 6/12/2010? How would they come up with this date? The buyout information never stated a period of time that we would not receive unemployment?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Your case is in a gray area. If I were you I would appeal the Agency's decision to an Administrative Law Judge hearing. Get an advocate and take all your documentation of the conditions of your buyout to the hearing. Your argument that people laid off from the facility were ruled eligible for TAA strikes me as a good one. It may be a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. Here's the phone number of a good advocate in SE Michigan--Steve at 586-212-4769.


joy 7 years ago

what burden of proof does an employer have to provide for a misconduct or dishonesty contest. do they have to have some sort of physical documents to support their claim suchas writeups, is it illegal for the judge to render a decision if it is all based off of hearsay.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

As you observed, the burden of proof is on the employer in cases involving allegations of misconduct. The type of proof required varies depending on the employer's claim. At a minimum the employer is expected to provide direct, first-hand, non-hearsay testimony about the alleged misconduct. The employer witness(s) is subject to cross-examination by the claimant's representative and to objections against any hearsay testimony. After the employer's presentation, the claimant has to opportunity to testify and present evidence and testimony from witness(s). The judge will base his decision on whether he finds the employer or the claimant's testimony more credible and on whether the alleged incident was serious enough to amount to misconduct. If he believes the employer's testimony/evidence that dishonesty occurred the claimant will be found ineligible.


Miss Conduct 7 years ago

Am I eligible for back payment of my UI benefeits? I have started to receive thru marvin that my first week of UI was in the mail today for 380, is the back pay going to be mailed out the same time or is there some special procedure to getting that in my hands?

Thanks Ralph!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

It's hard for me to say without reading the judge's decision. I think you should receive one check for whatever else the agency owes you according to the judge's decision. You won't be eligible for any weeks for which you didn't certify by calling MARVIN.


Victoria - In Michigan 7 years ago

Will getting married affect my unemployment claim? Also I moved about 10 minutes away from where I previously lived. Will moving affect my claim?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Getting married will not affect your claim. You should inform the UIA of your change of address. I believe there is a form for doing that in the "green book."


Victoria - In Michigan 7 years ago

Thank you Ralph! With this whole unemployment thing being such a pain the neck and with the helplines being swamped it's so nice that you would take time to answer these questions for everyone! Thank you!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

From today's NY Times--"Jobless Angry at Possibility of No Benefits."

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/27/us/27govs.html?_...


rcross21 7 years ago

I currently am employed in Detroit but will be moving up north in 30 days. I need to "quit" my job to move but I have a newborn that I must take care of till I can place her in daycare. Can I collect unemployment from the State of MI b/c of "child care needs"? Do I need to tell my HR department these details so they don't deny my claim?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

The agency is quite likely to rule that you are not eligible for benefits even if your employer does not protest your claim. The basic rule is if you quit without good cause attributable to your employer you don't qualify for benefits, even for extenuating personal reasons such as yours. In Leeseberg v Smith-Jamieson Nursing, Inc. the couirt ruled that a claimant who was denied a leave of absence request to care at home for her injured husband was denied benefits for voluntary leaving. The court reasoned "Plaintiff chose to face termination because she wanted to care for her injured husband. While plaintiff's choice was prompted by compelling personal reasons, a good personal reason does not equate with good cause under the statute."

Sorry I'm unable to provide a favorable answer!


rcross21 7 years ago

I appreciate your speedy reply! I'll at least give it a shot, can't hurt to try! :)


Richard in MICH 7 years ago

I hope that you can help me with this question. I worked for a company for over 10 years and was fired in OCT 08. I applied for unemployment and received benefits until February 09 when i went to certify there was no amount or date for check given. I called and was told that i was disqualified during a redetermination and that i should have recieved a letter in dec of 08. I never received this letter! i moved to south Carolina in mid December and sent in the change of address form. I assume that whatever letter they sent got lost somewhere in this process or it took them awhile to process it. They are sending me another letter but im concerned that i will still not be able to appeal this since it was in December and it is now march 3rd! Do i still have an opportunity to appeal? I was terminated for what they called misconduct. Another employee that was fired at the same time admitted stealing and paid restitution to them and passed his redetermination! I never stole anything! i was fired for stupid reasons because i left the safe cracked while making change for the drawers from our petty cash which EVERYONE DOES! its a time delay safe. This whole thing is completely unfair! Thanks for any advice you can give.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Yes, you can appeal, requesting a hearing before an administrative law judge. (You can arrange for a telephone hearing.) In your appeal of the redetermination you should explain that you did not receive the the redetermination letter in December 2008. In cases of alleged misconduct the burden of proof is on the employer. The judge will weigh the employer's direct first-hand testimony against your testimony on the reasons for your dismissal. Good luck.


Richard in MICH 7 years ago

Thanks you Ralph for your advice! As others have stated you are providing and invaluable service here and can"t thank you enough for what you are doing! I do have one last question, when i file the appeal can i use the advocate program that Michigan offers since the claim is from Michigan and I have moved to south Carolina? Thanks again!


raye 7 years ago

i have been drawing benefits for 8 mths, i just had a hearing today, i guess the company appealed, but it was over wheather i was fired for misconduct or quit with good cause. I was never told i was fired, nor did i quit, i went on maternity leave, and when i returned the compnay i worked for did not have a spot for me to work, there schedule was full. so i would go in several times a weeka and call asking if they had any call offs ect. i was told no and that when something was avialable they would call me. back when i filed for ui i had my mangaer write me a letter saying that i had been coming in requesting work, and that he did not have the hours. i kept calling him for about 4 mths, where i finally kinda gave up, after being told over and over no hours yet. had hearing today, i submitted the letter. would this be considered being fired, or quitting, and i was originally approved for qutting for good cause they stated i was continuting my employment on an as needed basis. I am now worried, that i am going to be denied, and have to pay back what i have colledcted. the hearing was via phone, and was very informal, the judge accidentally hung up on me mid way, and i had to call to get back on the call, when i chimed in, i heard the employer talking to the judge, and then when it was announced i was on he shut up. he told her during the hearing i was an excellant worker, but they have had work available. he was the owner of the compnay. and asked me if i had called and he asked several peoples names, but they are managers of other stores that he owns, that i have never worked at. i had only worked at the one store. and have been there for years, until i went on maternity leave.

So being i never told anyone i quit, and let it be known, that i made sure they had my contact information, and that i was in there all the time looking to be put to work how can she make a ruling, what burden of proof did the employer have.

was he to prove that there was work avialable? or will she just listen to him saying there has always been work, I even had that statment frmo my manager saying he didnt have the hrs. To me i think if there was work, then i would be working. But the owner was very rude on the call, he even started bringin up the fact that i was going to school to make a career change, i worked in a resturant, and WAS going to school, but when i found out i didnt have a place to work, i had to quit, couldnt afford it. Is 4 mths suffienct enough to be requesting work from them, i chalked it up like they didnt want me, cause i did everything to try and put me on the schedule.

Another issue that came up was because my husband was a district for the company. I guess he was trying to bring up that he should have made sure they put me on. But work is work, my husband is not responsible for my employment, i am on my own, grnated he did tell them as soon as somehting came open to put me on, but i think maybe because he was their distirct, it intimidated them to no want me working for them.

i just dont know how this is going to go. And i really cant afford to pay anything back if its reversed. The owner did make a statemnt that he never called me for work. but he was trying to make it a point that i didnt call the other stores he owned, but i had never worked at them before.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Richard, to FILE an appeal all you need to do is follow the instructions on the back of the agency's redetermination. One sentence will do it--"I disagree with this redetermination and hereby request a hearing before an administrative law judge" or words to that effect. After filing your appeal you should receive a "Notice of Hearing" stating the date, time and place for the ALJ hearing and the issues on which he will rule. Also, you should receive a list of advocates' names and phone numbers and a description of Advocacy Program procedures. It will be to your advantage to sign up an advocate. He or she can help you arrange for a telephone hearing. Good luck!+

Raye, it sounds to me like you have a good case. The law does not require you to keep calling your former employer. It does require that you be "available and seeking employment."


Pam 7 years ago

Ralph, my husband has been drawing unemployment and is on his last 2 weeks of the EUC. A couple a weeks ago, on one of his checks was written that an EB application would be mailed out seperatly. He still has not received one, should he be concerned? We have not been able to get thru to anyone to get any info. I also want to tell you what a great service this hub page is and it is wonderful that you share your time and knowledge with everyone. I have been reading this page faithfully for about 6mos. You give people much needed info during very trying times. THANK YOU and KEEP IT UP!!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

I don't have any particular knowledge of what's going on with the Extended Benefit applications. However, if it doesn't come soon it might be a good idea to go to the nearest Problem Resolution Offices or Michigan Works! offices and talk to someone face-to-face. Thanks for the comment. Good luck!


Linda 7 years ago

Ralph - I am trying to help a friend and would appreciate your insights. She was suspended with full pay in June 2008, for what her Employer asserted was misconduct. My friend's union, however, filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board, and the NLRB issued a formal complaint alleging that the suspension was, in fact, in retaliation for my friend's union activity, and therefore illegal. A trial before the NLRB was scheduled. My friend continued to be paid during the suspension, until late October 2008, when her Employer fired her for the same incident that underlay the June suspension. The NLRB alleged the discharge, too, as illegal, and added it to the pending trial. Once fired in October 2008, my friend was no longer receiving any pay. The NLRB case is now settling, and under the settlement agreement: (a) my friend will receive backpay for the period from the October discharge to March 1, 2009; (b) she waives her right to reinstatement (legally different from a quit); and (c) the suspension and discharge must be expunged from the Employer's records. FIRST QUESTION - My friend would like to apply for UI for the period beginning March 1, 2009. How should she characterize the nature of her separation? It wasn't a voluntary quit. It wasn't a layoff for lack of work. It was a discharge, but certainly (from her perspective) not for cause, and what's more, the very "discharge" record is to be expunged. What box does she check on the UI form? SECOND QUESTION (and I hope you're still awake) - Back in March 2008, months before the June suspension, my friend's full-time hours were severely cut and she filed for UI underemployment. Then, as noted above, she was suspended in June. Bizarrely, the Employer restored her full-time hours to her when it paid her during her disciplinary suspension. (Go figure.) My friend dutifully reported all this to MARVIN. MUIA later issued, on the same day, two apparently conflicting determinations. One ruled her ineligible due to misconduct, and the other ruled her ineligible because her suspension was fully paid. My friend was late in filing for a redetermination, so that's where the matter stood. She is clearly not entitled to UI for the period of her paid suspension from June to October 2008, nor is she entitled to UI for the period covered by her backpay award (October 2008 - March 1, 2009). However, it would seem that she is entitled to UI for the period beginning March 1, 2009. Will her legitimate effort to file now for the period beginning March 1, 2009, be clouded by this earlier complicated pre-history? In particular, is she going to have to face questions about disqualifying misconduct again? If so, how can she best navigate through it, especially in view of the fact that the disciplines in question are to be expunged? THIRD QUESTION (and if you're still reading, you have clearly now entered sainthood) - Does the money my friend was paid during her suspension qualify for any earnings rework requirement that may be imposed due to the earlier "misconduct" determination?

Bless you, sir, and thank you.

Linda


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Linda, Your analysis looks good to me. In my opinion your friend should without delay file for benefits. She should tell indicate on the application that she was discharged but was found by the NLRB not to have committed misconduct and paid back pay for the time she was off until her case was settled. She should add a footnote explaining briefly that her dismissal was over-ruled by the NLRB and expunged from her record. Now, it's important to note that the UIA is not necessarily bound by NLRB unfair labor practice rulings. After your friend files the UIA will send a questionnaire to the employer asking about the termination. The employer should provide a truthful explanation and indicate that the dismissal was expunged and should not be considered misconduct. However, if the employer tells the UIA that your friend was discharged and explains the circumstances of the dismissal, the UIA conceivably might try to make an independent judgment on whether the alleged action by your friend constituted misconduce under the unemployment statute. [This is unlikely and would be a mistake in my opinion.]

In view of the fact that your friend's case is not a routine case, she or he might be well advised to go to a "Problem Resolution Office" and talk face-to-face with a human being.

Several court decisions have ruled that back pay awards by the NLRB, by arbitrators and by the EEOC are considered remuneration under the unemployment compensation statute. Therefore, the back pay should, in my opinion, be counted toward any earnings rework requirement in the agency's previous determination or re-determination, but I'm not positive about that. That's another reason to go to a PRO and hope to get somebody who knows the answer. Here's a link to information on PRO's.

Good luck!

http://www.michigan.gov/uia/0,1607,7-118--78925--,...


Shavon 7 years ago

I was denied because it stated the claimant couldn’t establish a benefit year (refer to the reference code) 1, 12:

1:claim denied due to insufficient base period wages.

12: benefits for this benefit year have been redetermined.

I am unemployed due to lack of work. Total wages were 3450.00 and then it states benefit year wages used to calculate benefits 1150.00

Question is should I file the appeal, or will it be wasteful time on my part??? Thank in advance for attention.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

The process used by the UIA for determining how much you must earn in order to qualify for benefits is quite complicated. It is explained on page six of the "green booklet" entitled "Unemployment Benefits in Michigan." The explanation covers 4 methods to qualify for benefits.

The Agency's denial of your benefits is probably correct. However, appealing doesn't cost anything. An appeal would bring about a review of the Agency's redetermination in your case. Sorry I'm not able to provide you with a more definite answer.


Laura2009 7 years ago

Mr. Deeds,

I live in KY. I had my unemployment appeal hearing and was denied benefits. I am getting ready to submit my information to re-appeal the referee's decision.

Overview of my claim: Laid off in August 2008 and began drawing unemployment benefits. Went to work in November 2008 at a new quick serve restaurant that opened, just to get back to work and help bring home some money.

After working at the restaurant for a few days, I experienced intense back and hip pain from a previous injury, not work related. Informed 3 managers of my problem. After working for one week, had to see my doctor. Doctor advised that I would not be able to continue this type of work without accommodation, i.e., stool to sit on. I was basically working as a cashier, running food, stocking supplies.

Informed employer I would have to take additional time off for physical therapy. I offered a doctor's statement, but they said it would not be necessary. They would have to go ahead and replace me immediately.

Appeal referee misconstrued a lot of information I provided; did not take into consideration the "evidence of material" I submitted prior to my appeal hearing. I have obtained a copy of the recorded hearing. Referee is obviously one-sided.

My question is that when I appeal the second time, how should I approach with my information. I have never been through this process and will not hire an attorney unless I absolutely have to. I don't have the money, being unemployed. The State owes me about $4700 in back pay. Please help! Thank you!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

I live in Michigan and my unemployment comp experience is there. If you were in Michigan I would advise you to write a clear, concise appeal letter referencing any portions of the transcript with which you disagree (e.g. page 3, line 4-6) and explaining why you disagree and attach any relevant documents to the appeal letter. Finally, most lawyers know little about unemployment compensation law. If you do decide to get a lawyer, make sure you get one that specializes in unemployment benefit law. Otherwise, in my opinion you would be throwing your money away. There aren't many unemployment compensation lawyers because there isn't enough money involved to make it worth their while. In Michigan, some lawyers will write a UC appeal on a contingency basis, i.e., they charge a percentage fee only if you win your case.


Jamie 7 years ago

I have a side business and am possibly loosing my 9-5 job. Is it still possible for me to get unemployment compensation?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

That will depend on how much you earn from your side business. In order to qualify for unemployment benefits you would be required to report to the Agency every other week and report any earnings and certify that you are unemployed, available for work and seeking work.


Jamie 7 years ago

Thanks for your quick reply!!!

The money I make from the business pretty much just goes back into the business. I don't collect an hourly wage from it.

Would it be better to gift my side business to a family member?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

I'm not in a position to answer that question. Your side business could put a little cloud over your eligibility for UC. One other suggestion, if you are laid off and apply for UC read all the material carefully and comply with all the procedures and regulations. There are many traps which disqualify unwary or careless applicants for benefits. The Agency administers the regulations very strictly. Read the GREEN BOOK carefully and follow the instructions.


jake 7 years ago

I have worked for a construction company for the last year, jus recently the banks will not loan out money to contractors so our work is on hold.i have got paid cash the whole year but when tax season comes i will file a 1099 and pay back everything i owe. Am I eligable to receive unemployment?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

It sounds to me like who ever you worked for may not have paid unemployment compensation taxes on your earnings. This is likely to create a problem with respect to your eligibility. It could also create a problem for your employer if he did not pay Social Security and unemployment compensation taxes.

If your employer did not report earnings and pay taxes on them the Unemployment Agency will not have a record of your earnings on which to determine your eligibility.


Jenny 7 years ago

My boyfriend (Mark)'s claim for benefits was just denied for misconduct. His employer used an automatic points system which did not take reasons for absences or tardiness into consideration; it also included forgetting to punch in or out as a violation.

His violations were for a few absences due to illness (abscessed tooth, he did get doctor's statements in order to remove the points, but they were not all removed) and injury (he had to leave the day after an on the job injury because of the pain); and also due to forgetting to punch in and out (which happened because he would arrive early to set up his area and see what was going on for the day, and would stay late when extra help was needed and he is forgetful). On the day he received his sixth point and automatic termination, our car battery had died. He tried to call, but they have no one in the office until later in the morning. When he had found a ride and was able to get someone on the phone (an hour and a half after work had started), he was told not to bother coming in because the tardiness caused another point and he was fired. His manager also told him to call back in the future and he would try to rehire him because he was considered a good, hard-working employee and he wished he didn't have to let Mark go.

Does this sound like grounds for misconduct? I wrote his request for a redetermination today, explaining this in detail. We can get doctors' statements to back this up, as well as statements from employees about Mark coming in early and staying late. Do you think we have a good chance if the redetermination is denied and we have to appeal? Would statements from coworkers be accepted in an appeal?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Automatic point systems for attendance are not a good basis for establishing misconduct because they don't take into account valid reasons for absence. Absence, per se, is not misconduct. Illness, on-the-job injuries should not be counted against your husband. Car trouble should not either unless it happens several times in which case it would become suspect. Repeated absences without good reasons are required to establish misconduct. One caution, however, if there are a lot of absences some court decisions shift the burden of proof from the employer to the claimant. That is, the claimant must prove that he was not guilty of misconduct by virtue of excessive absences and/or tardinesses without valid excuses.

Yes, your husband should have a good chance in an appeal before an administrative law judge. Statements from co-workers would be considered hearsay and not admitted as evidence in support of your husband's case at the hearing. For them to count the co-worker(s) would have to testify in person at the hearing. Doctors' statements are an exception to the hearsay exclusion. They should be accepted as exhibits supporting your husband's case. Good luck!

Note: My comments are based on my experience in Michigan. They may or may not apply in other states. The laws are similar from state to state, but there are significant differences. Also, even in Michigan attendance point systems are in a bit of a "gray area." All point systems are not the same. Some of them do take into account the reasons for absence and do not award points when there is a reasonable excuse. The worst ones are "automatic" point systems. My personal opinion is that point systems are a poor way to handle attendance issues. Each time an employee is absent or late, he should be given the opportunity to explain why he was late or absent, and only absences for which there is no reasonable excuse should be counted against him. And good cause for dismissal exists only after repeated, frequent absences without reasonable cause and repeated warnings for them. The courts have not clearly ruled point systems out as a basis for establishing misconduct. Their validity may depend on the specifics of the system and whether it is applied reasonably in the opinion of the judge.


Jenny 7 years ago

Thank you, I appreciate your advice. Hopefully if we have to appeal, we can bring the witnesses in to testify.

Thanks again!


Clif 7 years ago

I was fired for theft and ordered restitution. After paying my restitution, am I still eligible for benefits? I was not prosecuted.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

On page 11 of the green book "Unemployment Benefits in Michigan" you will find the following:

"If you are disqualified for any of these reasons (one of which is theft), you will be required to serve a 26-week requalification period before you can receive benefits. You will also lose up to 13 weeks of benefits and you will not be entitled to any benefits based on work for the employer involved in that disqualification."


Laurette 7 years ago

Hi, I looked through all of the positngs, but saw nothing like my situation. My bank account was cleaned out today ($40) due to a judgement by the court saying I owed a particular amount to a credit card company. This is true, but they wanted $100 a month and I could only afford $20 (and I really couldn't even afford that). I have been paying the $20, but they told me it was not "an agreed upon amount". Well, they refuse to close the account, so I owe more than that in late charges alone per month. My question is can my unemployment check be garnished by law? And if so, isn't there some kind of percentage only allowed? Because I never though of applying for underemployment last year when I made almost half of what I made every year for the last 10 years, the amount I'm approved for is very minimal (about $100 per week) since last year was so poor. Are you able to help with this question? As it is now, I have a check for $30 that has not cleared yet, so there was really only about $10 in the account, Of course now I'm waiting for that check to post and be charged $35 for an overdraft...Thanks so much, Laurette


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Unemployment compensation is not subject to garnishment in Michigan. To avoid complications it might be a good idea to deposit your unemployment compensation benefits in another bank account. Here's a link to the Michigan Legal Aid site on garnishments

http://www.legalaidwestmich.org/resource.2005-07-0...

Good luck.


Mary Jo 7 years ago

Yes, I'm in the process of appealing my umemployment insurance claim. However, I'm outside of the guidelines with respect to the 30-day rule to file an appeal. I received my original determination letter 1/27/09 and appealed effectively March 12, 2009. My question is, are there any exceptions available to me if I did file my appeal after the 30-day rule? Please advise


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

The agency and judges are pretty strict about the 30-day time limit for appeals. Here's what the rule says:

R 421.270 Good cause for reconsideration and reopening.

Rule (270).(1) In determining if good cause exists under sections 32a, 33, and 34 of the act, after the 30-day protest or appeal period has expired, for reconsideration of any prior determination or redetermination or for reopining and review, good cause shall include, but not limited to, any of the following situations:

9a) if an interested party has newly discovered material facts which , through no fault of the party, were not available to the party at the time of the determination, redetermination, order or decision. However a request for reconsideration of a determination or redeterminatin or for reopening a decision or order made after the expiration of the statutory 30-day period solely for the purpose of evading or avoiding such statutory period is not for good cause.

(b) If the agency has additional or corrected information.

(c) If an administrative clerical error is dscovered in conection with a determination, redetermination, order, or decision.

(d) If an interested party has a legitimate inability to act sooner. [i.e., serious illness, death in the family or similar reasons]

(e) If an interested party fails to receive a reasonable and timely notice, order, or decision.

(f) If an interested party is prevented from acting sooner due to an untimely delivery of a protest, appeal or agency document by a business or governmental agancy entrusted with delivery of mail.

(g) If an interested party has been misled by incorrect informaton from the agency, the office of appeals, or the board of review.

(2) If, before the start of an ititial hearing before the office of appeals, the agency receives new, additional, or corrected information or discovers an administrative clerical error in the claim, the matter may be returned to the agency for reconsideration and redetermination.


Christine 7 years ago

Help! My employer (a car dealership) discharged me on 12/31/2008 due to lack of work, I collected 6 weeks of benefits, then received a letter stating that I was disqualified because I voluntarily quit. What? I have a separation letter stating that I was discharged due to lack of work. I was let go with several other employees. I provided this proof to UIA and was they still decided against me. The employer stated to them that I voluntarily quit because of a reduction in hours. I worked reduced hours for nearly a month then they let me go. It's not really a he said she said case because my separation letter states I was discharged due to lack of work even though there is a section for quit. They provided copies of my time card to UIA as proof that I worked reduced hours in the past and found that evidence enough to disqualify me inspite of my separation letter. I have filed in a timely fasion for a redetermination, but what are my chances. Its a shady car dealer what if they get lacky employees to testify against me. I was a closed door meeting between myself and two supervisors when I was let go and they are the ones who signed the separation letter stating I was being discharged due to lack of work. I really would appreciate any advice or opinion on my claim, as I have been without an income of any sort for 4 weeks now. I need something that could put my mind at ease.

Thanks so much,

Chrisine

Dearborn Heights, MI


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

It sounds to me as if you should be okay. If the redetermination goes against you, appeal and take your case to an administrative law judge hearning. And get an advocate to represent you at the hearing. I think you should be okay. If you think of it, please let us know how your situation develops. TNX.


Christine 7 years ago

Thanks, and I will let you know.


Pam 7 years ago

Hi Ralph, I was just recently laid off from a 16 year job. I have a few questions that I hope you can answer. 1st- I have been given a 7 month severence package paid over the 7 months (not a lump sum). Do I apply for unemployment when my severence runs out, or do I apply now? My thought is I apply after my severence runs out. 2nd-I am thinking about getting a part time job just to get some extra money while I am on severence, will that disqualify me from unemployment after my 7month severence runs out? and 3rd-I was thinking about going back to school with the "No worker left behind" act-doesn't that disqualify people from unemployment??

Sorry I just have been having these questions running through my head and I am sure others probably have also had the same questions.

Thanks for all you knowledge and sharing it!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

1. Depending on the amounts your severance payments will disqualify you. You should apply for benefits just before the payments stop.

2. You can earn as much as you can while you are receiving severance payments without affecting your eligibility for unemployment benefits.

3. There are procedures for applying for advance approval of school courses from the Unemployment Insurance Agency which allows you to go to school without losing your eligibility. You can probably find out about the procedures on the UIA website or by calling the agency. If I get a chance I'll look it up and post something here.


Jan 7 years ago

If you are currently receiving unemployment, working less than full time and reporting earnings to Marvin, but are thinking of looking for a higher paying position and then quitting your present job, how will that affect your unemployment benefit if you find another part time position?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

I wasn't able to find a case or regulation covering this situation, but I don't believe quitting your current part time job to accept another higher-paying part time job would affect your eligibility. It would probably affect the amount of your benefit. Section 29(5) provides that an individual who leaves work to accept permanent full-time work with another employer and performs services for that employer is not disqualified.

I didn't find a comparable provision covering part-time work, but it would make sense, in my opinion, to apply the same treatment. Bottom line, I'm unable to provide a definitive answer to your question.


Pam 7 years ago

Thanks so much Ralph!! I will keep checking back to see if the other info is posted!!


john 7 years ago

i was fired from my job because i preformed a plumbing job when i wasnt employed by my company. i worked part of 2007 for the company and quite due to lack of work. never applied for unemployement. then the company rehired me in 2008. in 2008 my boss found out i did plumbing work during 2007 when i didnt work for him, but he fired me for it. now after collecting unemployment for 6 months they tell me im disqualified for deliberate disregard of the employer. how is that when i didnt work for the company at the time i did the job? also what do i need to do to not have to pay back over $7,00.00 in benefits when i dont have a job nor any money.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

You shouldn't have a problem if you can show that you weren't working for your former employer at the time you did the job and that you weren't covered by a "no compete" policy or agreement. It would be helpful if the person you did the job for was not a customer of your former employer. The burden is on your former employer to prove misconduct, i.e., wanton or willful disregard of your employher's interest.


Christine 7 years ago

Hi Mr. Deeds, I wrote you last week regarding the car dealership claiming that I voluntarily quit. Who has the burden of proof in this case. They state that I quit, I was let go due to lack of work. Does the UIA or Administrative Law judge have ways of knowing how many claims have been filed against this employer in close proximity to my claim, as it was somewhat of a blood bath, or is it up to me to investigate these things, if so is this public record, can I asked that this be looked at? It seems to me that they may be pulling this on most or all of us. What points should I stress, is my separation letter proof enough? By the time I get my redetermination, even if its in my favor I will have lost my car and perhaps home. Employees are penalized for fraud, are there any consequences or penalties for employer fraud?

Thanks again

Christine


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Hi Christine, The employer has the burden of proving that you quit either by a resignation signed by you or by testifying more convincingly than you before the judge. Car dealers are just about the worst employers in Michigan who try to beat their former employees out of eligibility for unemployment compensation. Most of the judges know this and scrutinize car dealer cases pretty carefully. The UIA has records of how many cases have been filed against a particular employer, but I don't think they would be available to you or to the judge for that matter. If the agency delays in issuing your redetermination Keep calling them and call your state representative in Lansing. If you could get him or her to make a phone call or write a letter it might speed things up.

I've never heard of an employer penalized for fraud involving a UC claim. To be fair fraud cases against claimants are not common either. However, plenty of employers are penalized for scams to avoid paying their UC taxes.

Good luck with your case. If you think of it, please let us know how your case turns out and whether my advice was any good. It would be interesting to know what your employer could say in an ALJ hearing about the separation letter indicating you were laid off.


Marie 7 years ago

My father has become dependant due to serious illness and I dont believe I qualify for an FMLA. If I needed to quit my job to take care of him would I qualify???? Please help


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

The rule is that you are not eligible if you quit unless you quit for good cause ATTRIBUTABLE TO YOUR EMPLOYER. You may well have good reason to quit, but the reason is not attributable to your employer. There are exceptions, but I don't believe that any of them apply in your case.


Victoria - In Michigan 7 years ago

Ralph,

My husband got laid off from his full time employer and was told he can claim unelpmloyment. So he did and has to call MARVIN soon. I was wondering if he needs to claim his Army National Guard pay (he gets a small paycheck once a month from the reserves)?

Thank you.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Yes, he does if it is pay he earns by attending monthly meetings.


joe 7 years ago

I collect unemployment. I am attending school now full time.


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