Employer is appealing the initial determination that I was discharged without just cause, What now?

I was laid off from a job that I had worked 8+ years on 2/28. Since I had been warned of the layoff I was able to secure a new job that began in March. The description I was given of the job duties changed upon beginning the work however I stepped up to the challenge and was able to perform these duties without training. I was told I was doing a great job and that it would take approx. a year to truly learn the duties of the position. It is important to note that I never received a performance evaluation and I was never given a warning or even advised that I was doing anything wrong. After 18 weeks I was told "its just not working out" and asked to leave. I was not given any other reason at that time. I applied for unemployment benefits. I filled out a questionaire that detailed my experiences working at this 2nd job. The result was this: .
I was laid off from the 1st job and eligible for benefits from them. For the 2nd job the result was:
"Facts in this specific case establish that the employer required standards for the claimant's position which were different from general industry standards for such a position. The employer did not give the claimant a reasonable period of time to learn and comply with the special standards. Ohio's legal standard that determines if a discharge is without just cause is whether the claimant's acts, omissions, or course of conduct were such that an ordinary person would find the discharge not justifiable. After a review of the facts, this agency finds that the claimant was discharged without just cause".

Now my employer from the 2nd job has requested an appeal. His statement contains a series of lies and accusations about my performance. The things he has mentioned in his statement were never discussed with me while working there and I was shocked to read what he had written. I sent in my response addressing each of these issues.

My question is: What happens now? Will this go to a hearing? Should I consult legal counsel? I am worried that my 2nd employer will continue to make up lies about me to his advantage.

I also want to add that I was not given any notification in regards to COBRA... Is this something that I would be eligible for?

1 answer  |  asked Aug 21, 2009 08:29 AM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (1)

Neil Rubin
I am going to answer this question but be ready for a rant.

Yes, you should consult counsel. I currently have a case with relatively the same facts but has gone further to the absolute devastation to my client.

In my client's case, he decided to represent himself. He was granted compensation and the employer asked for a "reconsideration" (the same stage you are now in). He won at the "reconsideration" stage and continued to collect unemployment.

The employer then appealled and the case was transfered to the Unemployment Compensation Review Commission where a Hearing Officer had a TELEPHONE hearing. My client, feeling pretty good, represented himself at the telephone hearing and got completely skewered by opposing counsel with the Hearing Officer allowing it. He lost and is now required to pay back the $13,000 he already received to feed and clothe his family.

Then the client, said "hmmm, maybe I should get a lawyer to get me out of this mess" and hired me. I tried to get an extension to appeal so I could get the transcript of the hearing but it was denied.

The next step is that we appealed the administrative process where the case goes to a County Court of Common Pleas for hearings and briefings-all the while the interest accruing on the $13,000 that the client allegedly owes back to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. (Because of technical problems the case has been going on for nearly two years!)

During the running of this case, client has lost another job but can not collect any further unemployment because of the $13,000 he already owes. Further, his Ohio income tax refund has been withheld and all succeeding refunds will be used as an offset to the $13,000.

(We are currently waiting for the Court's decision and Client will probably lose because the burden to reverse such a decision by an Administrative Hearing Officer is very high.)

Oh, yeah, he is paying me too. Not nearly enough for the problems of the case but he is paying me.

So the upshot of all of this is that the law is not so kind to employees and if you try to get out on the cheap you may get burned big time. GET A LAWYER WHO KNOWS WHAT HE OR SHE IS DOING!

All lawyers don't all act like those people on TV. We are reasonable folks who help and we are not that expensive when you consider what can happen to you in the end. ("You can pay me now or you can pay me later.")

Look, if you cracked a molar, in great pain and didn't have dental insurance you wouldn't perform your own dental work would you? Somewhere, somehow you would find the money to get to the dentist to fix the problem. GET SOME HELP.

Rant terminated.

posted by Neil Rubin  |  Aug 22, 2009 07:05 AM [EST]

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