What are my chances of winning a UC appeal, and can I sue in civil court for lost wages?

A sole practice attorney hired me to be her paralegal/administrative assistant and asked me to start by assisting her on two evenings the week prior to starting full-time days. On my first evening, I saw evidence that someone else was doing the work when she supposedly had nobody to assist her. She did not have me complete payroll forms, and I asked her how I would be compensated for the first two evenings. She said she was going to pay me, so the next day I completed my W-4 and I-9 on the Internet and provided printed and signed copies on evening number two. She put them aside when I gave them to her. Also, on the second evening, she refused to sign a letter of employment that she agreed to provide me so I could use it as proof of employment for my mortgage lender because I was in the process of applying for a refinance. She lost her temper and began yelling at me saying she did not appreciate me taking it upon myself to prepare forms and letters without her asking me to do so. She does not type or use a computer, and I asked why she was reluctant to sign a basic letter that she agreed to provide? I also said it is not a contract. She continued ranting and raving and asked me, "Who was the lawyer here, me or you?" I said I was just trying to be proactive and basically doing my job, and she created a very uncomfortable situation for me by continuing with her temper tantrum. I stood up and reminded her that I quit a good job to come and work for her, and I can't believe you are treating me this way. I asked if there is something going on that she's not telling me. She said, "You come from big firms and big companies, and I am a small office and don't work that way." I said it doesn't matter if you're big or small, the forms are a requirement and the letter is just stating my date of hire and rate of pay. She then motioned me out and escorted me to the door and slammed it behind me. She never contacted me again. As a note of interest, when she hired me, she had asked me if I like her, and if there was anything I would not tolerate from an employer. I said that I liked her or I would not have come for a second interview. I also said that I would not tolerate being yelled at or disrespected. She said that would never happen, and then this happened!?

I filed for unemployment compensation on the following Monday, which is the day I was supposed to start full-time, and I cited a dispute. This was a very stressful situation, and I can only imagine how it would have been going forward if I made a mistake or who knows what else would make her fly off the handle. I received a check in the mail from her three days later (payment for those two evenings). I was denied UC because she said I quit voluntarily. I filed an appeal, and she hired an attorney to represent her at the appeal. I am now trying to find an employment lawyer to represent me at the appeal.

0 answers  |  asked Oct 23, 2016 10:03 AM [EST]  |  applies to Pennsylvania

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