About Me aka Chris - Unemployment-Tips.com

So, what could be at the bottom of some comments that think it's my attitude that is bad .. for at least trying to explain how unemployment benefits really work?

Well, it's my personal experience .. of course.

In 2006, I suddenly found myself laid off from my job as an unemployment hearing coordinator.  I was told it was due to the need to reduce the number of employees in the department I worked in (appellate dept.) at an unemployment claims management company.  

I can't say my heart was broken to be out of a job, but I can say I was relieved of the burden I often felt of having to help those clients I thought to be morally, or socially accountable for with the methods used to reduce the liability of paying unemployment benefits.

I would count my own employer among the type that irks me, as it was while I was on an approved family medical leave, I not only learned about my impending layoff, but of the typical funky business, a person who quits due to health reasons can be denied benefits.

When I checked the return to work date on the FMLA leave paperwork the comp management company had sent me, I noticed the  RTW (return to work) had been altered from that provided by my doctor.

Yet, I wasn't scared, but prepared to preemptively deal with the common tactic that could of made it look as if I voluntarily quit my job if  I failed to return to work on the intentional erroneous date .. if I did nothing to document my efforts to nip the tactic in the bud while I still had a job .. even if on leave.

After years of being a UI hearing coordinator I knew it was a tactic commonly used to literally NOT legally return employees to the job FMLA protects for up to twelve weeks each year.

But my job also had the affect of turning me into a compulsive documenter, just in case I needed to prove my efforts to weight facts in my favor, should an unemployment appeal hearing be necessary .. for the employer.

So, If you think my bad attitude came from losing my job, or being unemployed that turned me into a bleeding heart for just any unemployed person you'd be wrong.  

Rather, it was the job experience that taught me to distinguish between the natures of employer appeal arguments.  And those basically come in three flavors .. just like employee appeals.  

Right, wrong and indifferent to anything, but how to win based on merits.

There is a potential opportunity for two valid arguments based on merits and still being capable of being connected to how UI law has been interpreted to work in given situations.  

And one of those valid argument is all about why the employee shouldn't be held at fault for the loss of their own job per the intent of law.

Even if someone might attempt to wrongly influence the outcome of an unemployment hearing  in favor of either side, or maybe for the benefit of the state itself.

Recalled to Suitable Work as a Temp Employee

After thirty-five years of being a spoiled middle class person and expecting things like fringe health insurance benefits in addition to what I was paid as a permanent, loyal, and dedicated full-time employee, I was then given little choice, but to return to my last job as the same hearing coordinator I had been before my position was eliminated.

I would now be a benefitless employee of a temp agency that just so happened to be in kahoots (joint venturing) with my former cost control employer and although resentful of being a line item of some spreadsheet somewhere ..

But, even that knowledge couldn't extinguish the thing in me that looks at any job as something that gives me a strong sense of purpose in my life and an opportunity to excel to do what I expect of myself .. the best I am humanly capable of for not just an employer, but my own sense of self worth for my family.

I knew refusing the temporary work offer would mean the end of my benefits for a position elimination because I was aware of something called an "informational letter" sent to an unemployment department to raise an issue for the dept. to investigate a claim for.

I went back to work and everything was the same .. except for the loss of any paid time off, or any fringe health benefits .. and an appreciable increase to the amount of my daily workload

But, I never forgot why I was back.   Had I refused the offer of six months of suitable temp work, benefits would of been suspended while an investigation ensued.   Even if I had it in me to lie when answering the relevant question on a continuing claim form, I'm not a cheat, or a liar and being truthful was the only way forward  for me .. even if I hadn't been aware each time one claims benefits, they do so under penalties of perjury.

By the time I quit that six month temporary assignment with good cause in 2009, it was nearly three years later and  my perspective about being anyone's employee ever again was irreparably cemented.

I now my own employer and I work on behalf of all employees, including those now permanently a part of the new "on demand, temporary workforce".

Unemployment Benefits Tip #1  to me is to realize the first tactic a smart business owner learns to defeat employee caused liabilities such as unemployment benefits is the same for the employee.

If it wasn't documented .. it didn't happen.

If it is documented .. it's called proof with potential to give weight to direct testimony .. whether accurate, or not.



A Former Employee's Opinions About Working At Will

Working in the field of unemployment insurance is what made getting and keeping unemployment benefits pretty much a no brainer, on two separate occasions when the employer pushed back to pass the fault for my unemployment, during the last three years of the thirty eight years I worked as an at will employee.. without to much incident.

Once I figured out the basics of how unemployment benefits worked (took me about eighteen months to think I knew) it was an easy mental leap to realize a different process. Many employers work actively and preemptively during the employment to alter perceptions about fault.

I noticed it happened to even good employees, likely because they felt powerless while employed to counter a management tactic, strategy, or a workplace culture by design, or neglect so they might have even a small chance at prevailing once at the unemployment hearing.

During my formative years, I often heard my dad say .. work smart, not hard.

For me, working hard as an employee was easy, but working smart wound up requiring a change to who I worked for and all thanks to working in the unemployment field, I decided I would find an alternative way to manage the risks of becoming unemployed .. even if it took me the rest of my life .. or choosing to help the less prosperous side of the same damn coin.


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