Appeal hearing- do I even have a shot?
I quit my job at the end of October 2009. I had been working there since March, but at the end of September a new owner had taken over. Many people quit during the change, and a few people were fired shortly after for various reasons, such as wearing their headset improperly, with no previous warnings.
In my last month at the job, I had been noticing several notices placed around the store, particularly in the break area. These messages in my opinion were very hostile. Two examples are, "If you can't do your job right the first time you won't get a second chance" and "If anybody doesn't like it here, don't let the door hit you on the way out." There were several more, but it has been a while. I had pictures on my cell phone for a couple of months, but a while after I left I figured I wouldn't really need them for anything so I no longer have them.
I ended up quitting from a combination of low weekly hours and stress from school, but also from the hostile environment and a fear I would be the next to be fired. I had been on unemployment already and it was supplementing my income. When I quit I had not realized it was something I needed to report. My benefits ended a month later and I did not think to reapply until April. That is when I found out I had made the mistake in October of not notifying the EDD of my quitting. They had to investigate and speak to both me and my former employer and eventually ruled in my favor that I had good cause to quit and then I started receiving benefits.
Now I find out I am due in court in 2 weeks because my former employer appealed the EDD's decision. I have absolutely no documentation of these signs nor I am in contact with any of my former coworkers. I received a copy of a letter my former employers sent the EDD in their appeal, and their story doesn't match any of the circumstances surrounding my quitting. They state I wanted time off for a wedding but that I
was scheduled that day, so I came in just before my shift to say that I was too sick to work, and that I did not bother to find a replacement, so I ended up quitting the following day. I wasn't sick, there was no wedding, and I don't even recall being scheduled the day before I quit.
I apologize for the lengthy story but I am completely at a loss as to what to do. Looking back of course I wish I had documented. But now it's too late. Do I just go in and explain my side the same way I did with the EDD phone interview? If I lose, do I prepare myself to not only pay back the money I received on my previous claim, but the money I have been receiving since April?
Yes, Yes and you prepare to pay back the benefits you received from the date you quit .. if you lose.
In the absence of documentation .. it is always he said/she said or any combination of that term.
What it means is that the judge will have to render a decision based on their perception of who is telling the truth .. or as written in decisions .. the party that is more "credible" or "persuasive".
Too bad about the pictures.
Given exactly what you have told me .. I assume you have a shot, after all, I'm surprised you received benefits after the phone interview .. because it sounds like a quit in anticipation of discharge .. which was unsupported by any documentation or proof .. which leads me to believe you are "verbally persuasive".
So, did you get the claim department file? You know anything at all the employer submitted and the claims adjudicator notes?
You can also go to the appeal office prior to the date of the hearing and get a copy of the file as soon as the claims department transfers it.
And you do realize that if it is an in person hearing .. document may be submitted at the time of the hearing .. if something catches you off guard that you are not prepared for .. put a request for continuance on the record.