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Can I still appeal a determination denying unemployment after serving the disqualification to get the weeks I wasn't paid?

by Beth
(Foley, AL)

I was denied the 1st 6 weeks of my unemployment benefits due to misconduct. The employer is saying that I didn't call in to work (on days I was sick) according to the employee handbook. the way....was given to me to sign on my first day, then taken back and put in my file. I didn't receive a copy. He told them that I'm supposed to report off from work by 7 am. My argument is that when I called between 6:30 and 7a.m. nobody was ever there to answer the phone. The secretary arrives for work at 8 a.m. and I usually called back then to report off when I couldn't get an answer earlier. They do not have an answering machine or anything like that. I worked there over 3 years and was never told that I wasn't following company policy.

I got sick and had to be out of work for a week. I called each day and reported off to the secretary after 8 a.m. because I didn't get any answer before 7 a.m. On the last day I called in, he wasn't going to be there until around 10 a.m. and he told the secretary to have me call him back then. I was asleep, and at 10:30, he called me, and informed me that he had terminated my job for my absences for the year.

I filed for unemployment, and after 6 weeks, they called me and asked a few questions. They told me what he was saying about me not calling in to work on time, and asked about my absences. The next week I got a letter saying they were not going to pay my benefits
for the first 6 weeks of my unemployment because of micconduct. However I am receiving benefits now for each week after the first 6 weeks I was off.

My question is....Should I appeal the decision of misconduct, and try to get paid for those 6 weeks, or will I be risking losing all of my benefits that I am receiving now?

I will appreciate any advice you may give me.....Thanks

Hi Beth,

Absolutely!! The letter or "determination that said you were disqualified for six weeks may be appealed as long as the deadline for doing so has not passed.

Information about how to file an unemployment appeal in Alabama can be found here.

Alabama code says this about the time you have to appeal:

(d) Finality of determinations and notice of payment.

(1) Unless any party to whom notice of determination is required to be given shall, within seven calendar days after delivery of such notice or within 15 calendar days after such notice was mailed to his last known address, file an appeal from such decision, such decision shall be deemed final.

It's doubtful you'll be risking what you are now receiving because you have already served the disqualification. The hearing officer would have to find that your actions were worse than what the claims representative thought they were. You were sharp to ask the question because a hearing officer can reverse or "amend" an initial determination.

It was a great question...

I might suggest that if provide some medical documentation, just to add some weight to your reason for being out.

You seem to have a good grasp of your argument as to why it shouldn't be considered

I wish you luck.

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