Ive been waiting almost 90 days for a decision from the Unemployment Appeals Commission, is this normal?
by Tina Marie Finn
(Jensen Beach, Florida)
I wrote to you a while ago, this is how my case stands now
I was fired for misconduct. First they stated I called a competitor - the phone call was 1 minute 27 seconds, I needed their address for something posted on our website. I had called other competitors in the past, other employee have also and were have never been reprimanded. But I was denied my unemployment for going against company policy.
I hired an attorney for my hearing. She was worthless. I paid her $300.00 dollars and she did nothing Also her phone was disconnected during the hearing and my testimony. She never asked any question or stated anything to the referee to dispute what my employer was saying.
During the hearing my employer lied, stating I was fired for being late and absent. I wasnt fired for that, they lied throughout the entire hearing. I have documentation from them stating why I was fired, it stated calling a competitor and being unprofessional. The referee stated that he believed my employer.
I filed an appeal, I worked for a online trade publication. I caught them publishing fraudulent projects. I brought it to my supervisors attention and they asked me to take the projects out of the publication stating I entered them by mistake I refused. I was called into the owners office, he screamed at me, then they moved my desk that I had sat in for 2 1/2 years next to the door. This was Thursday August 6, 2009 I moved and went back to work, I was not fired that day.
I was fired the following Monday, thats when they said I called a competitor. My phone records showed the 1 minute phone call.
I filed an appeal with the unemployment commission.. I provided my time sheets, doctors notes, employee manual showing that I wasnt fired for tardiness or absentism., I also sent copies of the department I worked in and also the fraudulent projects which were entered by another person in a different department. I also had to miss work because I am a witness for the State of
Florida for a crime against an elderly woman and I provided the subpeona's when I went to court. Usually they don't admit evidence not provided at the hearing, but how would I have known that they would change their story and the reason for me being fired during the hearing. My employer lied under oath. I received a letter stating they received my documents (20 pages) and they were attaching them to my file. I also received a Notice of Docketing.
This is a whistleblower case, but right now I just need my unemployment. I am going back to school and looking for a job. But my problem is I filed on November 16th and have not heard anything yet how long do they have to make a decision?
I remember you. I also remember that you came back an updated me on your unsuccessful hearing and the fact that you had a crappy lawyer and that the lawyer was disconnected during the hearing. I also remember, I think, that I asked in my comment who filed the appeal to the board .. because I though the fact that the hearing officer concluded the hearing and issued a decision when your attorney was disconnect a little .. shall we say, procedurally incorrect .. should have been continued.
300 bucks will serve as a cheap lesson .. considering that a competent attorney will probably charge upwards of $1500.
But I haven't forgotten your question .. yes 3 months is way to long for them to make a decision .. I suppose the excuse is that they are inundated with appeals from other people who have been treated such as you at what is supposed to be a fair and impartial hearing.
Call the Florida inspector general's office
I've had several people let me know that this was the only way they got any action from the FL UI Dept.
I'd appreciate it if you'd let me know what happens .. because it's not just you Tina .. It's a whole lot of Florida's unemployed citizens that are experiencing this completely unacceptable tortoise like process right now.