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My employer agreed not to fight my unemployment so why did the claim go to an adjudicator?

by Chris -

This a common question a claimant may have, but it usually comes up right before they are denied unemployment benefits and have to decide whether to appeal .. or not appeal a denial of unemployment benefits.

My employer agreed not to fight my unemployment so why did the claim go to an adjudicator?

So .. here's my answer and it's a matter of when the semantics matter.

Responding to a notice of claim filed with a bare minimum of information about the reason for separation from a job, is in some states, an actual requirement for an employer.

And furthermore, responding .. is not the same as fighting, or appealing .. everyone would like to win right out of the gate and avoid an unemployment appeal hearing to defend a position .. if they can, including employers.

Yes you can be denied unemployment benefits before an employer ever has to actually fight your claim.

So, let's look at a scenario when the employer might promise (usally.. verbally) not to fight your unemployment claims.

The employer's business is suffering and they need to reduce the amount of human resources they employ, but instead of going straight to a mass layoff, they opt for some self-inflicted employee attrition.

They might begin with some changes to quotas, hours, or even pay reductions, but in any case, they begin to look for "performance issues" .. often from the oldest (frequently the highest paid .. down.

You end up being a target when you receive your first performance improvement plan (PIP) whether justified, or not.

But the department budget has to be cut before the date you're given to improve to what may be some pretty unreasonable new employer performance expectations.

You're called into your boss's office and told he/she has no choice and that the order from on high
has come down to let you go now.

But he/she feels so bad about it they are willing to let you quit in lieu of being terminated and if you write a resignation letter now, that will make you eligible for rehire when business starts to pick up again.

They might even go so far as to promise your unemployment claim won't be fought if you resign.

Desperate, you give them what they ask for .. because you now think you're safe on the unemployment benefit front.

But, let's look at the facts about what just happened and how you can be made to look at fault.

There's a PIP conveniently tucked away in your personnel file with a date you were supposed to improve by. It likely doesn't have any real counter-documentation from you on it explaining specifically why, or how the performance expectations had changed just recently.

In addition, tucked away with the PIP is a resignation letter that sounds grateful for the opportunities you were given by your employer with a date earlier than the date on the PIP.

Or, there's no resignation letter at all.

Now here's the question you should want to answer.

How will you respond to the adjudicator questions.

What could the questions be based on, except your version of the story you gave when you filed the claim and the employer's response to the notice a claim had been filed.

It might be as simple as .. the claimant voluntarily quit for personal reasons unknown to the employer. Continuing work was available.

Or, it could be the employer would never willingly admit you quit in lieu of discharge, but some how remember it as ..

The claimant voluntarily quit in anticipation of being discharged when opportunity to preserve and continue in the employment still existed.

Chris -

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