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My husband was fired but his employer claims he quit

by Karin

My husband was fired for taking vacation that had been approved since 6 months back. A week before the vacation was going into effect, his boss told my husband that he couldn't take the vacation. Flight tickets and lodging had already been purchased, so my husband told his boss that he couldn't change the vacation time. When my husband refused to change the pre-approved vacation time his boss called him to let him know that "then his services are no longer required". My husband was on speaker phone at the time, so his father heard the firing.

However, as his boss tried to look good to the corporate office by saving money he claimed that my husband had willfully quit. This is obviously a lie.

As the company had previously never required written vacation approvals, the approval was verbal (with several witnesses) and written into the large wall board vacation calendar. My husband took a picture of the calendar + provided various additional evidence, except a written approval form as it had not been requested in spite of the new company employee handbook listing such forms.

When my husband filed an appeal, the unemployment office representative refused to look at the evidence my husband provided and claimed that he is not eligible to collect unemployment. The crux is that he had already collected $18,000 worth of unemployment before his appeal was denied. Previously, repayment of overpayment, in the state of New Jersey, has only been required when fraud was involved. As no fraud is involved, will he still be required to pay back what the unemployment office considers
to be "overpayment"? If so, he needs a lawyer, but if repayment is not required, he will probably not enlist a lawyer.

Please advise.

Overpayments can also be of the non-fraud variety, which may allow for a wavier of repayment. However, if your husband was denied on appeal at a hearing by a NJ "examiner" and the separation was found to be a quit, not a discharge I can hardly believe the overpayment is being considered non-fraud.

What I can do for you is show you the USDOL's chart hitting the high points for the recovery provisions of unemployment overpayments for each state.

There's three pertinent chart to look at and the consequences are made fairly clear.

The non-fraud wavier chart is 6-1

Non-fraud recovery provisions 6-2

Fraud recovery provisions 6-3

And of course, if you decide you need a NJ attorney to possibly appeal the hearing examiners decision (to get a vacated decision and rehearing maybe) and/or the overpayment determination ..

I can put you in contact with a NJ attorney (required if you're a NJ claimant).

What struck me about your story Karin was whether it was a claims rep that issued a redetermination of benefits stopping benefits, or an appeal examiner after your husband appealed that redeterm. it's the refusal to even look at or allow into the record the "proof". That may be good cause for a board appeal if the proof was relevant to any of the issues involved, including whether it was a quit or discharge since that was the controversy between the ER and EE stories told to the UI dept.


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