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Should I appeal my unemployment denial?

by Mike
(Cleveland, OH)

I was discharged from my job due to "lack of sales" in the state of Ohio. I was a sales person for a print company. My sales were poor, there is no question there.

I never had any particular quota though. Normally in sales jobs, you sign a compensation agreement with pay scales and minimum standards. I did not sign or ever get anything like that. My first line of defense would probably be that if there is no established quota, then how could we judge my performance?

My lack of sales, in my opinion, were due to over priced products, sub-par quality, and horrible customer service. But I can't really prove any of this. The company's sales overall have gone down in the past 3 years, steadily, each year. I would bet that within a year, they'll be out of business. It's so poorly mismanaged.

I was also never given any written warnings that I signed. I got some emails from the owner stating that I "need to get sales up", need to do this, need to do that. But I never signed anything or got any formal written warnings. We had some talks and equally voiced our complaints about the situation - but nothing in writing that I saw.

I have no paperwork of any sort to make a case against them. They did tell me via email that they wouldn't "fight" my unemployment, but that doesn't appear to be the case anymore.

I feel like I am entitled to unemployment benefits. I did my job, but didn't get
the results they wanted. I dont know that I could've given the tools they provided. It was my first job in that industry, and I recieved no training whatsoever. I didn't engage in any misconduct.

My personal opinion is that anyone who is discharged for a performance issue, especially SALES performance should appeal if the discharge lacks an element of neglect.

I think it's tough for an employer to sustain their burden, but I have been proven wrong many times .. not because a claimant was neglectful, but because the claimant failed to represent themselves well.

You mentioned a few things that leads me to believe you could win with a well formed focus and through a cross-examination designed to bring out some of that information "you can't prove".

Attention to the cross examination and your own rebuttal testimony is often one of those factors that "make the difference", but is rarely understood by claimants.

They don't pay enough attention to getting the relevant points on record to weight things in their favor. ALJ's are given wide discretion in assigning credibility.

Your job as a self-representing litigant in a "legal" proceeding such as an administrative hearing for unemployment benefits is to undermine the employer's credibility.

There is two reasons for this as I see it from my layman's point of view.

1. To get the decision you want .. and
2. Establishing a record sufficient enough to have legitimate grounds to appeal a negative decision to a Board of Review.

I of course am happy to discuss strategies to do just this.


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