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This is the exactly what happened to me when I worked as a temporary employee. How do I win my appeal

by Sonya
(Houston, TX,)

I worked for my permanent employer for six years. After being laid off, I worked temporary for 1 month in February 2014. I had already been approved for my unemployment from my six year job. When I reported to the unemployment commission that I worked with the temporary agency, they contacted Burnett Staffing Agency four months later and now, they determined that I quit because I did not call in my availability within 24 hours. So now I owe the state of Texas $7,000. Because they sat on the information for four months. Also, I was let go from the assignment and told not to return to the job. I left on a Thursday because the stress afflicted caused my blood pressure to spike to 245/170. My co=workers told my supervisor that and that company called my agency and told me not to come back. I just did not know that I was to call back availability within 24 hours upon being fired. I did send an email to the agency to tell them the reason I felt that I was terminated only it was not within 24 hours.

How can I win this appeal?

Hi Sonya,

Sometimes there is a "how" to win, but for me, since I don't know all the rules in every state, I start by asking "can they win?"

I first look at the rule, so as not to miss anything obvious. Then, if necessary and possible .. I move to the interpretive resource of the state.

Texas unemployment rule for temporary employees

(h) A temporary employee of a temporary help firm is considered to have left the employee's last work voluntarily without good cause connected with the work if the temporary employee does not contact the temporary help firm for reassignment on completion of an assignment. A temporary employee is not considered to have left work voluntarily without good cause connected with the work under this subsection unless the temporary employee has been advised:

(1) that the temporary employee is obligated to contact
the temporary help firm on completion of assignments; and

(2) that unemployment benefits may be denied if the temporary employee fails to do so.

(i) A covered employee of a professional employer organization is considered to have left the covered employee's last work without good cause if the professional employer organization demonstrates that:

(1) at the time the employee's assignment to a client concluded, the professional employer organization, or the client acting on the professional employer organization's behalf, gave written notice and written instructions to the covered employee to contact the professional employer organization for a new assignment; and

(2) the covered employee did not contact the professional employer organization regarding reassignment or continued employment; provided that the covered employee may show that good cause existed for the covered employee's failure to contact the professional employer organization.

(j) An individual is not disqualified for benefits under this section if:

(1) the individual left the individual's last work to attend commission-approved training under Section 207.022; and

(2) the individual's last work did not constitute suitable work for the individual, as determined under Section 207.008.

I think there is an obvious answer for you in the TX unemployment rule above, but then, my concern is you told me you did not meet those conditions and only you know if your employer met their requirement to make that special law work for them.

I'm also suggesting you pour over the Texas appeal policy manual to see if there is any less obvious, but still viable, answer that might give your appeal some legitimacy because details do matter. For instance, if the assignment ended on a Friday .. does the TX rule reasonably exclude the weekend from that 24 hour window of opportunity to avoid giving the temp agency a reason to legitimately protest you as a voluntary quit without good cause.

The link to the TX interpretive resource is here.

Hope this helps you to figure out your chances to win an appeal with 7,000 in repayment of benefits on the line.


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Jun 17, 2014
Response to Chris's June 16th Comment
by: Sonya

Thank you so much for your response. I did receive copies of the document I signed in the Pre-hearing package from the Unemployment Commission. I also see where the gentlemen that interviewed me on the telephone included my responses to his leading questions. However, I do not show where I asked him very specific questions, like why are you calling me eight day after I received notification that my response had been investigated and they could resume paying my claim. Which he ignored on numerous occasions. Is it legal for them to go back and forth like that. It seems rather manipulating on their part.

Please advise how I can find a non-attorney representative in Houston?

Thank you.


Jun 16, 2014
Seems you might need to look at the docs in the hearing packet to know if you can win.
by: Chris

The documents submitted by the employer at the time they responded initially to your claim will come with your unemployment hearing notice.

The notice includes a packet of all sort of documents which represent your claims file to date.

Additional documentation can be submitted prior to the Texas phone appeal hearing .. per the instructions, which also come with the Notice of Hearing (NOH).

I do not know where to find a TX unemployment lawyer for an unemployment hearing .. but mostly because Texas procedural rules do not limit employer, or employees to just an attorney (lawyers don't really like unemployment cases).

I always used non-attorney reps when I was coordinating hearings for employers (when I worked for a cost control company) and that's what I would be able to refer you to now.

Aside from the fact non-attorneys have the bulk of the experience representing parties at UI hearings, they are also, more cost effective.

But the problem is .. referring you to one is a matter of evaluating the merits .. first.

No one likes to lose unemployment hearings .. not even those who pride themselves on a win/loss ratio .. because they pay attention to merits.


Jun 09, 2014
Additional Question regarding your reply.
by: Sonya

Thank you so much for your reply. I am outdone by the State of Texas procedures. I was not aware of the 24 hour call in for availability with a temporary agency after being let go. Please advise how to get a copy of this information that I was supposed to have signed. Burnett Staffing sent it the Unemployment Commission. How do I find an attorney that specializes with filing against the unemployment commission?

Also, one day before being told not to return to the temporary job site, I went doctor's office, my blood pressure was dangerously high from the stress induced on the job. However, I did return back to the job site the next day. Could I have been discriminated against due to my health? Is this usable?

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