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Unemployment denied for alleged theft - Illinois Board of Review Appeal

by Erica
(Chicago, Illinois)

I was fired from my front desk position because my cash drawer at my hotel came up short $299.88. When I arrived to work my manager had called off and the assistant manager wasn't returning the hotels calls,my shift starts at 6:45am. The NEW rooms executive told me he would have to help me for the day until he could get someone else to come in. Because he is not assigned a cash he let me ring all cash transactions. By 12pm he told me to go on lunch and to leave my drawer unlocked so he could ring transactions if need be. When i returned to the front desk things had slowed down so he went back to his office to start on some of his own work, an half hour later the accountant comes to the front for a routine bank count. During the count she reported the bank being $299.88 short. I told her Bill was working with me and maybe he knew why it was short. She looked for him but couldnt find him. I sarted to panic and told her to check our postings codes to see if maybe there was something to show for the money. She did and told me everything was ok on my end. I worked 4 more hours then left for the day. I was off the following day at about 8:30pm I received a call from my supervisor 2nd shift that HR wanted to meet with me in the morning. I knew something was wrong so I ask him did it have anything to do with my bank. Jeremy and I are close so he told me they were going to fire me and they wanted me to sign a statement to have them deduct the money from my paycheck. I told him I wouldn't do that and he informed me that if I didn't they said they would get the authorities involved. I called HR in the morning and told them what i heard and they confirmed it to be true. I told them i wasn't coming in because I didn't take anything. In the unemployment hearing the accountant testified I admitted 2 taking the money, she lied. She testified she couldn't find Bill- rooms exect, same person who used my drawer until after i left. If i

admitted to stealing the money why didn't she tell anyone eles? She let me work 4 hrs and leave. She could have told my 2nd shift manager, she told no one. I believe something happened the day i was absent to change everything. My manager or HR didn't call me for the meeting while they were at work they had my 2nd shift supervisor call me. The referee overturned the decision saying I was no longer eleigible for benifits because the accountants testimony was credible. The referee completely disregarded the sustancial evidence that supported my testimony. The events that occured after the alleged theft supports my claim. She didnt report me to anyone while I continued to work for 4 hrs out of the same drawer i allegedly stole from, who would actually count out $299.88 if they were stilling, there are cameras at the front desk that I know they viewed but didn't state they saw me take anything. I believed Bill posted a refund which only the manager could do for that amount and she saw the posting under his code thats why she only wanted to talk to him. She testified at the hearing that she couldn't find Bill for 4 and a half hours until after I left, seems strange. She also stated Bill would have the final say if i would get fired because he is over my dept, but that is a conflict of interest. Bill wasn't even present at the hearing. I believe they are protecting him and cost me my job and unemployment. I feel like in the twight light zone. Oh, she testified I told her I stole the money to help pay for my fathers funeral. My father was sick he has cancer and yes I took time off because we thought he wouldn't make it because while in the hospital he caught pneumonia but he never died. I heard the Board Of Review only review the evidence from the hearing. I want to submit evidence that my father is alive to prove I never told her that. I am almost scarred to see what lies she's going to tell to cover up the fact she lied about that. What should i do, my employer still hasn't released my final check and its been about 2 months. I need help.

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He was just granted another appeal with the Review Board; but he really needs an attorney.
by:

I will be sending this Argument in Parts.

Michael Argument Part 3/10/14/10

ISSUES:

The issue is whether or not Michael committed misconduct according to Section 602A of ?The Unemployment Insurance Act? by having someone clock him in and did the claimant voluntarily leave work without good cause attributable to the employer under Section 601A of the Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act?


RULE:

Preponderance of the evidence
Preponderance of the evidence, also known as balance of probabilities is the standard required in most civil cases. The standard is met if the proposition is more likely to be true than not true. Effectively, the standard is satisfied if there is greater than 50 percent chance that the proposition is true. Lord Denning, in Miller v. Minister of Pensions,[3] described it simply as "more probable than not." Until 1970, this was also the standard used in juvenile court in the United States.
Clear and convincing evidence
Clear and convincing evidence is the higher level of burden of persuasion sometimes employed in both civil and criminal procedure in the United States. For example, a prisoner seeking habeas corpus relief from capital punishment must prove his factual innocence by clear and convincing evidence.[4]
To prove something by "clear and convincing evidence", the party with the burden of proof must convince the trier of fact that it is substantially more likely than not that the thing is in fact true. This is a lesser requirement than "proof beyond a reasonable doubt", which requires that the trier of fact be close to certain of the truth of the matter asserted, but a stricter requirement than proof by "preponderance of the evidence," which merely requires that the matter asserted seem more likely true than not. In many jurisdictions, fraud, for example, must be shown by clear and convincing evidence.
Beyond reasonable doubt

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He was just granted another appeal with the Review Board; but he really needs an attorney.
by:

I will be sending this Argument in Parts.

Michael Argument Part 2/10/14/10

Therefore, since it was the testimony of this witness that strongly helped lead to Michael?s suspension and most likely to his possible termination decision, I believe it is fair and righteous to hear all the facts involved in this matter: So here is some background information on the character of the primary witness in this case.

In 2006, Michael was promoted to Head Custodian; then later the witness mentioned above started working under him. Also in connection to the March 29th incident, Michael received a letter from Ms. ******** dated May 6, 2010, detailing in several paragraphs his past violations. Now I would like to draw your attention to Exhibit 1, Paragraph 4 (missing number) which states that Michael left work early and had someone to punch him out at 11 p.m. So let it be known that the person who punched him out on that day was the testifying witness against him for the incident occurring on March 29, 2010. Moreover, know that this is the same woman who also punched in another employee the same day she punched Michael in making this two infractions in one day. Furthermore, please be aware that this woman is the same person who Michael reported that it was between her and another employee who was drinking in the building to Ms. ***** weeks prior. Although it was hard for him to do this, he was tired of being blamed for issues that were not his fault, and he was looking for acceptance from Ms. ***** in order to gain peace with her. So on the day of the March 29 incident, Michael?s fear over took his reasoning, and he decided to just ignore being punched in.

Finally, and let the record show that Michael was asked by the unemployment referee in his first hearing over the phone about the woman who had allegedly accused him of asking her to clock him in; he also denied this allegation to her. And in this second hearing with the Administrative Law Judge in August, he also denied ever having this woman to clock him in; in fact, he tried to recall over the phone to the arbitrator what the witness had came back and told him after she had a private meeting with the school officials about this issue.




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He was just granted another appeal with the Review Board; but he really needs an attorney.
by:

I will be sending this Argument in Parts.

Michael Argument Part I/10/14/10


FINDINGS OF FACTS:

On March 29, Michael arrived at work late and when he got there, he discovered that he had been already signed in. But because he was in fear of how his supervisor would respond toward him, he foolishly reasoned with himself and ignored it and walked away, and as a result of his reckless decision, Michael received a letter from Ms. *****, his supervisor, dated April 5, 2010, directing him to attend an investigatory meeting at 9 a.m. on Thursday, April 8, 2010, at ********* ***** School.

In the beginning of the meeting, when Michael was asked about his whereabouts, he lied. Then he was shown snapshots of every angle of the building that the cameras were placed in order to prove that he was not in the building according to the time on the card on March 29. Although it bothered him to lie, when he came in and saw all the authority figures, he felt intimidated from all the opposing parties in the room. Then finally, after seeing the snapshots, he pulled himself together and confessed the truth before the meeting was over, not because of the evidence presented against him, he knew first hand that that type of evidence could exist, but only because he came to himself and obtained enough courage to tell the truth despite the fear of possibly losing his job.

Also in the interrogation, after Michael confessed that he lied about his whereabouts, he also denied that he punched himself in. Then he was asked if he knew who punched him in, and then he said that he did not know and did not ask anyone to punch him in. Then the question was rephrased to him again; then rephrasing his answer back to them, he affirmed that he did not know and that he did not ask anyone to punch him in. His response was also heard by his union rep and everyone who were present at the hearing.

But, because Michael did not admit to clocking himself in that day, they had to further investigate, and he was allowed to work an additional month and a day before being suspended. This suspension took place right after they talked again to the witness in an investigatory hearing amongst the accusing parties as well as the union rep. It was also immediately after the witness? initial hearing that she came back to Michael and reported what the officials had asked her in the meeting; she told Michael that she told them that he left her a message on her cell phone while she was talking to her boyfriend, telling her that he was right down the street and for her to punch him in. Then Michael said that she told him that they asked for the message, but she told them she deleted it. Then Michael?s response to the witness was ?Why did you tell them that?? and he does not recall her response at this point.



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When to find an attorney for an unemployment appeal
by: Chris - webmaster:)


Hi Erica,

The first thing you need to do is get a transcript of the hearing.

Appeals to the board of reviews aren't something I recommend a person handle on their own.

Unlike a simple lower level appeal of a determination with one issue to address an appeal of a hearing officer's decision needs to focus on procedural errors made by the hearing officer. Such as ignoring "substantial evidence or testimony" in favor of giving more weight to testimony they believe to be the more "credible".

Hearing officers are given w-i-d-e discretion in determining credibility.

Your account here has made many valid points. Number one for me is if an individual verbally admits that they have stolen money from an employer, why would the employer allow that individual to continue working with their cash????? It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. In fact, I think it would be reasonable to assume that the person that allowed this (the one who testified that you admitted to them you stole the money) would also be in danger of being on the chopping block .. considering they were an accountant ultimately responsible for the employer's money. That alone should have brought the credibility of the witnesses testimony into question for the hearing officer.

I think you should contact an attorney for the appeal. This is your only opportunity to raise all the proper issues for the board to look into. If you miss an important point .. you're done for.

I'm sure you offered testimony your father is still alive and I don't think this is the main thing to focus on, but rather how the hearing officer erred by giving credibility to the employer's testimony when the record also shows this same person allowed you to continue working with the cash after your supposed admission.

Now is not the time to say "I can't afford an attorney". Unemployment Benefits equal approximately 47% of what you earned weekly times 26. I think it's important for a person to assess their situation at the beginning to determine for them self if they need help from a lawyer, but once you reach this level I believe it is unwise to act as your own attorney.

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