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Unusual case of denial of unemployment benefits.

by Peter N
(New York,NY)

I was denied unemployment benefits after claiming for it a month ago because the department of labor claimed I quit with no good cause in the determination sent to me in the mail. I claimed I was layed off because I was an experienced office worker for almost 5 years and weekend manager, my company then signed my lay off papers because they are downsizing they no longer have any office positions available for me. I tried to fight and hold on to my position with the company. I was then only left with one choice by my employer in terms of employment and that was to work on-site on the street, escorting clients of the company to their taxi/limousine, which I feel is a huge demotion and does not have anything to do with my knowledge and experience with my companys programs and line of work. After giving a shot at the position offered I came back to my employer and was disputing with him that the change is wrong and I want my position in the office back which I am trained and skilled to do. After this on going dispute, my employer said again there is no room for you just file for unemployment. I filed for benefits and later was told I quit as per the department of labor, so I contacted my employer and asked him what's going with my claim and why has someone in the company claimed that I quit? Then my former manager contacted the president of the company and reviewed my case and decided I should be entitled for benefits and that will be passed on to proper department in the company. Now one week later I receive a letter of denial of benefits in

the determination because I quit. My question is what can I do now without appealing the decision, because obviously my former employer are willing to approve my lay off.

Hi Peter,

You have to appeal. The employer cannot do anything to change the determination. If you provide enough information the state MAY issue a redetermination or just send it on to a hearing, which of course you'd have to attend in person if you're in NY, NY.

It is commonplace for employers to protest with the termination code in the payroll system. Even though they eliminated your office job, you subsequently took a different position and then quit. Employers also can and do use this to try to prevent people from collecting. You need to show that you didn't continue in the second position because it was not suitable for whatever reasons you thought so.

Of course if you could get something in writing from the employer stating this would help.

I suggest you read the answers to some of the questions on this page

Your situation is not unusual, in fact it's fairly commonplace. The denial was due to the fact you told the department you were laid off and the employer responded to them that you quit, which in fact was true, but you'll want to focus your appeal on the fact that the job the employer offered to keep you employed was not a "suitable" job and you had good cause to refuse it.

To understand what good cause for refusal is start here.

This page has lists of attorneys and lay representatives who have agreed to New York's rules to represent at unemployment case you think you might need some assistance.

Hope this helps you out.


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Jun 15, 2009
Denied Unemployment - "Left Without Good Cause"
by: Anonymous

I was denied my unemployment claim today, and will be filling an appeal. I just wanted to know if I can win the appeal. What happened was that I'm a bank teller and was sent to help out in another branch who had constant money shortage problems (one girl was recently fired for being short, another was suddenly short $500). I was a teller for 6 years and never had a difference over $100, and during the 2 weeks I was at this branch, I'm short more than $1000! This never happened to me before and it was only happening in this branch with the money shortage problems! I told my boss and she agreed with me that someone there is stealing, but they don't know (or care to know or even investigate) who. I was told I had to keep working there, even though I was adamant that I didn't want to go there anymore for fear of being out even more money (anymore money short would mean I would be fired like the other teller and I would therefore never be able to be a teacher! - my career goal). I submitted my resignation stating what I just wrote above, and my boss completely understood. How can I win this appeal??

You will just have to present the facts and hope that the employer also tells the truth. You might also consider asking people to be witnesses .. maybe the tellers who were also fired for extreme shortages.

Understand that it is not unusual for the state to stick with the initial determination .. I know you may find this hard to believe but you are in the preferable position of having to win the hearing .. it would be awful if you had been allowed benefits and then the employer manages to get it reversed at hearing ... overpayments for unemployed people are awful.

You will address through testimony at your hearing that you had a fine record until this transfer to another branch. You tell them how shortages seemed to be commonplace and large ones to boot. You tell how you went to your employer and addressed the issue of someone stealing and why you were concerned as it would have an effect on your future career. You will explain that the employer failed to take appropriate action when you went to them and as a result you felt they were endangering your credibility which was essential to be maintained to reach your career goals.

If you do not feel confident to prove your case. You might consider finding a lawyer since you do have so much at stake.

Since you resigned and the letter contained this information you will need to be wary of whether the employer actually submits the letter into the record. They wouldn't if it doesn't help their position.

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