Appeals of Unemployment Decisions
It can be overwhelming to lose your job. It can be even more stressful if you are denied your unemployment benefits.
Generally, you are not eligible for unemployment if you quit your job. But if your employer terminates your employment or "lays you off," you may be eligible for unemployment benefits.
You may be denied from receiving benefits for a certain period (usually seven weeks) if it is found that you were terminated due to simple misconduct, like violating a company policy. You may be denied your benefits personally if it is found that you committed gross misconduct, which involves things like breaking a law, committing a crime, or creating a potentially hazardous or dangerous work environment.
The Process. If you lost your job, you will need to contact the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce and file an unemployment claim. You will be required to give an explanation of when you lost your job and under what circumstances. Your employer may contest your claim and argue that you are ineligible - either because they claim you quit on your own or because they claim you committed simple or gross misconduct in the workplace. The unemployment officer will then make a decision on whether you are eligible for benefits or not.
The Appeal. If you are denied from getting your benefits - whether partially or fully - you have only a short period of time to appeal. This is where we can help. We will listen to your situation and determine whether there is a legal argument to be made on why you should get your benefits.
The appeal involves a hearing held over the phone with the unemployment office's appeals tribunal. During that hearing, we have an opportunity to make an opening statement regarding your case, examine you and cross-examine your employer's representative, and make a closing statement arguing why you should be awarded your benefits.
How we can help. If you believe that you should be eligible for benefits but were denied, contact us immediately upon receiving the unemployment decision. If we determine there is a good legal argument to be made on your behalf, we will agree to represent you in appealing the unemployment office's decision. While we cannot take unemployment appeals on a contingent basis, we agree to take these cases with a reduced hourly rate because we understand paying attorney's fees can be difficult after losing your job. Before we can be paid for our services, we must submit our hours to the Department of Labor and get our fee approved.