Were You Denied Unemployment?
Denied Unemployment? An Employment Lawyer Can Help
When you are denied unemployment, a Houston employment lawyer can help you fight throughout the appeal process. When the Texas Workforce Commission denies an unemployment claim, you have the right to appeal their decision. Typically, this involves a digital appeal through their portal. However, it also requires that you attend a hearing, either by phone or virtual meeting.
If you find yourself in this situation, an employment attorney can help you prepare the paperwork you need. Likewise, they can act as your advocate throughout the actual hearing. This can mean the difference between winning and losing your case. A Houston employment lawyer will assess the facts and determine the best argument for your specific case.
Do I Qualify for Unemployment?
When you separate from an employer and are no longer doing a job for pay, you should be eligible for unemployment benefits. If you left work through no fault of your own, you are likely eligible for state unemployment benefits. When you quit a job, you have to prove that you quit for good cause connected to the work in order to be awarded benefits.
For example, if you are at increased risk during the pandemic and refuse work, you may still be eligible for pandemic benefits.
However, if an employer fires you, the burden of proof is on them. This means that you should be awarded benefits unless they can prove they fired you for misconduct.
Once you file a claim, the TWC will send a notice of initial claim to your former employer. They have the opportunity to respond, which preserves their right to appeal any decision on the benefits.
Denied Unemployment in Texas
Throughout the pandemic, we have seen a drastic rise in unemployment. Whether you have lost your job because of the coronavirus pandemic or other reasons, you could be entitled to unemployment benefits.
Filing a claim with the TWC may seem like a daunting task. Moreover, employers might make it more challenging when they contest an unemployment claim that you clearly deserve. Under normal circumstances, you may be denied unemployment for one of two reasons.
- Termination due to misconduct
- Quitting without good cause
If the TWC denies your unemployment claim, you have 14 days from the date of determination to appeal. With electronic correspondence, response to this is much simpler. However, a determination mailed from Austin on a Thursday may not reach Houston until Monday. These severely limits your time to respond to a crucial deadline.
First Steps in Appeal
When you are denied unemployment, it is vital that you continue to follow the reporting instructions. Continue to call in or file online to let TWC know that you are still unemployed and pursuing work. While you may not receive payments upfront, you can receive backpay if you win your appeal. However, if you win your appeal but fail to report, you will not receive this backpay.
An unemployment benefits attorney in Houston can help you with the appeal process. With the TWC, there are different levels of appeal.
- Appeal Tribunal
- Court Hearing
The first appeal is to an Appeal Tribunal. Should they deny your appeal, you have a short deadline to appeal further, to a three-person Commission. It is important to remember that you former employer also has the opportunity to appeal should the tribunal grant you a reversal.
With a timely appeal to the Commission, they have an opportunity to affirm, modify, or reverse the decision of the Appeal Tribunal.
Should you still be denied unemployment, the final step is a motion for rehearing. Again, the deadline is very short. Moreover, it is vital to provide new evidence and a compelling reason why it was not provided earlier.
If the Commission denies the motion for a rehearing, they will send a written decision. This written decision can then be appealed to a court.
When to Hire a Houston Employment Lawyer
Have you applied for unemployment? At the Craighead Law Firm, we understand how important unemployment benefits are to workers who have lost a job. When you are denied unemployment benefits, you may have grounds to appeal the decision.
Because you have a tight deadline, you should consult an experienced Houston employment attorney as soon as possible. Contact our employment law firm today and let us fight for you.