I was Denied Unemployment – Now What?

This happens to people every day.  Unexpectedly or not, you lose your job.  Maybe you have some money saved up, or maybe you don’t.  You decide to file for unemployment to make ends meet while you look for a new job.  A few weeks later, you get a letter in the mail from the Division of Employment Security; your request for unemployment benefits has been denied due to workplace misconduct, and you need to file an Unemployment Appeal.  As a result, no benefits are forthcoming, and you still haven’t found a new job.

You may want to give up on the system, but you shouldn’t.  You need an Unemployment Appeals Attorney

Below is a procedural guide on what to expect if you lose your job and are denied unemployment benefits in Missouri.

  1. Expect to be Denied at First.

Employers routinely deny just about every unemployment notice that comes in the mail.  How do they do this?  Usually, they cite that the former employee violated company policy, committed misconduct, or participated in a final incident that was the last event in a series of issues that ultimately led to the company’s decision to sever ties.  If this happens, the Division of Employment Security generally adopts the employer’s reasoning as their decision, and your request is therefore denied from the outset.  If that happens, you should gear up to fight the denial.

  1. Appeal the Decision to the Appeals Tribunal

If your unemployment claim is denied, you must appeal the decision within 30 days.  Once you file your appeal in a timely manner, a “referee”, who is essentially a judge for these purposes, will be assigned, and a hearing date will be set.  In general, these hearings are conducted over the phone on a conference call, but you do have the right to request that the appeal hearing be held in person.

You need to take the appeal very seriously.  Despite the fact that these are often conducted over the phone, these proceedings are on the record, and the rules of evidence do apply.  Have witnesses ready to testify, create an outline for the proceeding, and get ready to question your witnesses and cross-examine the employer’s witnesses.  Additionally, make sure that you have provided any physical evidence that will be relied upon during the hearing to the referee and the opposing party a week prior to the setting.

  1. Appeal to the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission

If the referee denies your appeal after the first appeals hearing, you have the right to file another appeal, this time to the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission.  This must also be completed within 30 days.  In general, this ruling is made based upon your written argument and a review of the record.

  1. Appeal to the Missouri Court of Appeals

If you have still been denied, you have the right to appeal the latest ruling to the Missouri Court of Appeals.  Again, this appeal must be requested within 30 days.

Schaeffer Law Can Help.

Clayton Schaeffer is an employment law attorney who has experience handling unemployment hearings on behalf of employers and former employees.  If you have been denied benefits, we recommend that you retain counsel to handle the legal proceedings on your behalf.  We will prepare the case for hearing and represent you in front of the Appeals Tribunal for a flat fee of $800.00, which is 8% of most of our clients stand to collect from unemployment.

Contact us to represent you or if you simply want to sit down for a consultation.  We can evaluate your case and explain the process of making sure you get your unemployment check in St. Louis, Missouri.