WILLFUL MISCONDUCT, VOLUNTARY QUIT JOB, SELF-EMPLOYMENT ATTORNEY FOR PENNSYLVANIA UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMANTS
As we posted on previously, the purported purpose of the amendment is to provide extended benefits to some 45,000 Pennsylvanians. However, in our view, the cost of this extension is far too steep.
Here is a synopsis of the most significant changes, at least from the employee's perspective (to the extent I can figure them out - talk about some confusing language!):
WHAT IS A CREDIT WEEK UNDER 2011 AMENDMENTS TO PENNSYLVANIA UNEMPLOYMENT LAW? ATTORNEY WHO UNDERSTANDS PENNSYLVANIA UNEMPLOYMENT LAW
Credit weeks are are the baseline used to determine eligibility for unemployment compensation. It used to be that one was credited with a credit week if during the week in question, one had earned at least $50.
Under the 2011 Amendment, a credit week is not earned unless one has earned at least $100.
WHAT IS THE MINIMUM AMOUNT OF UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS YOU CAN GET UNDER THE 2011 AMENDMENTS TO THE PENNSYLVANIA UNEMPLOYMENT ACT? UNEMPLOYMENT REFEREE HEARING LAWYER FOR EMPLOYEES
It used to be, there was no minimum. It is now $70. If the calculated weekly benefit rate for any individual is less than $70, he/she will not receive any unemployment benefits.
WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF WEEKS FOR WHICH PA UNEMPLOYMENT WILL BE PAID? PHILADELPHIA UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS LAWYER
SEVERANCE RULES UNDER NEW 2011 PENNSYLVANIA UNEMPLOYMENT LAW. SEVERANCE LAWYER WHO HELPS EMPLOYEES NEGOTIATE BETTER PACKAGES
Prior to the Amendment, the receipt of severance had no impact on one's right or ability to receive unemployment.
This has changed.
Under the new law, one may receive up to $17,853 in severance without loss of any unemployment benefits. However, any payments in excess of $17,853 will result in an offset. Want a more comprehensive understanding of how the new law deals with severance payments? Click Here to read our Blog Post of April 4, 2012.
NOTE: The new severance provision does not become effective until January 1, 2012. So, if at any time prior to January 1, 2012 you have entered into a severance agreement, this amendment will not affect you (even if the agreement provides for severance payments after January 1, 2012). However, if you enter into such agreement at any time after January 1, 2012, these changes will apply.
NEW TELEPHONE HEARING RULES IN 2011 PENNSYLVANIA UNEMPLOYMENT STATUTE. WANT EXPERIENCED LAWYER TO REPRESENT EMPLOYEE FOR UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIM IN PENNSYLVANIA?
Previously, one could not get a telephone hearing before a Referee unless one could prove that one's residence or place of business was more than 60 miles from the hearing location. Now, anyone can get a telephone hearing under any circumstance.
This sounds like a good thing, but it is a little trickier than one might expect. In fact, I believe this new rule is of far greater benefit to companies than it is to claimants. Click Here to learn more about telephone hearings.
SEARCH FOR WORK CRITERIA IN 2011 PENNSYLVANIA UNEMPLOYMENT LAW
This portion of the law has undergone dramatic change. In short, one must, in order to establish and maintain a right to unemployment benefits:
1) Register with CareerLink;
2) post a resume on the UC database;
3) apply for any jobs on the system's database located within a 45 minute commute from one's home;
The failure to do any of the above may result in loss of benefits. For example, I can see the "commuting" issue causing some problems.
How is someone in Erie (where many Service Center decisions are made), going to understand that what appears to be a 25 minute drive when taking into account mileage only (say from Oaks to Lansdale), is actually a 1.5 hour nightmare??? Don't believe me? Try taking 422 East in the morning or 422 West in the evening. 5 Miles on that road during morning/rush hour traffic feels like the Bataan Death March.
In addition, it is important to understand that these criterion are what the unemployment look for - you can try day and night to look for work through other methods, but if you do not meet these requirements, you will be disqualified from getting benefits.
In any event, I believe that these "job search requirements" will be used like a hammer to deprive many unemployed claimants of benefits - you should learn about these requirements, because I believe that one who fails to meet each and every job search requirement will be promptly disqualified from benefits.
There is a lot more to analyze in these Amendments but, for now, that's a wrap.
Here is our video about how to win a “willful misconduct” claim:
And another one about how to win a “voluntary quit” case:
One more, explaining the procedures that are followed at a Pennsylvania unemployment hearing:
If you watched all of these (or, maybe, any of these), you are surely sick of my voice (demeanor, etc.) - but I hope you found them helpful!
Philadelphia Unemployment Lawyer
John A. Gallagher is an employment lawyer who represents employees in Pennsylvania.
Click Here if you have questions about any aspect of employment law, from wrongful termination, to wage and overtime claims, to discrimination and retaliation laws, to Family and Medical Leave…
Click Here if you have questions about any aspect of Pennsylvania Unemployment Law, from willful misconduct, to voluntary quit, to Referee Hearings, to severance issues…
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