Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Performance Appraisals, Performance Evaluations and Character Evidence at a Pennsylvania Unemployment Hearing - An Experienced Unemployment Lawyer Explains Why They Are Generally Irrelevant

Should I Introduce My Performance Appraisals at My PA Unemployment Hearing?  How Can an Attorney Help Me Win My Unemployment Appeal Hearing in Pennsylvania?

If your Hearing relates to Willful Misconduct, it typically will revolve around one of three issues: 
1) a single event or circumstance that (allegedly) led to your termination; 2) a violation of a work rule after having received a warning about prior violation(s) of that rule; or, 3) your were fired for poor performance.

Here is my recent video explaining what Willful Misconduct is under Pennsylvania unemployment law:

I Always Received Excellent Performance Reviews, and I Was Never Subject to Any Discipline Before I Was Fired.  How Can They Deny My Claim for Unemployment Benefits?  Need an Attorney for Your Pennsylvania Unemployment Hearing Before a Referee in Norristown, Malvern, Springfield, Bristol or Philadelphia?

Let's discuss the initial scenario (single bad act) first; in doing so I will use a simple example that will prove my point.

Presidential Decree for You!
Let's assume that on January 1, 2014 you are selected as the "Best Employee in America" by the President of the United States.  The Pope seconds your selection, as does the United Nations.  Your accomplishment is publicized on the front of the N.Y. Times and the Wall Street Journal.

On February 1, 2014, you are caught on videotape at work stealing $10,000 in cash from the company.  You are fired, and a Hearing ensues.

This is Willful Misconduct!
Do you believe that your outstanding record of past performance will help you win that case?  Of course not, you were fired for stealing money, that is clearly willful misconduct, and your past record has absolutely no bearing on the Referee's thinking or decision-making process.

In essence, that example holds true for the second issue as well.  If you were warned about being late on 4 prior occasions, and then were an hour late the next day, your otherwise stellar record will have zero bearing on whether you engaged in willful misconduct by repeatedly violating a reasonable work rule after warning.

Will My Performance Evaluations Help Me at My PA Unemployment Hearing?  Can They Deny Me Unemployment if They Fired Me Because I Was Not Doing a Good Job?  Lawyer Handling Referee Hearings for Unemployment Claims in Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Delaware County and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Now, the third situation, that involving alleged poor performance, is a whole different kettle of fish. Logically, one would believe that your record of past performance would be relevant in a Hearing centered upon your alleged poor performance.

Trying Hard but not Succeeding
 is NOT Willful Misconduct in Pennsylvania
However, you do not need to worry about proving that you were, in fact, a good performer during because poor performance is not willful misconduct under Pennsylvania Unemployment Law.  In other words, if the employer states that you were fired for poor performance, you will not be disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits because, under Pennsylvania law, poor performance is not disqualifying conduct, i.e. is not willful misconduct.

So, if you are involved in a poor performance Unemployment Hearing in Pennsylvania, do not worry about proving you were a good performer; rather, simply say that you worked to the best of your ability and you should be just fine.

NOTE:  The problem with the above, is that employers often are are of the poor performance rule. So, to get around it, they often "manufacture" a false reason for you termination at your Pennsylvania Unemployment Hearing.  In such situations, perhaps the most common pre-textual reason offered is "insubordination."

It is very hard to adjust to such a turn of events at a Hearing; moreover, providing evidence of  "insubordination" is relatively easy.  It is in cases such as these that having an experienced Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Hearing attorney is invaluable.

Unemployment Law Firm Representing Pennsylvania Claimants 

I Have Been Helping Pennsylvania's workforce Since 1991

Click Here for our discussion on the Burden of Proof at Unemployment Hearings.  This is very important to understand.

Here is our video discussing what happens at a Pennsylvania Unemployment Hearing:

Philadelphia Area Employment Attorney Representing Employees
John A. Gallagher is an employment lawyer who represents employees in Pennsylvania. 

John typically represents employees who need an employment lawyer in Philadelphia County, Chester County, Delaware County, Bucks County, Berks County, Lancaster County and Montgomery County.

Pennsylvania Employment Attorney Provides Free Telephone Consultations

If you are looking for an employment lawyer, and live in Malvern, Wayne, King of Prussia, Downingtown, Glenside, Doylestown, Radnor, Newtown Square, Exton, Philadelphia, West Chester, Skippack, Langhorne, Haverford, Nether Providence, Broomall, Drexel Hill, Reading or any of their surrounding towns, feel free to send me an e-mail or give me a call.  I am always glad to spend some time with people via a free telephone consultation.

Need an Employment Labor Lawyer Near Philadelphia?

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

Click Here to e-mail John directly.

Thanks for checking in with us.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


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