Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Valerie from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor Investigates Unemployment Claims - Be Careful

Who Decides My Unemployment Claim in Pennsylvania?

There is a presumption that all employees who were terminated from their jobs are entitled to unemployment benefits.

The burden is on the employer to prove that the claimant engaged in "willful misconduct."  Unless the employer can provide such proof, the claimant should be awarded benefits.

The Service Center, a division of Pennsylvania's department of Labor, is charged with the responsibility of making an initial determination as to whether a claimant is entitled to benefits.  In fulfilling this responsibility, the Service Center starts by notifying the employer of the claim, and asking it to supply information that would warrant denial of the claim.

But, suppose the employer provides no information to the Service Center?  In that case, the employer has failed to meet its burden, and benefits should be granted every time.

Some people that work in the Service Center, however, appear determined to deny claims even when the employer fails to submit any information to support such a denial.  I believe a woman named Valerie is one of those Service Center representatives.

Interview? or Interrogation...
What does Valerie do?  She calls the claimant out of the blue, and does an interview consisting of leading questions ("when did you stop beating your wife?"), then takes the claimant's "admissions" and uses them to deny the claim.

Click Here to read why I believe that refusing the Service Center's request for an interview is often the wisest choice.

The Employer Must Provider Information to Pennsylvania to Prove the Employee Engaged in Willful Misconduct, but Sometimes the Claimant Shoots Themselves in the Foot by Accident

Based upon a number of reports I have received from clients, none of which I can directly confirm, it appears that a Service Center Representative named Valerie is out to find a way to deny claims for unemployment benefits.

Valerie has even denied claims when the company itself is not fighting the claim.  She does this via surprise phone interviews, and loaded, leading and accusatory questions that a confused claimant often answers in such a way to give Valerie the ammunition she believes justifies denying the claim.
Be Wary of Valerie, and Those of Her Ilk

Then, the claimant must appeal the denial of benefits, and go to a Referee Hearing.

Be wary of Valerie!

Helping Pennsylvania's Workforce Since 1991
Philadelphia Are 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.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was part of a company "reduction in force" in October 2014. I claimed UC from October 2014 through March 2015. In December 2015 I was offered a severance payment. PA UC has sent me notification of overpayment for the entire period. Am I entitled for UC from October 2014-Dec 2014 when I did not receive severance?