Do I need representation at an unemployment hearing?
Yes and “Yes” is a complete sentence.

How much does it cost?
There are legal aid societies that claimant’s for free if you qualify as indigent and there are attorneys that can charge what they want, but generally has to be approved by the state. In some states the charge can’t exceed 7% of the amount of the claim.

Do I need to notify the appeals office that I’ll be represented?
No. “No” is a complete sentence

What the difference between an Appeals Referee, Hearing Officer or Administrative Law Judge?
Nothing, they are all deciding your case in an informal, administrative setting.

How many days do I have to request an appeal?
Different states have different deadlines. Read all material sent to you closely from your particular states.

What is a Decision from an Appeals Referee, Hearing Officer or Administrative Law Judge?
This Decision will determine whether you are entitled to receive or continue to receive unemployment benefits. If you lost, there is recourse to a higher authority or Commission.

I filed for unemployment and received a Determination Letter or Notice of Disqualification Letter. What do I do?
If it is in your favor, nothing. If it is not favorable, an appeal needs to be filed if you disagree before a certain date.

Is the period of time to contest a Determination letter final?

How many times can my employer appeal a Decision that was in my favor?
The same amount of times a claimant can, if the decision is unfavorable.

How long does the process take?
Roughly 5-6 weeks, but it can last several weeks longer, the system isn’t perfect.

If I quit my job, can I still collect unemployment benefits?

If I was fired, can I still collect unemployment benefits?

Aren’t I always entitled to unemployment benefits?
No. If your employer proves you committed “Misconduct” according to your state’s definition, then you would be disqualified.

I’ve been working all my life, aren’t I entitled to my unemployment benefits?
No, Typically, the state looks at your employment history by going back 45 days from the date you applied for benefits and then counts back 6 base periods, a base period is 3 months. Whatever employer shows up in that base period is the contributing employer.

My employer lied, what do I do?
Find proper representation

Do I have to pay to subpoena documents from my employer?
No. The state will issue and send out subpoenas.

I failed my drug test, but I shouldn’t have been selected in the first place, what do I do?
Find proper representation.

I was sick and my employer was aware of my illness and still counted the absence against me, what do I do?
Find proper representation.

Do I have to work overtime?
You will have to consult your employee handbook, but a reasonable amount of overtime is normal. It’s when employers abuse an employee’s time or fail to compensate adequately when trouble starts.

My boss has video of me sleeping on the job, can he use the video at an unemployment hearing?
Yes, but again, find proper representation.

I was fired for drinking too much at a social affair that my boss attended, can he fire me for that?

Do I have to sign a corrective action notice even if it is full of lies?
Always sign, under protest. If possible, write down your objections on the document and get a copy.

Do I have to acknowledge receiving an employee handbook without reading it?
No, take it home and make corrections and write down questions.

Do I have to participate in my company’s exit interview?
Do you want to? Haven’t you already been fired? Employer’s conduct exit interviews to gather more evidence against you.

Do I have to return company property?
Yes. It’s not yours, if the employer wants it back.

I’m a substitute teacher and my employer claims I have reasonable assurance to work the next school year simply because I have a teacher’s certificate. Is this true?
It depends on what was conveyed as reasonable assurance.

I work on a tanker in the middle of the gulf, and I’m off the sea every other month, can I collect unemployment benefits?

I was accused of being dishonest on my employment application after working for him for 5 years, can I get fired for after all this time?
Yes, but the period of time will be a factor on your side.

I’m handicapped and my employer is suddenly not accommodating me, do I have recourse?
Yes. Provide your employer with another copy of your restriction notice from your doctor. If the employer fails to follow it, find proper representation.

My co-worker is bullying me, what can I do?
Call the police and fill out a police report. If you go to Human Resources, they will likely make you feel like the guilty party.    

I had a hearing and I didn’t like the hearing officer, and fortunately my case was continued, can I request a different judge the next go around?
Perhaps, you would have to prove some kind of bias or prejudice. Find proper representation.

This website contains general information about unemployment law. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. No lawyer–client, solicitor-client or attorney-client relationship shall be created through the use of our website. Our website includes interactive features that allow users to communicate with us. You acknowledge that, because of the limited nature of such communication, any legal assistance you may receive using any such facility is likely to be incomplete and may be misleading. Any legal assistance you may receive using any such facility does not constitute legal advice and accordingly should not be relied upon. Any unemployment appeal cannot be guaranteed a favorable outcome. You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal service provider. The unemployment representation is not licensed to practice law in any state, however, our unemployment representative possesses a juris doctorate degree and most states do not require one to be a licensed attorney in order to offer services within the boundaries set by a state’s administrative code. Representation includes, but not limited to, preparing the claimant prior to the hearing, in some cases, may not include being present for the hearing, depending on the hearing examiner’s discretion. A non-lawyer or a non-New Jersey lawyer may represent a claimant or employer before the New Jersey Appeal Tribunal or New Jersey Board of Review of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, but may not receive a fee for such representation. You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.