Unemployment Benefits

I get a lot of calls from people who have lost their jobs, either because they were fired or they quit, and they want help obtaining unemployment benefits, because their former employer has challenged their eligibility.  I’m always happy to talk to people about that, and I do my best to help them understand the unemployment application and appeals process, and to see what issues are going to be important (and what will NOT be important).  The EDD unemployment application and appeal process is put together in a way that permits applicants to tell their side (when the employer challenges eligibility) without the benefit of a lawyer.  That is a good thing because, practically speaking, for an applicant to “lawyer up” for the process is not really practical. Any lawyer would have to spend 10-20 hours to prepare for and attend a hearing, for example, and that would mean something like $5000-7000 in attorney’s fees, and that is just not realistic.  But, with about half an hour on the phone, I can usually help the applicant put their best foot forward either in the written response they file or at a hearing. I’m happy to do that as part of a free phone consultation.  Sometimes, these conversations lead to me agreeing to represent these same applicants in employment cases.  For example, a man who had recently been fired for supposedly refusing to provide a urine sample in connection with his visit to a doctor for what the employer erroneously THOUGHT was an on-the-job injury initially contacted me for help getting his unemployment benefits.  And I helped him get them.  They had initially been denied; but the Administrative Law Judge at EDD ruled in his favor, after learning the facts at the hearing.  THEN, I helped the discharged employee by contacting his former employer, explaining the facts to their lawyers, and pointing out that their policies violate California privacy laws. He received a substantial settlement, in addition to his unemployment benefits.  So, don’t hesitate to call me to discuss unemployment benefit eligibility.  Also, I have written a legal guide about the unemployment benefits process.  Here is a link to that legal guide, “Ten Tips to Getting the Unemployment Benefits Your Deserve”.

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