Have you been denied your unemployment benefits? Having a Boston unemployment appeals lawyer may improve your chances of success when filing an appeal. Your legal representative will use their knowledge of labor laws to help you meet deadlines and submit any relevant legal documents.
At HKM Employment Attorneys, we provide comprehensive solutions to all problems concerning employment in Boston, from severance disputes to non-compete clauses and everything in-between. We have years of experience in employment law and we’ll use that knowledge to help you get the unemployment benefits you deserve.
Why You Need An Unemployment Appeals Lawyer in Boston
It’s advisable to hire an unemployment appeals attorney for any of these scenarios:
1. You believe your employer has violated your legal rights
Even though Massachusetts is an at-will employment state, not all terminations are legal and justified. If you were fired after enduring discrimination for your age or race, or if you were let go after reporting workplace safety violations, then you may have a case of employment discrimination or whistleblower retaliation.
A consultation with our unemployment appeals lawyer in Boston will help you determine whether you have a viable claim. If you do, they’ll help you gather evidence and witnesses to build the strongest possible case for your appeal.
2. You quit due to poor work circumstances
If you quit without good cause as outlined by Massachusetts employment laws or were fired for gross misconduct, you won’t be eligible for unemployment benefits. However, if the reason you quit was because of discrimination or your employer intentionally made your job miserable in order to encourage you to leave, then you may still be entitled to unemployment compensation.
Similarly, if your employer fired you for misconduct, but you have proof that you were really fired as a form of retaliation, then you can still seek your unemployment benefits with help from an attorney. A lawyer can help you gather performance reports and colleague testimony in order to prove that you were fired as retaliation instead of for misconduct.
3. Your employer denies your request for unemployment benefits
In most cases, you are allowed to appeal your denial of unemployment benefits. The Massachusetts Hearings Department recommends doing so within 10 days of the date indicated on the determination notice. Hiring an experienced unemployment appeals lawyer in Boston can help you gather the right information as soon as possible so you can file your appeal on time.
How to Appeal an Unfavorable Decision in Boston
After filing for an appeal, the state Hearings Department will send you two letters electronically or via mail. The first one confirms the receipt of your appeal request. The second one is known as a Notice of Hearing and provides crucial details about your hearing, including the date and time, whether it will occur by phone or in person, and preparation instructions.
Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) outlines the following preparation tips:
- Have all information and facts that are relevant to the case on hand.
- Bring all relevant documents such as the company handbook, a copy of the employment contract, and any previous disciplinary actions.
- Go through the case file before the hearing to get your facts straight.
- Contact and prepare any witnesses who were present during the events that caused your termination.
- Prepare a direct testimony and written evidence on matters related to company policy.
The next step is to attend the hearing on the date and time indicated. You have the right to have an unemployment appeals lawyer at your hearing. Your attorney can help you prepare for the hearing by gathering pertinent information for your case as well as representing your interests in court.
Once the review examiner decides on your claim, you’ll receive the result electronically or via mail. If you still don’t agree with the decision, you may launch another appeal with a Board of Review.
What Should I Say On My Unemployment Appeal?
Your unemployment appeal hearing is your chance to outline your case and provide additional details that could help turn things in your favor.
For example, if you were denied unemployment benefits because you left your job voluntarily, your hearing gives you a chance to state the real reason you quit. Good reasons for leaving a job would include sexual harassment, discrimination, or an unsafe workplace. In addition, if you reported your employer for any of the above and they responded by suddenly demoting you, delaying pay, or drastically reducing your work hours, then it can be said that you have a valid reason for leaving the job and deserve unemployment benefits.
Another reason why you may have been denied unemployment benefits is that your employer claims that they fired you for a policy violation or misconduct. Your appeal hearing allows you to set the facts straight by either proving that there was no written record of the specific violation or by showing performance reports that prove you were considered a valuable asset to the company.
While it’s possible to represent yourself in these types of hearings, your former employer will likely send a company attorney or human resources professional to speak on their behalf. Hiring an unemployment appeals attorney is a great way to ensure you have an advocate who is familiar with all aspects of employment law and can stand by your side during the hearing.
Talk to a Lawyer About Boston Unemployment Appeals
If you’re looking for a qualified unemployment appeals lawyer in Boston, HKM Employment Attorneys is the law firm for you. Our team is experienced and highly skilled in matters concerning labor and employment laws. We have successfully represented several clients against unreasonable employers. Get started today with an initial consultation where we can discuss the details of your case.