Applying for unemployment benefits is not easy, and many applications for benefits are denied. Recently-terminated employees who believe that they are entitled to unemployment benefits (for example, if they were fired without cause or were forced to resign), have a right to appeal an adverse decision in favor of an employer.
Receiving unemployment benefits is often the difference between short-term sustainability and immediate poverty for families with a recently-terminated wage earner. Occasionally, appeals are successful, and recently terminated employees should contact an attorney about their appeal options.
The Process of an Unemployment Appeal in Missouri
In general, an unemployment appeal must be filed in writing with the appeals tribunal, and the appeal must explain the reasons why the claimant believes the denial of unemployment benefits was incorrect. From that point, the appeal will be assigned to an appeals referee and the parties will receive a packet of information concerning the appeal. If the referee’s decision is still adverse, an appeal may be made to the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission. Finally, an appeal may be heard through the Missouri courts. For more information about the flow of the unemployment appeals process, you can find the Missouri unemployment laws within the Missouri Employment Security Law, Chapter 288, RSMo.
The Appeals Referee Hearing
The first stage of the unemployment benefits appeals process is before an appeals referee appointed by the Division of Employment Security. In St. Louis, there are five different referees, and an appeal may be heard by either one of those referees, or a panel of three referees. After an appeal is filed, the appeals tribunal will notify all of the parties about the time of the appeal and will provide an informational packet about the appeal. In most cases, the appeal will be conducted via teleconference, but a request for an in-person appeal may be made. At the hearing, the parties will be expected to present evidence including exhibits and witness testimony.
Subsequent Appeals Before the LIRC and Courts
The decision of the appeals referee may be appealed to the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission (LIRC). In general, LIRC will rely on the factual record established by the appeals referee, although LIRC will (albeit rarely) allow newly discovered evidence to be presented. An additional appeal may be made to the Missouri courts, however, Missouri Courts will generally assume that LIRC’s appeals determination was correct, and will only overturn LIRC’s ruling if it finds that there was a substantial lack of evidence in support of that ruling.
Hire a St. Louis Unemployment Benefit Lawyer to Assist You
If you do not yet have a lawyer to assist you in the unemployment process, now is the time to seek counsel. Losing at the initial unemployment review stage is not fatal, and you can still receive unemployment benefits through filing an appeal. This is particularly true at the appeals referee stage, as the appeals referee considers the claim de novo, which means without regard to the initial unemployment determination. At HKM Employment Attorneys LLP, our team of employment lawyers possess experience assisting clients with unemployment benefit appeals. For immediate assistance, do not hesitate to contact our team today.