Corren & Corren regularly represents both employees and employers in unemployment insurance matters.
Employees are usually entitled to receive unemployment insurance benefits from the State of California when they meet the following conditions:
- The employee is unemployed (may qualify if partially unemployed).
- The employee is unemployed through no fault of the employee.
- The employee is physically able and available to work.
- The employee is actively looking for work (completing at least 2 applications per week).
Employees are usually not entitled to receive unemployment benefits if they have quit their job or have been terminated for “misconduct.” However, if it is determined that the employee had good cause for quitting, the employee may be entitled to receive unemployment benefits.
The process of applying for unemployment benefits usually begins when an employee submits an online application. Typically, a representative from the Employment Development Department (EDD) will then conduct telephone conferences with both the employee and the employer to determine why the employee no longer works for the employer. The EDD then makes its determination as to whether the employee should receive the benefits. If either the employee or the employer disagrees with the EDD decision, either party has the right to appeal the decision and request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge.
An unemployment hearing is similar to a short trial. Although the rules are more relaxed, both sides have an opportunity to make their case through the use of oral testimony and documentary evidence. The hearings are audio recorded and the Judge usually asks questions before the attorneys and/or the parties are allowed to ask questions. Often times the hearing duration is less than two hours. However, sometimes the hearings can last several hours and/or extend over multiple days.
The Judge usually renders a written decision 1-4 weeks after the hearing. If either the employee or the employer disagrees with the Judge’s decision, either party has the right to file a written appeal. Such written appeals can take several months to resolve and normally are limited to an analysis of legal issues only. New facts and/or evidence usually cannot be introduced at this written appeal stage.
If you are an employee or an employer who has an unemployment insurance matter or question, please contact our office for a free consultation.