Unemployment law is the area of law focusing on unemployment compensation benefits. When an individual is separated from employment, they are generally allowed to receive compensation through unemployment so long as her or she has earned the requisite amount of money in the quarters prior to his or her separation. However, an individual’s right to unemployment is not absolute. One cannot voluntarily quit his or her employment, for instance, without good cause. Similarly, one cannot be fired for “cause,” meaningful willful misconduct, in the workplace.
Many individuals make the mistake of assuming that unemployment is simple and that they do not need an attorney. This may be the case so long as one’s benefits are not challenged. But when there are questions of whether or not a quit was voluntary or without cause, or if an employee was terminated for willful misconduct, there is often a challenge to a claimant’s benefits. When the employer, or the unemployment office itself, challenges a claimant’s benefits there is a hearing scheduled in front of an administrative law judge. This judge is the fact finder and applies the rules of evidence at the hearing. It would benefit any claimant immensely to have trusted legal counsel to help them through the process.