If you have been denied PA UC benefits, you are probably wondering what you will need to prove to be awarded benefits. There are several reasons a person’s unemployment benefits may be denied. The two most common sections of the PA UC Law are 402(b) and 402(e). Below are a list of reasons, arguments, and defenses to raise if you have been denied UC benefits.
Willful Misconduct – Section 402(e)
402(e) deals with the issue of willful misconduct. The most common situation where willful misconduct is found is in the case of a violation of an employer’s work rule. The employer will seek to deny benefits by showing the existence of the rule, the reasonableness of the rule, awareness of the rule (typically by signing an acknowledgement of receiving an employee handbook or prior warnings), and a violation of that rule.
Common defenses to willful misconduct include lack of awareness of the rule or that the violation thereof was unintentional. Other potential defenses include the employer not applying the work rules uniformly to all employees. Additionally, mere poor work performance is not a basis to deny an employee’s unemployment benefits provided that the employee worked to the best of their ability.
Voluntarily Quitting – Section 402(b)
Generally, if you voluntarily leave or quit your employment, you cannot receive unemployment benefits. However, there is an exception to this rule. In the event that you can establish that you had “necessitous and compelling reasons” for voluntarily leaving and you “exhausted all alternatives” prior to leaving the position, you may be entitled to receive unemployment benefits even if you quit your job. These types of issues are decided on a case-by-case basis and are primarily are left within the discretion of the UC referee or Board of Review. You must also establish that you are able and available for suitable work in order to receive UC benefits.
Discuss Your Case
If you would like to discuss your case with me during a consultation, feel free to call me at (484) 362-9286. I will be happy to discuss your case and inform you how your case will be decided depending on your circumstances.