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  1. #1
    LakeviewGuy1976 is offline Junior Member
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    Employer Perjury in Unemployment Hearing - What Can I Do About It?

    STATE: Illinois

    ISSUE: During a recent hearing in front of the Illinois Department of Employment Services (IDES), my former Employer committed four provable acts of perjury in an attempt to have my unemployment benefits taken away.

    My employer knowingly lied about four separate matters and my employer's attorney encouraged and allowed my employer to lie at the hearing.

    At the start of the hearing, the presiding Judge administered an oath to tell the truth and my employer disregarded this oath with the intent to provide materially false testimony to the Judge with the intention of having my unemployment benefits taken away from me.

    QUESTION: Even though I realize that on the totem pole I am low and that few people are actually prosecuted for perjury, I want to complain about this perjury (and subornation of perjury as committed by my employer's attorney) but I don't see how to do that.

    * IDES told me that "law enforcement" is in charge of handling perjury cases, but the IDES representatives on the phone didn't know what "law enforcement" that would be

    * 311 told me that it's not the police, but "some government" agency that would pursue perjury charges against my employer

    * the Attorney General's office only has complaint forms that are geared towards consumer issues, where someone ripped off a customer. There's nothing for a situation like mine on the website and after talking to people in five departments at the AG's office, no one had any idea who to talk to about this.

    I'm at a real loss here, because what was the point of the oath the Judge administered if my employer knowingly lied four separate times and there's seemingly no mechanism to bring this to the attention of anyone. If this is true, then why provide the oath and why would anyone ever tell the truth at a hearing because there's no consequence for lying?

    Does anyone know what agency I should complain to and how to do that?

    A link to a URL for a complaint form would be great...or absent that, it would be great to see a letter that someone has written in a situation like mine bringing perjury to the attention of the appropriate people?What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
  2. #2
    Beth3 is offline Senior Member
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    I've been to many an unemployment hearing in my time, representing my employers over the years. In my experience, it's rare for an employee not to lie when giving testimony ("No, that's not my signature on that warning." "No, they never told me if I did it again, I'd be fired." "No, they never gave me a copy of the employee handbook." And so on and so on...)

    The point I'm attempting to make is that if everyone who lied at an unemployment hearing, whether it's the employee or the employer, was prosecuted for same, there would be many, many thousands of individuals in jail for lying under oath. Frankly, I've never heard of that happening.

    Administrative Law Judges often have to make their decision regarding benefits on who they think is telling the truth and who they find more credible. In other words, it's clear to the ALJ that both parties can't be telling the truth when they give completely different versions of the events.

    You need to just let this go. It's incredibly unlikely that the State is going to prosecute your employer for lying under oath.
    Last edited by Beth3; 04-04-2012 at 03:40 PM.
    A person, who is nice to you, but rude to a waiter, is not a nice person. (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails.)
  3. #3
    LakeviewGuy1976 is offline Junior Member
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    Beth --

    Thanks for your reply.

    But, what's the point of administering the oath to tell the truth then if there's no consequence for the people who lie?

    When an employer lies with the intent of telling that lie as part of the effort to have my unemployment benefits taken away, is there then no consequence at all to the employer for lying?

    Also -- related -- why do employers try to have unemployment benefits taken away in the first place? Why do employers go to the trouble of challenging benefits and then go even further and lie under oath to have benefits taken away?

    Why do they do this?
  4. #4
    Beth3 is offline Senior Member
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    But, what's the point of administering the oath to tell the truth then if there's no consequence for the people who lie? I can't answer that question. I can only tell you that I take it seriously and have never misrepresented anything at a UC hearing.

    When an employer lies with the intent of telling that lie as part of the effort to have my unemployment benefits taken away, is there then no consequence at all to the employer for lying? Truthfully, no.

    why do employers try to have unemployment benefits taken away in the first place? Because all employers pay unemployment taxes to the State as a percent of payroll and the more claimants an employer has, the higher their UC tax rate.

    Why do employers go to the trouble of challenging benefits and then go even further and lie under oath to have benefits taken away? I think that's too sweeping a statement. Clearly not all employers lie under oath at a UC hearing, nor do all claimants.

    If the State determined you were eligible for unemployment benefits despite the untruths your employer told, then that's the best you can hope for.
    A person, who is nice to you, but rude to a waiter, is not a nice person. (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails.)
  5. #5
    LakeviewGuy1976 is offline Junior Member
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    How big of a jump in tax rate does one claimant cause?

    I've been trying to research this and have never found anything to tell me.

    My employer has approximately 60 employees and is incorporated in the state of Illinois.

    I'm curious as to how much the employer pays in tax now for the unemployment insurance and how big of a jump it would be because of my claim.

    I am trying to understand the psychology and business decision to invest so heavily in fighting my claim.

    FYI: There is no verdict yet on my benefits. So far, we've had four hearings because the hearings only last for an hour and the time always runs out and so another hearing is scheduled several months later to continue. This is the Appeals level; I won the first round where it was just the telephone interview with a Claims Adjudicator. And then the Employer appealed that decision and so here we are now. My benefits are still coming while the employer appeals and these hearings are happening.

    My employer is claiming I was terminated for misconduct but keeps changing the story on why I was fired and keeps inventing new reasons -- and then I object to and refute those reasons and the time runs out and then the next month the employer invents a new reason I was fired and the Judge just keeps the process going.
  6. #6
    swalsh411 is offline Senior Member
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    It depends on a number of factors and it varies by State. Factors can include, but are not necessarily limited to, size of total payroll, number of claims paid out, the level of the State's unemployment fund, and the overall economic picture. There is no way to tell you "if your claim is approved it will cost them XX" because for one thing we have no idea how much in total benefits you will end up claiming.

    They may be fighting you on priciple because they believe you are not eligible, they may be fighting you because they enjoy the process, or they may be fighting you because they didn't like you. This is not a psychology forum.

    The process cannot go on forever. There are a limited number of appeals available to either side. If they were not able to present credible evidence of your alleged misconduct, and you qualify financially, then your chances are pretty good.
  7. #7
    commentator is offline Senior Member
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    Sometimes there is an continuation of the hearing. But the whole case is time sensitive, they really are not supposed to take too long before giving the decision. But according to federal unemployment practice, unemployment hearings are ALWAYS done under the assumption that even though they have been sworn in, there is the assumption that one or BOTH of the parties may be lying. If the testimony given by the two parties is completely different concerning some issue related to the unemployment claim, of course someone is lying.

    But what can you do about it? Not a darn thing. Forget even thinking about it. Perhaps you could sue the person for slander or libel IF you were denied your benefits and it caused you some sort of monetary damage (the denial of the amount of your unemployment insurance) But believe me, it would be a whole lot more trouble, and would take a lot more time and quite a bit more money than you would ever want to invest in it, (or would draw in unemployment benefits) and then you very well, if you couldn't submit good enough proofs to refute the employer's false testimony in an unemployment hearing, how in the world do you think you'd be more able to prove it before a civil court judge?

    You need to get over this. When you've had your hearing and gotten the second decision, this case will pretty much be over. After that there's the board of review, which looks at whether or not the law was followed during the hearing. It is very rare for a decision to be overturned in this appeal. Then beyond that, it could move to civil court if the party has the time and desire to push it on, but it is even rare-er for a decision to be overturned at this point.

    By the way, there is no agency you can complain to about the way the state operates the federally mandated unemployment system. I mean, you can write a letter to the commissioner of labor, or a letter to the governor of your state (which will get passed down to the commissioner of labor's office, and then down to the ajudication unit of the unemployment system) but it will not accomplish anything. Employers write and call their legislators all the time when they try to fire somebody and that person gets approved for benefits. Win your hearing. That's what you want to do, not punish your employer for their supposed untruths. This testimony is not public record, and after the hearings, NOBODY cares what was said.

    What is the effect of your claim on the employer? Well, after many years of working in the system, let me explain it to you. The employer is taxed as soon as they go into business, every quarter, a rate based on several things. The type of business, the number of employees, the frequency of lay-offs expected. This rate is usually pretty low, comparatively. But employers naturally hate having to pay even the lowest rate possible. It is money that takes away from their bottom line.

    Then as time passes, and the individual employer's history becomes a factor, most employers' tax rates become higher. A single individual approved for benefits could bump the employer up to a higher rate. Frequent lay offs will definitely have an effect. But in any case, you can bet your life they didn't enjoy having to pay it in the first place, any of it, and they will deeply resent having to pay it higher because they tried to fire you and failed to keep you from receiving benefits.

    There are private consulting companies that contract with businesses to handle all their unemployment issues and they contest EVERY SINGLE CLAIM and brag that they can lower the employers' tax rates. They do a pretty good business, especially with large companies.

    That is the financial issue. Then of course there is the personal issue. Employers don't usually even like to have to lay people off and let them draw unemployment insurance because of the cost issues. If you quit the job, of course, you usually don't receive unemployment. But most of them, particularly in a small, locally owned business are furious when they attempt to fire someone and that person actually is approved for unemployment insurance. They're fighting it tooth and nail partly because they just plain old don't like you, thought you deserved to be fired, and don't want you to have unemployment benefits. They wanted to be able to fire you at will. If they had been smart about it, and had used progressive discipline and given you opportunities to change your behavior and keep your job before terminating you, they'd have been able to do so. If they do this, and are able to present better proof of your story than what you are saying happened, then they can keep you from receiving benefits.

    Legally, they can do this in almost every state. BUt then there's the issue, if they can't demonstrate they had a valid work related misconduct reason to terminate you, they don't get to stop you from drawing unemployment benefits.

    That these people keep changing their story of the exact reason they terminated you is going to be noted by the hearing officer. You're probably, if you have had the same story from the beginning, will come across as the most believable. And you have no choice but to wait this out and see what decision you get.

    Believe me, your employer is not doing anything unusual. If your initial claim had been denied, you'd be fighting to have the decision overturned. You have the right to do so, as they have the right to appeal your approval. Don't personalize this too much. CLaims are appealed constantly. Somebody lies in a hearing, no joke, probably thousands of times a day. But the system works after a fashoin anyway.

    You're making job searches, and you're going to be on unemployment for a limited time even if you are approved. Start moving on and looking for another job instead of trying to punish your former employer for daring to tell this story their way. Good luck on the hearing. Let us know.
    Last edited by commentator; 04-04-2012 at 06:22 PM.
  8. #8
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LakeviewGuy1976 View Post
    Beth --

    Thanks for your reply.

    But, what's the point of administering the oath to tell the truth then if there's no consequence for the people who lie?

    When an employer lies with the intent of telling that lie as part of the effort to have my unemployment benefits taken away, is there then no consequence at all to the employer for lying?

    Also -- related -- why do employers try to have unemployment benefits taken away in the first place? Why do employers go to the trouble of challenging benefits and then go even further and lie under oath to have benefits taken away?

    Why do they do this?
    Perjury is the crime of lying under oath -- but you need a truth under oath in order to prove the lie. What lies do you allege he told?
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  9. #9
    Beth3 is offline Senior Member
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    And then the Employer appealed that decision and so here we are now. My benefits are still coming while the employer appeals and these hearings are happening.

    At this point, it is incredibly unlikely that the decision will be overturned, no matter how many additional hearings are held. All your employer is doing is wasting their time and yours.

    My employer is claiming I was terminated for misconduct but keeps changing the story on why I was fired and keeps inventing new reasons -- and then I object to and refute those reasons and the time runs out and then the next month the employer invents a new reason I was fired and the Judge just keeps the process going.

    The ALJ is only doing what State UC statutes require him to do, no matter how big a waste of time these judges know this is. I can't imagine why your employer is continue to bother with this but they can if they want to. Eventually, they'll run out of appeals to make and it will be over and done with.
    A person, who is nice to you, but rude to a waiter, is not a nice person. (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails.)
  10. #10
    startedone is offline Member
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    OP can look into conspiracy to tamper with evidence ... a civil cause of action.
  11. #11
    Beth3 is offline Senior Member
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    The OP can't do anything. A State employee (an Administrative Law Judge) administered the oath and took the testimony. It would be up to the State to pursue perjury charges and they're simply not going to bother with that.
    Last edited by Beth3; 04-05-2012 at 04:20 PM.
    A person, who is nice to you, but rude to a waiter, is not a nice person. (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails.)
  12. #12
    commentator is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by startedone View Post
    OP can look into conspiracy to tamper with evidence ... a civil cause of action.
    No they can't. This is not a civil case. This is a departmental/administrative hearing, not a court case.
  13. #13
    davidmcbeth3 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by commentator View Post
    No they can't. This is not a civil case. This is a departmental/administrative hearing, not a court case.
    Tampering applies to admin hearings too ,... quasi-judicial

    I've done it before ...
  14. #14
    commentator is offline Senior Member
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    Really? You actually successfully sued an employer for falsifying evidence in an unemployment hearing against you...even before the decision was rendered on the claim....I want to hear all about that! Please share.
  15. #15
    commentator is offline Senior Member
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    Yes, and it's probably a good idea to start your own thread. If you took your case all the way to the civil court, and you were still not approved, then they must have had some really jim dandy proofs of misconduct, and sound unemployment law to back them up. This is from someone who did this for many years. No, you are not "fitting" the state, the state is just appying the unemployment laws they have. And they pick and choose the ones that apply. And then the review decides whether or not the rules were correctly applied.


    I have seen just as many employers who thought they were being mistreated and railroaded as claimants. Sometimes the claimant wins, sometimes the employer wins. You have experience with one case, one claim.

    Why on earth would anyone want to talk to you about what you think you know and how well you've handled your case, when you're not approved, you probably wasted hours and hours and lots more money than you'd ever have drawn in benefits if you were approved?

    Every case is different. I hope no one else wants to waste a lot of time they could spend looking for another job on trying to grind this axe to powder with you.

    The system works. It may not be perfect, but there's no way you can "fix" the system. In fact, most of the thought that's being given to unemployment benefits is like the thought that's being given to all the other perceived "entitlement programs" (even though unemployment isn't really one of those needs based entitlement programs.) They're thinking wistfully about doing away with it all together, and making all those employers SOOO happy that they can fire anyone at will.

    If you think for one minute they're going to work on the system because you complained to (gasp!) a senator, and make it fairer, or more employee friendly, you're badly mistaken.
    Last edited by commentator; 10-01-2012 at 02:26 PM.

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