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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Unemployment Denial

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? NJ...I was recently denied Unemployment Insurance Benefits. I had to complete an Apprenticeship in order to complete my New Jersey Certification Requirements for teaching. My employer...a school...required that I resign in order to participate in the Apprenticeship program. Unemployment said that I quit "voluntarily". I am going to appeal, but I am hoping that there is some precedent or case law that I can site during my appeal hearing. Since I am unemployed I can't afford to pay a lawyer. Is there any information/assistance available that will help me achieve success in my appeal? Please help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Sorry, but because you voluntarily resigned from your job -- although it was because you wanted to go into the internship program, you did it of your own free will. If you had been forced to quit the job, not accept the job this year, or because the school said you can't teach here any more if you are not certified...whatever, then you might have had a fair chance of approval. They have obviously hired you and were allowing you to work before uncertified, due maybe to their lack of success in finding a certified person to teach.

    They have come to you, I'm assuming, and said, "We can't give you your job back this next school term unless you are certified. If you are certified, we WOULD have a job for you. In order to be certified to teach, you must resign from your job and go into the apprenticeship program for xxx number of months." They may have implied that this would mean they would rehire you at a later date, after your apprenticeship was completed and you were fully certified.

    But but it comes down to that you did voluntarily quit. You had the option to say, "I will not quit. If you want to fire me because I'm not certified, go ahead." Though it may seem strange, this would have increased your chances to be approved for unemployment benefits. The school system, not you would have been the ones with the burden of proof that you were terminated for a valid misconduct reason.

    But all you can do is describe the situation in appeals exactly as it happened. There is no law you can cite and quote to the appeals referee, there is no case law situation in unemployment insurance hearings anyhow. An attorney could not do you any good, they can't come up with anything that is not there. Either the circumstances that will make you eligible for unemployment benefits are present in your situation, or they are not.

    When you have your hearing the school system will say that you resigned from them in order to go into the apprenticeship program. This is what happened. You can say that they told you you would not have a job if you did not become certified. The only way you could become certified was to go through an apprenticeship program. The school system said you could not go through the apprenticeship program unless you had resigned from your job with them. You chose to do so. You can state this, and the claims appeal referee/hearing officer/judge will make a decision, but then there is really no argument that will say you are out of work through no fault of your own. You were the one who resigned.

    I realize that it is a sort of double bind situation. But it is one in which you most likely will not be able to draw unemployment benefits while you are doing your apprenticeship. You would not meet the eligibilty requirements for unemployment insurance otherwise anyhow. You would have to be able, available and actively seeking other employment to draw weekly benefits, and if you are locked into an apprenticeship program where you would not be available for other work, you won't qualify even if you were approved based on your reason for leaving the job, which probably will not happen in appeals. Good luck to you. Getting the apprenticeship over with and becoming a certified teacher will be good for you in the long run, even if you do not get to draw unemployment benefits while you are doing it.

    Last edited by commentator; 09-07-2011 at 04:59 PM.
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