Good and hard workers lose their jobs on a daily basis and start their unemployment claims and appeals without an unemployment attorney because they have full expectations of receiving the compensation they deserve. To their surprise, their former employer throws up roadblocks and obstacles in their path for the sole purpose of minimizing the premiums they pay to Unemployment. We help these employees get the benefits they deserve.
Even though you may be rightly due compensation, your former employer’s poor payroll records or desperate attempt to minimize their expenses may leave you without the benefits you earned to care for your family and yourself during these difficult economic times while you search for new employment.
Although it may seem obvious that you have a right to compensation, moving forward on your own with unemployment appeals and hearings may leave you with a denied unemployment determination and even with ODJFS demanding you pay back benefits.
Do not let yourself be fooled by the seemingly informal nature of the unemployment review commission telephone hearings, because these are real hearings, governed by laws and procedures, and they may be your best and last chance to present evidence that you are due benefits.
Smith's Law Offices offers Free Initial Consultations. We additionally offer contingency agreements whenever possible, with no up-front fee.
We collect a fee ONLY if we are successful in obtaining your unemployment benefits for you.
You have nothing to risk or lose by calling Smith's Law Offices for your free consultation, so call us today before any of your unemployment appeal rights are lost.
Whether you just received an unemployment denial and need to appeal or are about to have an unemployment hearing, we can help.
The unemployment benefit appeal process does provide opportunities to obtain a determination in your favor, but you must have knowledge of the laws, the rules, and have the required tools to obtain and present evidence on your behalf.
We have the expertise and experience to navigate through the Unemployment Appeal process and to present the best case possible to obtain the benefits you deserve.
The fact is, ODJFS does not operate based on what you know to be true, unless that truth can be shown to them, proven to them, and explained in a way that they can understand that Ohio statutes and rules require them to give you benefits.
It is a simple decision: If you want to increase your chances of obtaining benefits, take advantage of a free consultation with the licensed attorneys at Smith's Law Offices.
Because unemployment determinations are appealed in writing, and the hearings are conducted by telephone, Smith's Law Offices successfully represents clients throughout the State of Ohio.
We only represent employees, never employers, because we believe in fighting for Ohio's workers, never against them.
John Sivinski and Brian Smith built their practice of representing employees during unemployment appeals upon a foundation of successfully representing employees wrongfully terminated during union arbitrations, workers' compensation claims, and in state and federal litigation for many years. No unemployment appeal case at Smith's Law Offices is ever delegated down to a staff member. Instead, Smith's Law Offices guarantees that your case will receive personalized direct representation from attorneys John Sivinski and Brian Smith.
If you have lost your job and your former employer is fighting your benefit claim, call Smith's Law Offices for a free consultation with a respected and licensed employment attorney. We strive to provide aggressive legal representation throughout the unemployment process, requesting records and tailoring the best legal arguments available, to protect your rights and to obtain any compensation that you have a right to.
OUR RECENT CASES/NEWS
Employer lacked just cause to terminate for a no-call/no-show: The Hearing Officer did not agree with the employer that it had just cause to terminate for a no-call/no-show when the employee did call off to co-workers due to a bona fide medical illness. Unemployment Appeal Won 3/7/2018.
Employer lacked just cause to terminate employee when customers were happy with employee’s performance: The hearing officer was persuaded, in part due to statements from customers that they were happy with our client’s performance, that the employer lacked just cause to terminate for failing to meet performance expectations. Unemployment Appeal Won 3/7/2018.
Employer lacked just cause to terminate employee for failing to meet expectations it did not explain: When the employer promoted our client, it failed to explain the expectations of the new job and, therefore, lacked just cause to terminate the employee for failing to meet the unspoken expectations. Unemployment Appeal Won 3/6/2018.
Moving to a closer seat during a meeting is not violent behavior: Employer alleged that our client made them feel intimidate, although it presented evidence of what our client did other that to move to a closer seat during a meeting. The employer lacked just cause to terminate. Unemployment Appeal Won 3/1/2018.
Termination for being on worker’s comp. leave without a release to return to work lacks just cause: Our client was off of work on a worker’s compensation leave, having been examined by the employer’s doctor and not given a release to return to work. The employer lacked just cause to terminate the employee for being absent without authorization. Unemployment Appeal Won 2/26/2018.
Termination for failing to meet substantially changed duties lacks just cause: The employer gave our client new duties to complete and then terminate our client for failing to complete those duties adequately. Because there had been a substantial change in the requirements for the position, the employer lacked just cause to terminate. Unemployment Appeal Won 2/26/2018.
Termination for doing what you are told is without just cause: Our client was sent to observe another employee, found the employee dressed inappropriately, took a photo that she shared with her supervisor, and was then terminated for taking the photo. The Hearing Officer agreed that this was not just cause for termination. Unemployment Appeal Won 2/22/2018.
Employer mistakenly believed employee was taking extended breaks: We persuaded the Hearing Officer that the employer was mistaken when it accused our client of taking extended breaks and as a result it was held that the employer lacked just cause to terminate. Unemployment Appeal Won 12/22/2017.
Requesting help is not insubordination: The employer terminated our client believing he engage in insubordination when he asked for additional help, but the Hearing Officer agreed that the request was not insubordination an therefore the employer lacked just cause to terminate. Unemployment Appeal Won 12/22/2017.
Employer lacked just cause to terminate employee for being rude: The hearing officer agreed that the employer failed to show that the employee was rude during an informal meeting over a cup of coffee, and thus the employer lacked just cause to terminate. Unemployment Appeal Won 12/18/2017.
Employer with unclear job expectations lacked just cause to terminate: The hearing officer agreed that the employer did not have just cause to terminate when it did not provide details about purported areas of concern and it was unclear about what it was expecting of the employee. Unemployment Appeal Won 12/12/2017
Not all mistakes warrant termination: Due to a lack of training, and employee who made a mistake at work was terminated without just cause. Unemployment Appeal Won 12/11/2017.
Facebook posts do not give just cause to terminate: Employer did not have just cause to terminate an employee for his personal social media posts when they were posted from home, were not work related, and did not mention the employer. Unemployment Appeal Won 12/5/2017.
Employer lacked just cause to terminate an employee who was showing improvement: An employee who was put on a 60-day action plan was showing improvement, so the employer’s decision to terminate the employee before the 60 days had run lacked just cause. Unemployment Appeal Won 11/30/2017.
A mistake is not a lie: The Hearing Officer agreed that although the employee had made a mistake in what they stated to the employer, this was not a lie as alleged by the employer and therefore it lacked just cause to terminate. Unemployment Appeal Won 11/15/2017.
Employer who skipped progressive discipline steps lacked just cause to terminate: We showed that the employer lacked just cause to skip multiple progressive discipline steps to terminate when the employee’s error was unintentional. Unemployment Appeal Won 11/15/2017.
Employee had just cause to resign due to medical reasons, even though she did not seek other positions first: The employer had only two positions available, neither of which could the employee perform due to medical reasons, and therefore she had just cause to resign. Unemployment Appeal Won 11/1/2017.
Prior discipline insufficient cause to terminate: Although an employee had received a record of discipline, the Employer failed to show any misconduct between the last discipline and the termination that justified the termination. Unemployment Appeal Won 10/27/2017.
Employer lacked just cause to terminate an employee who was absent due to medical issues: The Hearing Officer agreed that the employer lacked just cause to terminate an employee who had absences due to medical issues beyond their control. Unemployment Appeal Won 10/20/2017.
ODJFS was in error when it denied benefits due to an inability to work: We demonstrated that, while the employee was not able to do their job at the time they were terminated, they were subsequently released to work without restrictions and therefore eligible for benefits. Unemployment Appeal Won 10/20/2017.
Employer lacked just cause to terminate an employee who did what he was trained: Employer had a written policy that it claimed the employee violated, but the Hearing Officer agreed that the actual training the employee received did not match the written policy. Unemployment Appeal Won 10/13/2017.
Employer did not have just cause to terminate employee for spreading rumors: Employer lacked just cause to terminate employee to prevent discussions about a flirtatious employee and the employer. Unemployment Appeal Won 10/12/2017.
Termination of employee for allegedly misusing an employer voucher was without just cause: Hearing Officer agreed that, even of the allegation were true, the employer’s own policy called for a coaching rather than a termination. Failure to follow its own policy meant it lacked just cause to terminate. Unemployment Appeal Won 10/11/2017.
Termination for a customer complaint was without just cause: The Employer did not have just cause to terminate for a customer complaint when the employee simply informed the customer of a store policy and the employer lacked evidence that she was rude when doing so. Unemployment Appeal Won 9/21/2017.
When employer cuts your hours, you do not have to bump another employee before resigning: After employee’s hours were cut in half she resigned. The employer argued that she should have bumped into another position which would have still been a 20% reduction in hours. The Hearing Officer disagreed and approved her benefits. Unemployment Appeal Won 9/19/2017.
Termination for absences due to medical reasons is without just cause: Employee not sufficiently at fault for absences due to migraines even though the absences exceeded the points allowed by the employer’s attendance policy. Unemployment Appeal Won 9/7/2017.
Employer lacked evidence to justify termination for alleged assault: Employer's claim that employee attempted to assault another employee was not credible. Unemployment Appeal Won 9/5/2017.
Employee did not resign by leaving early from work: Employer's claim employee resigned was refuted by employee's email informing the employer they were just leaving early due to illness. Unemployment Appeal Won 8/30/2017.
Employer cannot claim an employee is on leave when they send a severance agreement: Severance agreement showed employee was terminated and the employer lacked just cause. Unemployment Appeal Won 8/30/2017.
Termination of employee who followed instructions was without just cause: Demonstrated that the employee was terminated for following instructions. Unemployment Appeal Won 8/29/2017.
Termination based on anonymous witness statements is without just cause: Hearing officer agreed that employer could not show just cause to terminate when it relied solely upon anonymous witness statements. Unemployment Appeal Won 8/16/2017.
No Just Cause to Terminate for Attendance: The hearing officer agreed that the Employer did not show sufficient tardies to justify termination and it had told the employee instead that he was terminated due to a lack of work. Unemployment Appeal Won 8/3/2017.
Resignation at Advise of Psychiatrist is With Cause: Employee who resigned due to the impact of her job on her mental illness was eligible for unemployment compensation. Unemployment Appeal Won 7/28/2017.
Employee Error Did Not Warrant Termination: Employer lacked just cause to terminate an employee who was given unreasonable expectations. Unemployment Appeal Won 7/7/2017.
Allegations of Falsification of Records Not Substantiated: Smith's Law Offices showed that the employee followed the normal practice and had permission to adjust records. Unemployment Appeal Won 6/27/2017.
No Just Cause to Terminate Employee Absent Due to Daughter's Medical Reasons: Employer lacked just cause to terminate employee with significant absences because it failed to give any progressive discipline and absences were due to daughter's bona fide illness. Unemployment Appeal Won 6/22/2017.
Job Requirements Changed Substantially After Hiring.: Employee accused of failing to meet job expectations approved for benefits, including nearly $7,000 in back-payments, because the job substantially changed. Unemployment Appeal Won 6/20/2017.
Showed Employer Lacked Just Cause to Terminate: It was shown that the employer lacked sufficient proof to terminate an employee for hanging up on a customer. Unemployment Appeal Won 6/8/2017.
Employee Had Just Cause to Resign: Employee who was put on light duty had just cause to resign when the employer offered not positions that would conform to the light duty requirements. Unemployment Appeal Won 6/2/2017.
Management Delays Do Not Justify Terminating Employee: We showed that accusations that employee was terminated because projects were delayed were insufficient for just cause because the delays were due to management rather than the employee. Unemployment Appeal Won 5/19/2017.
Venting About Discipline is Not Just Cause to Terminate: Employer who terminated employee for closing their office door and venting to a friend and co-worker about being put on a performance improvement plan did not have just cause for the termination. Unemployment Appeal Won 5/18/2017.
Rules Must Be Applied Reasonably: Although the hearing officer concluded that the employee violated a rule, we were able to convince her that the rule was not applied reasonably and that the termination without prior discipline was without just cause. Unemployment Appeal Won 5/17/2017.
Employee's Reasonable Deviations from Policies Not Just Cause to Terminate: Employer who left employee short staffed lacked just cause to terminate the employee for deviations from policy when those deviations were reasonable and did not cause any harm to the employer. Unemployment Appeal Won 5/8/2017.
Employer Lacks Just Cause to Terminate for Absence: Employer who did not follow its own progressive discipline policy, and then issued a termination for an absence due to an illness with medical documentation, lacked just cause. Unemployment Appeal Won 4/24/2017.
Employer Could Not Convert Layoff into a Termination: Employer who asked employee if he wanted a voluntary layoff and then did not offer him any work could not use a prior incident as a justification to terminate - the employee was laid off due to a lack of work. Unemployment Appeal Won 4/24/2017.
Showed the Hearing Officer that the Employee Did Not Commit Misconduct: Employer failed to show any misconduct after last discipline and therefore lacked just cause to then terminate. Unemployment Appeal Won 4/7/2017.
Giving Accurate Information is Not Just Cause to Terminate: Employee payroll coordinator was terminated without just cause for sharing tax information with employee when it was shown that the information was accurate and followed procedure. Unemployment Appeal Won 4/3/2017.
Employer Lacked Just Cause When It Skipped Discipline Steps: Hearing Officer agreed that the Employer failed to follow its progressive discipline policy and, as a result, it lacked just cause to terminate our client. Unemployment Appeal Won 3/29/2017.
Mistake that Was Quickly Corrected Was Not Just Cause to Terminate: Employee with prior disciplinary record was terminated for entering the wrong code on a lab report; however, because the error was immediately caught and corrected the Hearing Officer agreed that the employer lacked just cause to terminate. Unemployment Appeal Won 3/27/2017.
Last Minute Denial of Vacation Did Not Give Just Cause to Terminate: Employee requested vacation many weeks in advance and paid for the vacation, only to be told a couple days before that he would be terminated if he took the vacation. The Hearing Officer agreed that the Employer lacked just cause to terminate because it could not show the employee's actions, "were so egregious or unreasonable as to warrant a denial of unemployment benefits." Unemployment Appeal Won 3/23/2017.
Employer Lacked Just Cause to Terminate for Absenteeism: Even though the employee did not have medical documentation, she provided credible testimony that she was absent only twice and was ill each time. "Absenteeism caused by bona fide illness, reported to an employer, is not just cause for discharge." Unemployment Appeal Won 3/15/2017.
Leaving Early Does Not Justify Termination: After an employee's supervisor laughed with a customer who was calling her stupid and then argued with her when she complained, she became upset, crying, and said she needed to take the rest of the day off. The Hearing Officer agreed that the employer did not have just cause to terminate her for arguing or leaving early when it did not object or warn her that she would be disciplined. Unemployment Appeal Won 3/13/2017.
Reporting Off Work is Not a Resignation: Employee who had a conversation about wages with his supervisor and finished the conversation by saying he was "done," had not resigned. Rather, even though he reported off for the next day, the fact that he asked why the employer took him off the schedules confirmed that he only meant he was "done" with the conversation. Unemployment Appeal Won. 3/13/2017.
Mere Fact Employee Used Profanity Does Not Mean Employer Had Just Cause to Terminate: Hearing officer agreed that an employee who used the F word, but was responding to the supervisor's use of profanity, was terminated without just cause. Unemployment Appeal Won 3/6/2017.
Employer Lacked Just Cause to Terminate for Attendance: Employer's policy provided discipline steps for attendance, including termination after the 6th occurrence. It was shown that Employer did not follow its policy, terminating after the 5th occurrence and with only one prior warning. Unemployment Appeal Won 3/3/2017.
Employer Failed to Follow Its Progressive Discipline Policy: Employer who skipped several steps of its progressive discipline policy lacked just cause to terminate because employee had reasonable expectation that employer would follow its own policy. Unemployment Appeal Won 2/28/2017.
Employer Failed to Show Rule Violation: Employee was accused of misusing a phone at work, but we showed that she was merely listening to music, which the employer permitted. Unemployment Appeal Won 2/14/2017.
Employer's Skipping of Progressive Discipline Steps Was Unwarranted: Employer failed to present justification for skipping a step of its own discipline policy, so employee found eligible for compensation. Unemployment Appeal Won 2/8/2017.
Employer Lacked Just Cause to Terminate: Hearing Officer approved client for unemployment, persuaded that the employer lacked just cause to terminate for sending emails during work. The Hearing Officer concluded that the employer did not persuade him that an actual violation of policy occurred. Unemployment Appeal Won 1/23/2017.
Employer Lacked Just Cause to Terminate: Convinced the Hearing Officer that the employer lacked evidence of wrongdoing of a medical employee despite some complaints from other workers. Unemployment Appeal Won 12/27/2016.
Employer Failed to Train: Hearing Officer agreed that the employee was eligible because the employer lacked just cause to terminate. The Employer knew when it hired the employee that she would need training to perform her job, it failed to provide training, and then it terminated her unjustly for not being able to perform her job as desired. Unemployment Appeal Won 12/27/2016.
Employee Misclassified as 1099 Contractor: Obtained unemployment compensation for an employee who had been paid as a 1099 independent contractor, but should have been classified as and paid as an employee subject to unemployment compensation. Unemployment Appeal Won 12/21/2016.
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Geauga County Auditor
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