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SPLF Employment Blog

Applying for Unemployment in Virginia

virginia unpaid wages lawyer[ssba]Hi, my name is Jack Jarrett and I’m an attorney with the Spiggle Law Firm.

If you’re watching this video today because you’ve recently been terminated, let me start off by saying that I’m sorry. Losing your job is incredibly stressful and it’s very hard on people both financially and emotionally. While this time is very difficult, I’m here to tell you today that you do have some options and some things that you should do. And chief among those options is applying for unemployment benefits. When you apply for unemployment benefits there’s a very good chance that you’ll win even if your employer contests them.

Let me tell you a story about a former client. Several months ago we had a client named Sarah who worked for a big box store. It was based somewhere in the midwest. And that big store had an attendance policy that was obviously not designed for northern Virginia. Essentially, if you were late more than a handful of times, you would be fired. Well, if you live in northern Virginia like I do, you know that a lot of times there’s nothing you can do to avoid being late. Sometimes on 395 or the beltway you can’t get there from here. Well anyways, Sarah got to the point where she had one more strike and then she got that strike and she was terminated.

The thing is on the last day she was a little bit late for work, she actually wasn’t late for work. She had showed up and began working. She had clocked in, she had performed some transactions on the computer but her boss didn’t see her, see it, the clock-in system malfunctioned and she was fired. She told her boss, he said he would investigate but he didn’t and she was fired.

Well, we came up with a strategy at the unemployment hearing of saying that the rule first was unfair and it shouldn’t apply. What might work in Pittsburgh or Detroit or Kansas City, wherever there might not be traffic if that place exists, doesn’t work in northern Virginia. And second that she didn’t break the rule anyways. So we sat down, had the phone call with the deputy and we were able to win Sarah her unemployment rights. Now, the point of that story is that even in situations where the rule is against you, there’s a chance that you’ll get your unemployment benefits and it’s certainly worth applying for. In another video I’ll talk to you more about strategies for preparing for unemployment benefits hearing and also strategies for winning them.

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