What If Your Employer Lied at an Unemployment Hearing

Employer Lied at an Unemployment Hearing

If an employer lied at an unemployment hearing, they are susceptible to three types of penalties:

employer lied at an unemployment hearing
  • Administrative penalties,
  • Notification penalties, and
  • Criminal penalties.

Of course, penalties and jail time are not very helpful unless the former employee is awarded benefits. So, the real value in understanding the unemployment process is knowing how to combat the lie when it happens.

Lies offered by the employer, whether from a boss, HR person, random witness, or some other witness usually shows up in three different ways:

  • Within an exhibit before the hearing takes place,
  • During the appeal hearing, and
  • After the hearing.

Unfortunately, most applicants are hardly prepared. Even worse, when the lie occurs, the employee or applicant freeze up. This isn’t helpful either. So, a strategy needs to be developed before a hearing takes place.

Employer Lied Before the Hearing

Addressing pre-hearing issues is very complicated. Sometimes, this means acquiring copies of a personnel file, reading exhibits, and looking at the details of the case. Also, it can mean seeking lists of witnesses, making motions, and being prepared to make a legal objective.

Other times, the applicant might welcome the lie because it gives the former employee an opportunity to show credibility.

Unfortunately, taking time to weigh facts and propose the strongest strategy is out of scope for a short post like this.

Employer Lied During the Hearing

When an employer’s witness lies during the hearing, this is where a claimant sometimes locks up. First, the lie is sometimes surprising to hear. Other times, the statement doesn’t sit right and causes panic. Or, the applicant begins to look through exhibits, while missing critical testimony needing a response.

Although there isn’t a perfect answer, there is an answer. Briefly, pointing to evidence and making objections can be significant. For others, a better answer is the process of offering additional testimony or cross examining the employer.

Unemployment Lies After the Hearing

When an employer lied at an unemployment hearing and their statement is used in the decision, what really matters then is drafting a well constructed appeal. An appeal after a phone hearing is called a request for reconsideration.

Administrative Penalties if an Employer Lied at an Unemployment Hearing

Now, lets re-examine penalties. When an employer lies an an unemployment hearing, admin penalties are supported by rule 268.184.

Admin unemployment penalties are the greater of $500 or 50% of the unemployment benefit incorrectly paid to an Applicant.  On the other hand, penalties could be even higher based on the status of the Workforce Development Fund.

Notification Penalties

Notification penalties after an employer lied at an unemployment hearing are supported by the second section of rule 268.184.

Penalties under this rule could be even more significant.  According to the rule, an employer must be assessed a penalty of $5,000 or two percent of the first full quarterly payroll acquired, whichever is higher.

Criminal Penalties if an Employer Lied at an Unemployment Hearing
unemployment penalty

Criminal penalties after an employer lied at an unemployment hearing are supported by the third section of rule 268.184.

Any person (officer, agent, individual, etc.) who lies at an unemployment hearing is guilty of a gross misdemeanor unless the underpayment exceeds $500.  If the underpayment is more than $500, then that person is guilty of a felony.

How Can An Unemployment Lawyer Help?

Attorney Jasper Berg