Unemployment Penalties Can Bite Back

Unemployment Penalties
Unemployment Penalties

Unemployment penalties are getting out of hand in Minnesota.  Even worse, unemployment laws in Minnesota are getting worse.

Applicants scratching their head as a result of a sanction or penalty assigned to their overpayment can consider appealing.

For those unfamiliar, let me explain.  Under various statutes, including MN law  268.182, an unemployment law judge can attach a penalty to a claim, even if benefits were incorrectly paid.  This includes administrative and criminal penalties.

Unemployment Penalties:  Why There Are Problems

I believe there are four main reasons why penalties get assigned to an unemployment appeal:

  • A poorly worded application for benefits,
  • An applicant didn’t understand what they were trying to accomplish during their hearing,
  • The folks denying unemployment claims don’t understand the issues, and
  • Minnesota has a huge overpayment problem.

In my experience, these are the main reasons Applicants see unemployment penalties associated with their claim.

Appeal Unemployment Penalties

Yes, there are many factors that applicants can use when trying to decide whether they should appeal a period of ineligibility or monetary penalty.  One of the first big issues of concern is timing.

Second is showing why an Applicant was right.  I very much wish this type of conflict could be resolved by following a list of steps.  But, every situation is different.

To be fair, I think every appeal should be reviewed with care.  Here is why:  every employee / worker encounters their own specific situation and facts.  Minus a mass layoff,  most employees do not share the same boss, employment policies or story how the job ended.

As a result, I think every person should have their personal situation checked out.

Evidence for an Unemployment Penalty

Evidence is a tricky thing because in my experience, problems arise because an Applicant is unprepared what to say and why they are saying it.  In other words, verbal evidence can be critically important.

When time allows, other types of evidence includes:

  • Documents (from a worker’s employment file) and
  • Witnesses.

When one isn’t available or the employer is making life difficult, seeking a subpoena can be a strong response to what seems like a  900 pound gorilla.