Ohio Unemployment Hearings:
What to Expect

Your Unemployment Hearing is the most important stage of the unemployment compensation appeal process.  In all likelihood, it will be the final decision regarding your unemployment compensation.  No further hearings, and no further evidence, will be permitted after your unemployment hearing.

Here is an overview of what to expect during your unemployment hearing to help you be fully prepared.

Improve Your Chance to Obtain Benefits

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.

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.

The Ohio Unemployment Lawyers at Smith's Law Offices 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.   It is a simple decision: If you want to increase your chances of obtaining benefits, take advantage of a free consultation with the Ohio Unemployment Lawyers at Smith's Law Offices.

Hearing Notice

If your unemployment claim proceeds to a hearing, you will receive a notice that the case is being transferred to the Unemployment Compensation Review Commission (UCRC). This notice provides important information about your hearing, including (a) how to request your file; (b) how to subpoena witnesses and documents; and (c) how to submit documents for the hearing.

Requesting File

This is important, because the file will include more than the notices you have received, but also everything that has been submitted to ODJFS by you and your former employer, as well as responses to questionnaires, notes of telephone conversations with ODJFS, and perhaps a more detailed explanation of why ODJFS is making the decisions that it is.  Additionally, the Hearing Officer will have this file and may refer to it during the hearing, so you will want to have it to follow what is being referred to. Request your file immediately.

Subpoenas

Subpoenas can compel witnesses to attend the hearing and can be used to obtain documents from your former employer.  If there is a witness or document that you KNOW will help you, this is a valuable tool.  However, do not use it to fish.  Whatever documents you subpoena will be provided to the Hearing Officer, so if you are uncertain whether they will help you, you take a risk by requesting them.  Also, be careful when deciding whether to have current employees as witnesses, because they may become concerned about their own job security and clam up during the actual hearing while their boss is on the line.  Subpoenas can be requested up to 5 days before the hearing, but they should be requested as early as possible.

Submitting Exhibits

If you have already submitted documents, they will already be included in the file.  However, if you have other documents that you want to submit, follow the instructions to do so.  You may do so up within 14 days of receiving this notice.

Scheduling

Once your ODJFS file is transferred to the UCRC and they schedule your hearing, you will receive another notice with the date and time of the hearing and the telephone number to call.  Do NOT miss your hearing, as there are only very limited reasons ODJFS will excuse your failure to attend.

You may request to hold the hearing in person.  Generally, this should only be done when there is an important reason to do so. For example, the case may depend upon a video or visual exhibit that all parties should view together.

The Hearing

Calling In

On the day of your hearing, call in 15 minutes early.  You will provide your name and number.  Once the Hearing Officer is ready to begin, she will call you and all other parties and place you into a conference call.  The Hearing Officer will begin the hearing with a brief introduction. The hearing will be scheduled for 45 minutes, and the Hearing Officer will do what she can to keep it within that time limit.  However, if it needs to run over it may be scheduled for a second hearing.

Witnesses

In most cases, if you were terminated, the Hearing Officer will start with the employer and their witnesses.  If you resigned, the Hearing Officer will start with you instead. Based on what she sees in the file, she will ask each witness questions.  The witness will then be given the opportunity to add more, or if they are represented their representative will ask them further questions.  The other side will then be given the opportunity to cross examine each witness.

Closing Statements

At the end of the hearing, each party will be given a brief amount of time (e.g., 2 minutes) to give a closing statement – summarizing their position.

The Decision

You will not receive a decision on the day of the hearing. Rather, the Hearing Officer will close the hearing and draft their decision. In most cases, we find decisions are issued within a week, though it is not unusual for it to take a few weeks for the decision to be issued.

Obtaining Representation

Smith's Law Offices prides itself by its thorough representation during hearings.  We take care of requesting the hearing, requesting a copy of the ODJFS file, making strategic decisions about subpoenas and witnesses and request them when appropriate, and we submit exhibits in the proper format for the hearing.  We review the evidence, talk with you, and come to decisions about what are the main issues, what are the main points in contention, and what the Hearing Officer needs to be convinced of to rule in your favor.  

We give you guidance regarding how to conduct yourself during the hearing and we call into the hearing with you – so we may cross examine the employer’s witnesses, help you to explain your position to the hearing officer, and we provide the closing statement.  By becoming fully prepared for the hearing, and focusing on the important issues, you will find yourself comfortable and able to have your case presented in a compelling manner that will increase your likelihood of success.

Free Consultations

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.

Affordable Legal Help

We offer fee options that understand the cost of  legal help can be difficult when you are unemployed. In many PUA cases, we offer a minimal flat fee for representation through the PUA system and the Unemployment Compensation Review Commission.

Statewide Representation

Because unemployment determinations are appealed in writing, and the hearings are conducted by telephone, Smith's Law Offices successfully represents clients throughout the entire State of Ohio.

Recent Cases/News

Unemployment Hearing Won:
Our client was placed on a performance improvement plan (PIP) and then terminated for allegedly not meeting performance expectations. Through a hearing, we demonstrated that the employer lacked any credible or reliable evidence to support its allegations. As a result, we prevailed and our client was approved for her benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
May 31, 2024
Unemployment Hearing Won:
Our client was involuntarily moved out of her position as a Regional Sales Manager and forced into a warehouse position at a fraction of her pay. As a result, she resigned. ODJFS denied her application for unemployment compensation until we stepped in, represented her through a hearing, and showed that she had just cause to resign. As a result, she won her benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
May 30, 2024
Unemployment Fraud Appeal Won:
ODJFS claimed our client was paid unemployment compensation fraudulently. We appealed, prevailed, and as a result the fraud determination and overpayments were removed.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
May 28, 2024
Another Unemployment Fraud Hearing Won:
Our client was another accused of unemployment. However, we prevailed through a hearing. As a result, the fraud determination and alleged overpayments were removed.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
May 24, 2024
Unemployment Hearing Won:
Our client was terminated after he missed a safety meeting, allegedly without notice. Through a hearing, we showed that - even if the allegations were true - they would not have resulted in termination according to the employer's own policy. As a result, we won the hearing.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
May 21, 2024
PUA Fraud Appeal Won:
Another of our clients was accused of committing unemployment fraud. Through the appeal process, we got this determination reversed in favor of our client, eliminating the large overpayment ODJFS claimed he needed to repay.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
May 20, 2024
Unemployment Appeal Won:
ODJFS claimed our client received his unemployment benefits through fraud, we appealed, we won, and the overpayment was eliminated.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
May 13, 2024
Unemployment Fraud Appeal Won:
ODJFS claimed that our client fraudulently collected unemployment benefits. We appealed, prevailed and eliminated the overpayment for him.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
May 6, 2024
Unemployment Fraud Appeal Won:
Another of our clients was accused of fraud and told she needed to repay her unemployment benefits. We appealed, we won, and we eliminated the overpayment for her.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
May 3, 2024
Unemployment Hearing Won - Claimant Able to Work:
To qualify for unemployment a claimant must, among other things, be able to work, available for work and seeking work. Our client was denied because ODJFS blew up a medical issue she had into a denial for being unable to work. Through a hearing, we showed that our client was able to work despite her medical condition. As a result, we prevailed and obtained benefits for our client.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
May 1, 2024
Unemployment Fraud Appeal Won:
Our client was accused of committing fraud when he applied for unemployment. We appealed, showed there was no fraud, and achieved an approval of his benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
May 1, 2024
PUA Fraud Appeal Won:
Our client received PUA unemployment benefits in 2020, later received a Determination claiming she was overpaid and committed fraud, we appealed, we prevailed and her benefits were approved.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
April 26, 2024
PUA Appeals Won:
ODJFS issued several determinations to our client claiming she owed back all of the pandemic unemployment benefits she received. These notices were issued long after she stopped collecting benefits and therefore she missed the appeal deadline. We appealed, represented her through a hearing, showed good cause for the appeals being filed late, and obtained a reversal of the overpayment.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
April 25, 2024
Unemployment Hearing Won - No Just Cause for Termination:
Our client was terminated due to accusations for co-workers about statements she made. Through a hearing, we showed that the employer failed to follow its own progressive discipline policy, it failed to properly investigate the complaints, it failed to talk with our client before issuing discipline, and it failed to provide credible evidence that the allegations were true. We prevailed at the hearing, obtaining unemployment compensation for our client.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
April 24, 2024
Unemployment Fraud Appeal Won:
We prevailed with another appeal to an unemployment fraud determination, eliminating what had been an overpayment of more than $16,000.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
April 22, 2024
Another Unemployment Fraud Appeal Won:
Another of our clients was issued a fraud Determination by ODJFS, which we appealed, prevailed, and eliminated a large overpayment.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
April 22, 2024
Unemployment Appeal Won:
Another of our clients received a determination claiming she committed fraud when she applied for unemployment. ODJFS demanded she repay all of her payments. Through an appeal, we quickly obtained a reversal of that determination, establishing she was entitled to the benefits she received.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
April 22, 2024
Unemployment Fraud Appeal Won:
Our client received a notice claiming she committed fraud, ODJFS demanded that she repay all of her unemployment benefits, we appealed, we prevailed and as a result she no longer owed an overpayment.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
April 22, 2024
Unemployment Fraud Appeal Won:
Our client was accused of committing fraud with ODJFS and they demanded that he repay all of his benefits. We appealed, prevailed and his overpayment was eliminated.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
April 16, 2024
Unemployment Hearing Won:
Our client found his unemployment benefits stopped due to a claim by ODJFS that he committed fraud. We appealed and represented him through a hearing where we prevailed, eliminating the fraud determination.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
April 16, 2024
Unemployment Fraud Appeal Won:
Years after collecting unemployment benefits, our client found ODJFS claiming he committed fraud because he had not proven he was who he said he was. We appealed this ridiculous determination and prevailed, eliminating his overpayment.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
April 15, 2024
Unemployment ID Appeal Won:
Another of our clients faced a looming overpayment from ODJFS, claiming she committed fraud when she applied for unemployment. We proved this was not true, prevailed with her appeal, and eliminated the overpayment.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
April 15, 2024
Unemployment Hearing Won:
Our client found himself terminated primarily due to mistakes by other employees at her job. She also found her employer appealing her unemployment benefits. We prevailed at the hearing, with the Hearing Officer agreeing, "Specifically, the expectations were not reasonable. The employer has not established that the claimant was directly responsible for either incident the claimant's supervisor cited at the hearing."
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
April 12, 2024
Unemployment Fraud Appeal Won:
Our client received a notice long after she received unemployment compensation, claiming that all of her benefits were overpaid and that she committed fraud. Through a hearing, we prevailed by showing she was entitled to the benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
April 8, 2024
Unemployment Appeal Won:
Our client applied for unemployment compensation, received it for weeks, and then suddenly found his benefits denied with ODJFS claiming that he committed fraud. We appealed, got a determination in his favor, eliminated the overpayment and obtained a backpayment for him instead.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
April 5, 2024
PUA Fraud Appeal Won:
Years after receiving PUA benefits, our client found ODJFS demanding all of the money be repaid due to fraud. We appealed, we won, and her overpayment was eliminated.
  
Unemployment Appeal won
April 4, 2024
Unemployment Won After Termination for Attendance:
Our client had several absences at her job, but she also had medical documentation to show that her absences were due to bona fide medical reasons. As such, we prevailed at a hearing by showing the hearing officer that the termination was without just cause because she was not at fault for the absences. Our client won her benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
April 1, 2024
Another Unemployment Fraud Appeal Won:
Our client received unemployment benefits in 2020, only to find ODJFS demanding all of his benefits be paid back in 2024 due to alleged fraud. We appealed and prevailed, eliminating the fraud determination and the overpayment.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
March 27, 2024
Unemployment Hearing Won:
Our client was terminated and found her employer claiming that she had received multiple prior warnings. She had not. Further, the employer had no documentation to verify any prior warnings were given. As a result, we prevailed at the hearing, securing our client's benefits for her.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
March 26, 2024
Unemployment Fraud Appeal Won:
Years after receiving unemployment compensation, our client received three notices claiming she was overpaid. They demanded that she repay all of her benefits until we successfully appealed the determinations and eliminated the overpayments for her.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
March 26, 2024
Unemployment Hearing Won - No Just Cause to Terminate:
Our client found his employer throwing whatever they could at him to get his unemployment benefits denied. They claimed he was terminated with just cause for no-call/no-shows, but we showed he actually worked on the dates the employer claimed he was not work, and he called off on two other dates. The employer then claimed that our client quit, but again, we showed that had simply called off for two dates. After shutting down every argument the employer raised, we prevailed at the hearing.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
March 25, 2024
Unemployment Hearing Won:
Our client was terminated for the ridiculous reason of not completing an I9 verification. As it turns out, he provided all of the required documents, and "It was the employer's failure to review and verify those documents that resulted in the separation." As a result, we prevailed at the hearing and obtained the benefits for our client.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
March 22, 2024
Another PUA Fraud Appeal Won:
We prevailed with another PUA fraud appeal, keeping back the State's attempt to reclaim thousands of dollars that our client rightly received through the pandemic unemployment system.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
March 21, 2024
Unemployment Appeal Won:
Our client was receiving benefits while working at a part-time job, which eventually ended. ODJFS insisted that he was still working at that job and denied his benefits. Through a hearing, we set things straight, prevailed, and obtained a release of his benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
March 20, 2024
Unemployment Won After Termination For Safety Violation:
Our client was performing work and reported safety concerns. The employer chose to disregard the concerns and then found itself cited by OSHA. The employer terminated our client, attempting to place the blame on him. However, through a hearing we showed the fault rest upon the employer, not our client. As a result, we won the hearing and our client was approved for his benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal won
March 19, 2024
Late Unemployment Identity Appeal Won:
Our client received a determination notice claiming that she owed all of her unemployment benefits back because she did not prove she was who she said she was. That determination notice was issued after she collected her benefits, so she missed the 21-day appeal deadline. We accepted her case and first went through a hearing showing she had good cause for submitting the appeal late. We then went through a second hearing proving she was who she said she was. As a result, we prevailed and the overpayment was eliminated.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
March 19, 2024
PUA Fraud Appeal Won:
We prevailed with another PUA Fraud determination, that would have resulted in our client repaying thousands of dollars.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
March 14, 2024
Unemployment Hearing Won - No Just Cause to Terminate:
After working at his job for more than 10 years, receiving promotions along the way, our client's employer terminated him claiming he was failing to meet performance expectations. Through a hearing, we showed that this was not true and that the performance expectations and job duties changed frequently throughout his career. As a result, he won his hearing and his benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
March 14, 2024
Unemployment Hearing Won Against Federal Government:
Our client was employed through Department of the Air Force, which allegedly conducted a review of her group and then five months later terminated her as a result of that review. We showed that the investigation was faulty, that she had no prior discipline, and that the five month delay was unexplainable. As a result, we won her hearing and her benefits for her.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
March 14, 2024
Unemployment Hearing Won:
After our client was terminated for alleged dishonesty and insubordination, we represented her through a hearing where the hearing officer concluded, "The available record does not support a conclusion that claimant acted in a willful or deliberate manner so as to intentionally disregard the employer's interests." As a result we prevailed at the hearing for our client.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
March 14, 2024
PUA Fraud Appeal Won:
Another of our clients received a determination notice claiming the PUA benefits were fraudulent. The notice demanded all of the benefits, as well as penalties, be repaid. Through the appeal steps, we prevailed - eliminating the overpayment and fraud determination.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
March 8, 2024
Another PUA Fraud Appeal Won:
With many people receiving PUA fraud determinations, we are steadily prevailing with our appeals to remove the determinations and overpayments, as we did with another client today.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
March 8, 2024
PUA Unemployment Fraud Determination Won:
Our client received a notice years after she finished collecting PUA unemployment accusing her of fraud. By strategically appealing this determination, we obtained a win, the fraud determination was removed, and the overpayment Ohio was attempting to collect was removed.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
March 1, 2024
PUA Fraud Appeal Won:
Another of our clients received a fraud determination years after they stopped collecting PUA benefits. By catching the determination quickly and taking all steps to get the determination reversed, we obtained a dismissal of the fraud determination within a couple weeks.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
March 1, 2024
Unemployment Won After Accusation of Sexual Harrassement:
Our client had a consensual relationship with a co-worker. He had no supervisory authority of the co-worker. The employer also had no rules prohibiting tow employees from having a consensual relationship. However, after the co-worker's significant other learned of the relationship, she resigned. The employer terminated our client claiming he violated a sexual harassment policy. However, during the hearing, no harassment was shown and no rule violation was shown. As a result, we prevailed at the hearing and our client won his unemployment benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
February 28, 2024
Unemployment Appeal Won for Remote Worker:
Our client was working remotely when his boss started to complain about it. While in the midst of these discussions, the employer suddenly terminated his employment and challenged his unemployment benefits. Through a hearing, we showed that our client did not demonstrate an unreasonable disregard for the employer's interests. As a result, we won the unemployment benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
February 26, 2024
PUA Fraud Appeal Won:
Another of our clients was issued a fraud determination from ODJFS, claiming all of his pandemic unemployment benefits should be repaid, along with a fraud penalty. We prevailed with his appeal, eliminating the overpayment and eliminating the fraud determination.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
February 23, 2024
Unemployment Appeal Won After Termination:
Our client worked remotely. She kept track of her hours and the employer's computer systems kept track of some, but not all, of the tasks she was working. Without any prior discipline, the employer terminated her claiming she committed payroll fraud because their tracking did not align. We showed the employer's systems were not reliable and we emphasized the employer failure to follow its own progressive discipline policy. As a result, we prevailed with her appeal, obtaining her unemployment benefits for her.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
February 23, 2024
PUA Fraud Appeal Won:
Many people are receiving fraud determinations from ODJFS for their PUA benefits received years ago. We helped another such client get rid of the fraud determination and overpayment demand by processing her appeal, with the knowledge of what ODJFS needed to reverse their decision
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
February 22, 2024
Unemployment Appeal Won After Termination During Resignation Period:
Our client provided a 30-day resignation notice at which point the employer accepted the resignation effective immediately and failed to pay her through the notice period. We won the hearing, with the Hearing Officer adopting the following accepted rules for resignations: "When an employee is discharged during a notice of resignation period and the employer does not pay the employee for the balance of hours of that period, the question then becomes whether the employer had just cause in connection with work to support the discharge. In order to constitute a justifiable reason for discharge, the employer must have reasonably communicated the reason for discharge to the employee prior to the employee's submission of the resignation. . . . The employer unilaterally decided not to have claimant work out the 30-days given in her notice. This was the employer's decision and not that of claimant."
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
February 16, 2024
Unemployment Benefits Won:
After being terminated for allegedly causing a pallet to fall while operating a forklift, our client found his unemployment benefits denied too. Through a hearing, we showed that there was no financial loss to the employer as a result, and that termination was disciplinary overkill. The hearing officer agreed that there was no just cause to terminate and approved our client's benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
February 15, 2024
Unemployment Benefit Appeal Regarding Benefit Amount Approved:
When ODJFS determined the weekly benefit amount for our client, it shorted him credit for all of his employment. We appealed the determination collecting documentation of his actual pay rate, and as a result ODJFS increased his weekly benefit amount. It also issued him a backpayment for the shortages.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
February 15, 2024
PUA Fraud Appeal Won:
Our client received a notice years after he received PUA unemployment compensation claiming that he failed to prove his identity and that he committed fraud. By gathering and submitted the correct documentation, we won his appeal.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
February 8, 2024
Unemployment Hearing Won:
Our client was disciplined and asked to write an action plan for herself. When she turned in the action plan, the employer terminated her claiming it was dissatisfied with her plan. We showed the hearing officer that this was insufficient for just cause and as a result, her unemployment benefits were won.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
February 4, 2024
OVI Charges Dismissed
Our client was charged with an OVI; however, through extensive negotiations we obtained a dismissal of the charges with her pleading to a traffic citation instead.
  
Ottawa County Municipal Court
February 2, 2024
Unemployment Hearing Won - Claimant Able to Work:
To qualify for unemployment benefits each week a claimant must, among other things, be able to work. Our client found his benefits denied because he had an outpatient medical procedure. Through a hearing, we showed this procedure did not keep him from being able to work. We prevailed at the hearing, winning his benefits for him.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
January 23, 2024
Unemployment Appeal Won - No Just Cause to Terminate for Attendance:
Although our client was terminated due to general concerns with her attendance, through a hearing we showed that the employer lacked evidence of prior discipline and lacked evidence of specific policies regarding attendance. We prevailed, winning our client's unemployment benefits for her.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
January 23, 2024
Unemployment Appeal Won After Termination for Complaints:
Our client had been disciplined at the employer, including a final warning, for alleged complaints against him. He then found himself terminated and his employer appealing his unemployment benefits. Through a hearing, we showed that the employer lacked evidence to support its allegations. It failed to present the alleged complainants as witnesses and failed to provide statements from them. As a result, the Hearing Officer agreed the Employer failed to show just cause for the termination. We won the hearing and our client received his benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
January 19, 2024
Unemployment Appeal Won - No Just Cause to Terminate for a Bad Mood:
Our client was having a hard day and was in a bad mood while at work. At one point he rolled his eyes. The employer terminated him and his unemployment benefits were denied until we prevailed at his hearing by showing that he had no prior discipline and there was no evidence that his mood caused any specific performance issues. As a result, his benefits were approved.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
December 28, 2023
Unemployment Appeal Won - No Just Cause to Terminate For General Concerns:
Our client was terminated due to general concerns regarding his job performance, even though had not received any prior discipline or warnings. We prevailed at the hearing, showing a lack of just cause to terminate. As a result, our client won his unemployment benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
December 20, 2023
Unemployment Won For Person Unable to Work Due to Medical Reasons:
Our client was placed on light duty as a result of a medical condition. His employer did not allow him to work his physically demanding job while on light duty, so he applied for unemployment. To prevail, we showed (a) that he was unable to work his job due to a bona fide medical reason, but (b) he was able to work other jobs under the same restrictions. As a result, we prevailed at his hearing and he won his benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
December 15, 2023
Unemployment Appeal Won - No Just Cause to Terminate for Quotas:
When an employer terminates an employee for failing to meet performance expectations, they must show that the (a) the expectations were made known at the time of hire, (b) the employee did not meet the expectations, (c) the expectations were reasonable, and (d) the requirements of the job did not change since the date of hire. Although our client was terminated for failing to meet sales goals, we showed that the goals were not reasonable, and as a result we prevailed at his hearing.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
December 14, 2023
Unemployment Won After Termination for Saying, "I'm done":
Our client informed his employer that he would be looking for another job. They called him into a meeting as a result and engaged in a heated discussion, during which he said, "I'm done." The employer attempted to argue that this was a resignation. We showed that it was not a resignation. He was simply done with the meeting. A supervisor followed him to his desk, telling him to pack his things and leave. The employer had no other just cause to terminate and therefore we prevailed with the hearing.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
December 13, 2023
Unemployment Won - COVID Did Not Bar Benefits:
To qualify for unemployment, a person must be able to work each week that they file claims. Our client experienced a mild case of COVID only to find ODJFS denied all of his benefits after for being unable to work. Through a hearing we showed this was absurd - that our client was able to work despite a mild case of COVID. As a result, he received his benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
December 7, 2023
Unemployment Appeal Won:
Our client found his employer appealing his unemployment benefits through to a hearing. At that hearing, we established that the employer lacked evidence of misconduct and, in truth, was altering its reasons for the termination as it saw fit. As a result, we prevailed at the hearing and our client received his benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
December 4, 2023
Unemployment Won - Verified Employment:
Our client, like many, found himself denied unemployment benefits because his employer did not properly report his income. We were able to prevail with his appeal, obtaining his benefits for him.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
December 4, 2023
Unemployment Appeal Won - ID Verification:
Many people are finding their unemployment claims denied for allegedly failing to meet ODJFS's identity verification requirements. We have been able to help every person who has received such a denial obtain their benefits. It is important to understand and know what documents ODJFS requires. We work with our clients to obtain those documents, we review and ensure they contain the required documentation, and then we pursue their case through the appeal process to obtain a win, as we did today.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
November 30, 2023
Unemployment Appeal Won:
When a person quits a job to accept another job, ODJFS will determine this to be a disqualifying separation that suspends benefits until the person has worked six weeks at a new job, or if they started they new job within 7 days of leaving the first job, they must work the new job for at least three weeks. ODJFS frequently becomes confused about this rule or they do not see records from the new job in their system. As a result, and as with the client we obtained a win for today, we pursue the appeal process showing ODJFS the new employment and educating them about this rule.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
November 29, 2023
Unemployment Appeal Won Despite PIP:
Our client was placed on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) with goals to meet. She was not told that her job was in jeopardy and at regular meetings about her goals, she was not told that she was failing to meet any of them. The employer ultimately terminated her for failing to meet the goals. The Hearing Officer agreed that the employer lacked just cause to do so. As a result, we won the hearing for our client.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
November 16, 2023
Unemployment Appeal Won - No Just Cause to Terminate for Using Phone:
After our client was terminated for using his cell phone at work and denied unemployment benefits, we represented him through his hearing. We showed that he received no prior discipline for similar conduct, that the employer did not have a clear rule prohibiting the alleged conduct, and that in truth there was an ulterior motive for the termination. We prevailed at the hearing, wining unemployment benefits for him.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
November 9, 2023
Unemployment Appeal Won - Employer Failed to Follow Progressive Discipline:
After receiving a promotion, our client found himself terminated just 4 months later despite receiving no prior discipline. We prevailed at his hearing, showing the Hearing Officer that the employer effectively pulled the rug out from under him, and therefore without just cause. The Hearing Officer agreed and we won the hearing.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
November 6, 2023
Unemployment Won - Employer Failed to Follow Progressive Discipline:
Even though the employer had a five-step progressive discipline policy, it chose to terminate our client without having imposed any steps of that policy. We showed the hearing officer that no alleged conduct warranted skipping all of the progressive discipline steps and the Hearing Officer agreed there was not just cause for termination. As a result, our client own her unemployment benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
November 3, 2023
Unemployment Won - No Just Cause to Terminate for Bona Fide Medical Reasons:
The employer terminated our client for absences, but we were able to get the employer to agree that the absences were due to a bona fide medical reason. Absenteeism caused by bona fide illness or injury, reported to an employer, is not just cause for discharge. Schultz v. Herman's Furniture (1976), 52 Ohio App.2d 161 (1976), 52 Ohio App.2d 161. We, therefore, prevailed at the hearing.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
November 3, 2023
Unemployment Appeal Won:
Our client was terminated allegedly for attendance issues and for performance issues. Through a hearing, we showed that the attendance issues were due to reasons beyond her control. We also showed that, despite the claim of performance issues our client had not received any prior discipline. As a result, we prevailed at the hearing.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
November 1, 2023
Unemployment Won for "Insubordinate" Employee:
Our client was terminated from her job when she raised concerns about her employment, added job duties and a lack of added compensation. The employer claimed she was "aggressive" and "Insubordinate." Through a hearing we showed that employer considered the mere voicing of concerns as insubordinate and could not point to any refusal to complete any job duties. As a result, we prevailed at the hearing and our client's benefits were approved.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
October 31, 2023
Unemployment Won Despite PIP:
The employer placed our client on a 90-day Performance Improvement Plan (PIP), and yet only 12 days later terminated him because they claimed they did not feel confident he would be able to meet the requirements of the PIP. The hearing officer agreed with our arguments that this was unreasonable and as a result we prevailed at the hearing for our client. He was approved for benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
October 26, 2023
Unemployment Won After Resignation:
Our client worked at a facility where the owner and the owner's girlfriend, who also worked there, brought their young children into work on a regular basis. They played like the job site was a playground, riding their bikes around, hitting our client and taking his working material. He complained to the owners but was essentially told they did not care. After his resignation, the employer told him that he would have to beg for his job back from the girlfriend, which he refused. We prevailed at the hearing by showing the working conditions were unreasonable and that he did what he could to try to resolve the issue before resigning. We won his hearing and his benefits for him.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
October 25, 2023
Unemployment Won After Termination for Drinking:
The owner of the employer would buy his worker's alcoholic drinks at lunch. During a lunch when the owner was not present, our client ordered himself a drink at lunch only to find the employer terminating him. The Hearing Officer agreed with us that the employer did not have a zero tolerance policy, our client was not intoxicated, and the alleged conduct did not warrant termination. As a result, we won the hearing.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
October 23, 2023
Unemployment Hearing Won:
Our client was terminated due to an allegation that he raised his voice with another employee. He did not use profane language. The other employee did not feel threatened. By showing these facts at a hearing, we prevailed and won benefits for our client.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
October 19, 2023
Unemployment - No Just Cause to Terminate for Using Company Vehicle:
On our client's way home in a company vehicle, he stopped at another house, as he had always done. The employer decided to terminate him for it. At a hearing, we not only showed that he had always been permitted to do this, but the company had no policy prohibiting this. As a result, we prevailed at the hearing and our client was approved for benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
October 18, 2023
Unemployment Hearing Won:
To qualify for unemployment benefits, a claimant must have sufficient weeks of employment and sufficient income from that employment during their base period. Our client was denied unemployment, apparently because her employers did not adequately report her income. Through a hearing, we showed that she had sufficient weeks of employment and income, and as a result she won her hearing.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
October 5, 2023
Unemployment Won - Sufficient Qualifying Weeks:
When employers fail to properly report wages, people find their benefits wrongly denied. It takes care to ensure unemployment receives the correct documentation and information to give credit to the claimant. By taking this care, we showed Unemployment that our client did have sufficient weeks to qualify for benefits and as a result she prevailed with her hearing.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
September 22, 2023
Unemployment Appeal Won - No Just Cause to Terminate for Attendance:
Although the employer terminated our client for attendance, and he was initially denied unemployment benefits, through a hearing we showed that that the absences were due to a bona fide medical condition. As a result, the Hearing Officer agreed that he was not at fault and we won the hearing and benefits for him.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
September 21, 2023
Unemployment Hearing Won - Identity Verification:
ODFJS frequently requires documents to verify a person's identity. When the person turns in the documents, they may still be denied without an explanation of what the issue was with the documents. This is what happened to our client. With our experience, we have gained an understanding of exactly what ODJFS requires and common issues that arise. Using this knowledge, we appealed our client's denial, gathered the documents, and prevailed at a hearing so she could receive her benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
September 12, 2023
Unemployment Appeal Won:
To qualify for unemployment benefits each week, a person must among other things be able to work and available to work. Our client found herself denied benefits because ODJFS determined she was unable to work. We presented her case to a hearing officer and achieved a reversal of that determination, resulting in our client receiving her benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
September 7, 2023
Unemployment Appeal Won - No Just Cause to Terminate:
Our client's employer unilaterally changed her job expectations and then received different demands from different supervisors. She applied for accommodations, which were granted only to find herself terminated shortly after. We prevailed at her hearing, showing that it was unreasonable to expect her to comply with new guidelines and unclear expectations.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
September 7, 2023
Unemployment Won - No Just Cause to Terminate for "Poor Attitude":
The employer terminated our client for a "poor attitude" when he refused to sign a corrective action and questioned the employer about a directive, but followed through with the the directive. Though he questioned, he complied, and the Hearing Officer agreed this did not give the employer just cause to terminate.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
August 31, 2023
Not Just Cause to Terminate for Absences:
Without any prior discipline, our client found himself terminated from his job and his unemployment benefits denied after he called off from work due to the flu. Through a hearing, we showed that the employer lacked just cause to terminate due to a bona fide medical illness. The hearing officer agreed and our client won his hearing.
  
Unemploymnet
August 31, 2023
Unemployment Won - Residents are Not Interns:
Our client worked during her second post-graduate year from medical school as a resident at a hospital. Unemployment excludes from covered employment medical interns. They excluded our client's employment as well and denied her benefits. Through an appeal to the Unemployment Compensation Review Commission, we showed that a resident is not an intern, and her employment was covered. As a result, she prevailed and received her unemployment compensation.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
August 9, 2023
Unemployment Appeal Won After Termination:
Our client was disciplined for allegedly making an inappropriate comment. She was then disciplined a second time for the same comment. She was then terminated, without given a reason. We demonstrated through a hearing that the employer lacked just cause to terminate and as a result we won the hearing and benefits for our client.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
August 8, 2023
Unemployment Appeal Won - No Just Cause to Discharge:
Our client made a delivery of produce as instructed. The employer claimed he did not leave teh produce in the cooler and terminated him. He was initially denied unemployment compensation until we represented him through a hearing and demonstrated that he did exactly what he was trained and instructed to do. As a result, we won his hearing for him.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
August 7, 2023
Unemployment Won After Termination:
An employer forced our client into a new position, and then it terminated her claiming she was not able to meet the requirements of the new position. We prevailed at a hearing, showing the termination was through no fault of our client. As a result, she won her hearing and her benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
July 27, 2023
Unemployment Appeal Won:
Our client submitted a resignation notice. The employer told her not to come back to work and did not pay her through the resignation notice period. She first found herself denied benefits, but through a hearing we showed the hearing officer that this circumstances must be viewed as though a termination. Agreeing with us, the hearing officer concluded there was not just cause to terminate and our client won her hearing.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
July 24, 2023
Unemployment Hearing Won:
Our client found himself denied unemployment after his employer raised of multitude of justifications for his termination. Through a hearing, we addressed each of their concerns by showing the employer failed to follow its progressive discipline policy, other justifications were simply a pre-text, and others were not supported by the evidence. As a result, our client won his hearing and his unemployment compensation.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
July 17, 2023
Unemployment Appeal Won After Harassment:
Our client worked for a cellular store where she was subjected to ongoing sexual harassment by store customers. She attempted to resolve these concerns with the employer with teh employer responding that she should take at least one of the comments as a compliment. She eventually resigned, only to find her unemployment benefits denied. Through a hearing, we showed that she had just cause to resign and that she was entitled to unemployment compensation. The Hearing Officer agreed.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
June 28, 2023
Unemployment Appeal Won For Client Terminated After Performance Improvement Plan:
Even though the employer attempted to build a paper trail to support its termination of our client, including a performance improvement plan (PIP), we showed the hearing officer that the employer actually lacked evidence to support its written allegations. As a result, we won the hearing and our client was approved for benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
June 15, 2023
Unemployment Won for Remote Worker:
As is now often the case, our client worked remotely in Ohio for a company located in another state. That company reported his earnings to the other state rather than Ohio and, as a result, Ohio denied his unemployment application. We represented him through a hearing, showing his earnings, and explaining that the law required the employer to report the wages to the state where he actually worked - Ohio. As a result, we won the hearing and he received his benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
June 12, 2023
Unemployment Appeal Won for Amazon Worker:
After our client was terminated by Amazon for alleged unsatisfactory work performance, he found his unemployment benefits denied. We represented him through a hearing and showed that the employer lacked any reliable evidence to support its allegations. As a result, our client won his hearing and his benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
June 6, 2023
Unemployment Won for Worker Terminated Without a Reason:
Our client was denied unemployment compensation after the employer terminated him without a reason. Unemployment decisions should be based on reasons given at the time of termination. We were able to show that, because the employer gave no reason at the time of termination, it could not show just cause for the termination. The hearing officer agreed and our client won his hearing and benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
June 6, 2023
Unemployment Won After Termination:
Although our client's unemployment application was initially denied because the employer claimed it had reasons to terminate the employment, through a hearing we showed that it lacked sufficient evidence to support its decision to terminate. As a result, our client won his unemployment hearing and compensation.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
June 2, 2023
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"Professional, upfront, knowledgeable, made the whole appeals process way less stressful, made me feel comfortable at the hearing, and won my appeal! Highly recommend using!"
Josh

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"Brian is a very good attorney and I am very happy with the way that he handled my unemployment case. He is very professional and informative and easy to talk to and he explains concerns very well. I would recommend him to anyone. He is very thorough and made me feel very confident with him handling my case. Thank you very much for your hard work in my case."
Valerie

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"Thank you Brian for representing me with my unemployment case. I was over whelmed and devastated at the loss of my job after 27 years of employment. You was my rock that helped me through this nightmare, I couldn't have done it without you. You are very professional and easy to talk to, I appreciate all you did for me."
Sandra

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"Excellent service, not only did I win my case but the level of customer service was phenomenal!! Anytime i had a question it was answered so that i could understand it.
I was also extremely prepared and ready before we went to court.
It was such a nice process. I would recommend this company to anyone i know!!"  
Jennifer

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"Beat Walmart unemployment case!  Took the time to help me think this case through. Helped me prioritize the events that happened. Came up with a winning strategy that ultimately won my appeal hearing against the retail giant Walmart!"
Brian

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"There are only good things to be said about this Law Firm, Attorney Brian Smith and Attorney John Sivinski.  I was blindsided by separation at my former employment and then denied unemployment benefits as well.  In addition to the denial of benefits, I also lost two rounds of appeals.  Before my third appeal, which involved a phone hearing, I was very fortunate to find this Law Firm.  They were meticulous and extremely experienced in helping to turn the situation around."
Jill

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"Brian is very responsive and very thorough. I was very nervous throughout the process, and he made me feel relaxed and confident. I would highly recommend Brian to all my friends and family because I am confident he will not let them down, he is very trustworthy and personable. Thanks so much Brian for your professionalism and you eagerness to go the extra mile. You are an excellent attorney."
Sonya

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"Mr. Smith is an amazing lawyer who listens and takes his time to make sure he understands every detail of your particular case. I would recommend him to my family/friends if ever needed. Mr. Smith helped me understand the procedure which helped me better prepare myself for my hearing. The outcome was exactly what we were looking for. Thank you!"
Tiffinie

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"I was extremely happy working Brian & John on my case.  They were very thorough & easy to talk with.  I would highly recommend them to anyone!"
Debra

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"Great law firm.  My attorney help me immensely. My job fired me unjustly and they help me get my unemployment back. They help file everything and keep you updated on what going on. Very friendly and helpful. Wish these guys the best in the future!"
Chris

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"Brian and his colleague John were incredibly helpful and supportive. Not only did they make me feel secure, I felt represented and heard. I won my case with their help and hard work! I highly recommend them for anyone who is having to fight their employer for unemployment. I can not thank them enough!"  
Amanda

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"Brian Smith is the best! He handled my claim in a most timely manner an professional manner. Could not have done this by myself. Bravo!!!"
Doris

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"I would absolutely recommend Law Offices of Brian J. Smith, ltd. Brian and John worked with my (juvenile) son and I on a very challenging case. The case even went to the Supreme Court. . . We wouldn’t have WON without their experience and dedication. They were very professional, considerate and understanding especially when things became overwhelming for us. We couldn’t be more thankful for their services."
Sonia

Unemployment Consultations

If you contact us for a free consultation regarding your unemployment case, there are some important questions you should be prepared to answer:

We attempt to respond to every request for an Ohio unemployment consultation the same day it is received. Due to a large volume of requests for consultations, we are occasionally unable to respond until the following business day.  Double check your email address so you can receive a response. If you leave a number for us to call you back on, be sure that your voicemail is set up so we can leave a message if you are unable to answer or screening your calls.

Out-of-Office Notice - through July 2, 2024

While we typically encourage and provide free consultations every day, Mr. Smith will be unavailable to provide consultations until July 3, 2024. He will be available for free consultations after that time.

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Please keep in mind that the success of any legal matter depends on the unique circumstances of each case and we cannot guarantee particular results for future clients based on successes we have achieved in past legal matters.