Denver Colorado Unemployment Insurance Attorney

Unemployment InsuranceDENVER AREA UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE ATTORNEYS

IMPROVE THE ODDS IF YOU HAVE UNEMPLOYMENT APPEALS, AUDITS OR OVERPAYMENT PROBLEMS

Unemployment Insurance appeal attorney fees:

Call us to chat for free about how we might help you.  If you hire us, unemployment appeals are handled for an hourly fee of $200, but our fees are capped.  For $800 we take over the entire handling of your appeal and attend your appeal hearing by telephone.  For $950, we attend your hearing in person.  We write off any charges if the hourly fees exceed that total.  For your fee, we cover as many client meetings as necessary, prepare all filings with the Division of Unemployment of the Colorado Department of Labor, conduct prehearing  investigation and witness preparation, subpoena witnesses or records, and act as your legal representative at your hearing.

Some clients pay us to meet for an hour or hour and a half.  During that time we help word their appeals, tell them what they should do to prepare for their hearing, and give our own opinion what is good and bad in their case.  Then they feel prepared to represent themselves.  The charge for this is $250.

We do not charge for a preliminary phone discussion to help you assess whether to hire us.

We charge $600- $650 for appeals of hearing officer rulings to the Industrial Claims Appeals panel.  The appeals panel makes its decision on the basis of the evidence in the record previously submitted in the case. The panel will not hear new evidence or arguments which could have been raised before the hearing officer.

Except in very complicated cases, we charge $800 to represent clients against overpayment demands or unemployment tax audits.

Get legal representation at the appeal to a hearing officer stage.   The appeal hearing before the hearing officer is your only chance to present all your arguments, witnesses and evidence.  You don’t get another opportunity.  If you don’t have a lawyer for your hearing, you are endangering your claim.

Before you appeal a deputy’s decision, or respond to an appeal from the other side, you should have a lawyer.  What you say in your appeal documents must track the law.  Careless statements written in your appeal will hurt you at the hearing.  New facts or arguments cannot be introduced for the first time at the hearing.  Evidence and requirements of proof are more like being in court than you expect.  The law for appeals hearings says the rules of evidence shall conform, to the extent practicable, with those in civil cases in the district courts of Colorado.

Under many circumstances an employee who quits work may still qualify for benefits. But never assume that you will qualify for unemployment if you quit. The how and why you quit are crucial. Talk to a lawyer before you resign.

Talk to a lawyer before you write a letter explaining what happened at work, or apologizing.  These often backfire. For example, one client wrote his supervisor to acknowledge he had made a mistake and ask for leniency.  To the unemployment hearing officer, this was an admission the employee  was at fault.

If you are an employer and do not want to pay the employee benefits, make sure your documentation supports denial of benefits when you terminate.  Most employers assume wrongly that just because they have the right to fire an employee, that means the employee will not get unemployment.

It is not the hearing officer’s role to explain the Colorado Employment Security Act, or tell you about cases interpreting the Act.

You Must Prepare and Participate
If you are a claimant and the employer wins the appeal, your benefits will be stopped and you may be asked to repay benefits you already received.

The hearing officer’s decision is based only on evidence presented at the hearing. You must present and defend your position. You must know what facts are going to be important to the hearing officer based on the law.  Without a lawyer your unemployment appeal could be flawed.

We also protect against employer audits, overpayment and repayment demands, and claims of fraud.

Know your rights.  File appeals and responses on time. Never assume the Division of Unemployment will catch or correct its own mistakes. Penalties are severe – up to 65% in addition to the claimed overpayment.

Read these topics from the Stutheit & Gartland  blog.  For other topics open the blog tab atop this page:

  • Unemployment hearing – phone or in person?

    Unemployment appeal hearing officers say it makes no difference to them whether a witness appears for an unemployment hearing personally, or by phone. It does sometimes make a difference. In person hearings are conducted in a hearing officer’s office, at a conference table. If both sides appear in person, they will be seated across from […]

  • Colorado unemployment law – talent agency not employer

    In June 2014 an unemployment appeals hearing officer ruled that a talent agency which locates jobs for actors was an employer of those actors.  That talent agency was a client of Stutheit & Gartland.  The result of the hearing officer’s ruling required the talent agency to pay unemployment taxes retroactively for three years for dozens […]

  • Colorado wage claims – new law helps employees

    On January 1, 2015 Colorado’s “Wage Protection Act of 2014″ went into effect.  The new law gives increased power to the division of labor in the department of labor and employment to force employers to pay overdue wages.  The division of labor may issue a notice of complaint to the employer, and the employer must […]

  • How Unemployment Benefits Affect Employers

    This is not a question with a simple answer.  The Colorado Department of Labor sets basic rates (percentages of payroll) which it charges employers.  These basic rates depend in large part on what industry the employer is in.  I will call these rates “premiums” because they are in essence premiums for unemployment insurance.  Non-construction employers […]

  • Unemployment fraud penalties

    Despite knowing that it is improper and unlawful, the Colorado Department of Labor’s Unemployment Insurance Integrity Benefit Payment Control section  continues to send citizens demands for repayment which include a 65% penalty for fraud.  This is outrageous. It is the Benefit Payment Control people who send out notices of overpayment and demands for repayment of […]

  • When Bosses Discriminate Against Pregnant Women

    “Two weeks after I returned from maternity leave to my job in Boston as a television-news producer, I found myself facing a demotion. My bosses were kind, even apologetic. The move did not affect my pay and did not reduce my hours. Simply put: The man they had placed in my position during my leave […]

  • Colorado Unemployment Overpayment Penalties

    Stutheit & Gartland help claimants fight against Colorado unemployment overpayment repayment demands. To be eligible for Colorado unemployment benefits for a particular week, the claimant’s earned wages must be less than her weekly benefit amount.  Claimants may work while receiving unemployment benefits and earn up to 25% of their weekly benefit amount without impacting their […]

  • Unemployment appeal success story

    Last week we won an unemployment benefits appeal for a woman who had two strikes against her. She missed the first hearing with a hearing officer, and the employer won a ruling at the hearing in her absence that she quit voluntarily and should not receive benefits. Our client had not received notice of the […]

  • Denver unemployment lawyer Brian Stutheit interviewed on NPR

    Colorado’s Division of Unemployment stresses collection of monies for alleged unemployment insurance overpayment and fraud. The Division does not play fair.  You need an attorney.  Unemployment lawyer Brian Stutheit was interviewed as a part of a Colorado Public Radio report on the State of Colorado’s push to make people repay unemployment benefits.  Mr. Stutheit speaks […]

  • Colorado Wage Claims – attorney fees

    In a decision announced July 2014 the Colorado Court of Appeals held that a prevailing employee (one who wins her wage claim) is presumptively entitled to attorney fees from the employer as part of the wage award under the Colorado Wage Claim Act (CWCA). The case is Lester v. The Career Building Academy. The Court […]