Denver Colorado Unemployment Insurance Attorney
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE ATTORNEY SERVING CLIENTS THROUGHOUT COLORADO
UNEMPLOYMENT APPEALS, AUDITS OR OVERPAYMENT PROBLEMS
To hear Brian Stutheit interviewed about unemployment law on Colorado Public Radio, follow this link:
Unemployment Insurance appeal attorney fees:
We do not charge for a preliminary phone discussion.
If you hire us, unemployment benefits appeals fees are capped. For $800 we take over the entire handling of your appeal and attend the appeal hearing by telephone with our client, from our office. 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 Colorado Division of Unemployment, conduct prehearing investigation and witness preparation, subpoena witnesses or records, and appear as your attorney at your hearing. Note: hearings outside metro Denver are never in person.
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 charge $650 for appeals of hearing officer rulings to the Industrial Claims Appeals panel. The panel will not hear new evidence or arguments which could have been raised before the hearing officer. Almost all appeals we have won were from hearings where we participated, because we made a good record for appeal.
Except in complicated cases, we charge $800 to represent clients against overpayment demands or unemployment tax audits.
We also litigate unemployment matters before the Colorado Court of Appeals, the final level of appeals.
Get legal representation at the first appeal (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 and further appeals.
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.
You Must Prepare and Participate
If you are a claimant and the employer wins the appeal, your benefits will be stopped and you will probably 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 thoroughly before the hearing officer. 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.
While your appeal is pending, keep claiming benefits.
Read these topics from the Stutheit & Gartland blog. For other topics open the blog tab atop this page:
Unemployment Law – quitting due to harassment
The unemployment benefits statute says an individual who quits employment because of personal harassment by the employer not related to the performance of the job shall be given a full award of benefits. The division of unemployment may consider other … Continue reading
What is Colorado employment at will?
Employment at will simply means the employer, or the employee, may terminate employment at any time and for any reason. (But see the discussion below). There is no guarantee of employment for a certain duration. There does not have to … Continue reading
Colorado Law Extends Protection For Pregnant Employees
Governor Hickenlooper just signed a law entitled Concerning The Provision of Reasonable Accomodations By An Employer For Persons Who Have a Condition Related to Pregnancy. The new law requires employers to engage in a timely, good-faith, interactive process when an … Continue reading
Colorado law for final paychecks
When an employer terminates (fires or lays off) and employee, earned wages and compensation for expenses are due and payable immediately. There are some exceptions, if the checks are normally prepared at site away from the work, or the payroll … Continue reading
Day care center must pay unemployment taxes
Robert Morris served as a maintenance worker at A Child’s Touch from 1997 until his termination in September 2013. In September 2013, Mr. Morris took a medical leave for double hip replacement surgery. His position was eliminated during his absence. … Continue reading
Colorado Unemployment appeals hearings process
Here is practical advice about Colorado unemployment hearings Should I appear in person, or by phone? The Unemployment Insurance Appeals Section hearing officers often say it does not matter to them if you appear in person or on the phone. … Continue reading
Colorado Unemployment Law – talent agency not an employer
The Colorado Court of Appeals issued an opinion that Stutheit & Gartland’s client, a talent agency, is not an employer of the actors and models it represents and is not subject to unemployment tax on the talents’ earnings. COLORADO COURT … Continue reading
5 Ways To Win Your Colorado Unemployment Appeal
1. FILE YOUR APPEAL ON TIME. An appeal to a hearing officer must be filed within 20 days of the mailing date of the deputy’s determination or ruling on eligibility for benefits. The mailing date is on the notice of … Continue reading
Employment law – who is an independent contractor
Two developments from California this week are significant to Colorado employment and unemployment law. Both developments have employers paying a price for trying to call their workers independent contractors rather than employees. The American Bar Association reports FedEx agreed to … Continue reading
Colorado unemployment law – marijuana user disqualified
The law in Colorado is that someone can be fired for using medical marijuana. The law also is that an employee is disqualified from unemployment benefits if fired for marijuana. The ruling of the Colorado Supreme Court in Coats v. … Continue reading
Colorado Unemployment Law – appeal of hearing officer decision
This Colorado unemployment lawyer’s blog discusses unemployment appeals to the Colorado industrial claims appeals office after a hearing officer decision. Hearing officers are attorneys who function as administrative law judges. In our experience the hearing officers at unemployment appeals usually … Continue reading
Review by a happy unemployment appeal client
Highly Recommended Brian K. Stutheit successfully represented me in my appeal against a former employer which used bully tactics, intimidation, and outright lies to deny my unemployment insurance claim. Brian informed me of my rights as an employee, as well … Continue reading
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 … Continue reading
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 … Continue reading
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 … Continue reading
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 … Continue reading
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 … Continue reading
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 … Continue reading
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 … Continue reading
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 … Continue reading
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 … Continue reading
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 … Continue reading
Unemployment law – appeal of hearing officer decision
Appeals from hearing officer decisions go to the Industrial Claims Appeals Office. Two members of the Industrial Claims Appeals Panel will review the hearing record. The Panel consists of Administrative Law Judges. The Panel does NOT hold hearings in the … Continue reading
Unemployment – involuntary resignation
We often get questions such as this: “Recently my employer expressed concerns regarding my health and performance. I had the option of staying on with a strong chance of being dismissed anyway, or I could or take the “golden parachute” … Continue reading
Employee Rights Law – 1099 Contractor Not Being Paid
As an independent contractor, you are agreeing to be paid “by the contract” and in doing so waive any typical protections or benefits an employee would enjoy, such as employer-paid workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance taxes; employer-shared social security contributions; … Continue reading