We receive many inquiries from claimants throughout Maryland asking if we can represent them in appeals to the Department of Labor and Licensing (DLLR) Board of Appeals regarding the denial of their unemployment benefits. The answer is yes! What the claimant needs to know is that filing an appeal with the Board is time consuming and challenging, especially if you were not represented by an attorney at the lower appeals hearing.
The Board, upon receiving a timely filed appeal, can do one of a number of things: 1) Reject the appeal and inform the appealing party that they have the right to file an appeal with circuit court; 2) Accept the appeal and decide the matter on the record and any supporting briefs filed by the parties; 3) Accept the appeal and schedule a hearing. In our experience, we have found that the Board is most likely to accept the appeal but not schedule a hearing.
Through the years, we have had much success filing Board appeals. A few months ago, we filed an appeal with the Board on behalf of a claimant that we represented at the lower appeals hearing. Our client was not paid timely, and sometimes was not paid at all, by her employer. She complained but things did not improve. Finally, our client grew tired of not being paid timely and correctly and decided to quit. She was denied benefits (which most claimants in Maryland are when they quit) and hired us to help her at the hearing. The hearing examiner, in a decision that we could not understand or agree with, unfortunately ruled that it was our client’s fault for not being paid accurately.
It has long been established that an employee has an obligation to show up to work on time and work diligently and in good faith. In return, the employer has an obligation to pay the worker timely and correctly. We argued to the Board that our client’s resignation from her job was for good cause when the employer repeatedly failed to accurately pay our client. The Board recently issued their decision, agreeing with our argument, overturning the earlier decisions. The decision was a great victory for employees who are harmed by an employer’s failure to accurately or timely pay them.