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Reply #4: Remember they are members of a "Protected Class". [View All]

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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-13-09 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Remember they are members of a "Protected Class".
Under Federal Law, "Protected Classes of People" can be based on Race, National Origin, Sex, age (i.e. over age 50), disabilities and "Familial Status" i.e. (do they have children living with them?). Some states and cities have expanded this to includes homosexuals, but at present that is NOT a protected class under Federal Law and most State Laws (Check your state to be sure, Oregon I believe is such a State, but NOT Washington).

Any one in a "Protected Class" can file with the EEOC, and must do it within 180 days of the discrimination (i.e. do it NOW). Most states have web sites for their EEOC, tell them to go to it and file or give them the Phone Number.

Also tell them to check with nor only the local union but whatever National union the local is affiliated with. While the Local may have no one who knows anything about these cases, the National Union often does.

Also tell them to file for Unemployment. Unemployment Insurance is its own set of rules in many states. The Unemployment office can NOT force the employer to take the employee back, but they can ruled that the termination was without just cause (Check with your local Legal Aid Office for what is the rules for Unemployment insurance in your state) and once such a ruling is made, two things happens. First the employees gets Unemployment Insurance for up to a year (Unemployment is generally six months, but do to the recession it has been expanded to one year by Congress). Second, the employer is accessed a penalty for leaving someone off without just cause. This hurts the Employer by forcing them to pay a higher unemployment tax rate to the State. This "punishment" is designed into the Unemployment Insurance laws to minimize when employers can just lay off people just because the employer no longer want them on the payroll. Just because you are 62 does NOT make you ineligible for Unemployment. In Fact I would tell them to stay on Unemployment till long after they turn 62. The longer they stay off Social Security, the more they will get per month from Social Security.

Side note: I do NOT know what is the rule in your state, but most states require unemployed people to make weekly filing with the Unemployment Office that they are looking for work and where. Tell them to do this even if they are denied unemployment on the initial application. If they win their Unemployment on appeal and they had NOT made the weekly reporting (Or whatever your state calls it) the state will still deny them unemployment for those weeks. On the other hand if they do the reporting during the appeal period, they will get the money for those weeks even if they find a new job somewhere else in the meantime.

Remember you must be "Willing, Ready and Able" to work to get Unemployment, but not necessary every job out there. If they are willing to take jobs they believe they can do, that is sufficient to get unemployment (IF they are hospitalized then they can NOT get Unemployment for that time in the Hospital, but if that stay is only 3 or 4 days, they could have taken a job on the remember days of the week and thus still eligible.

Remember since the employees were Terminated, the employer has the burden of proof that the employer had "just cause" to terminate them. Make sure they apply for Unemployment in addition to any claim for EEOC claims.

Remember this, EEOC reflects Employment rights, that you are unemployed do to some illegal action of the employer. Unemployment Insurance is a right of the Employee unless the Employer had some good cause to terminate the Employee, for example "willful misconduct". "Good Cause" has to be something to do with keeping the employee do to the actions of the Employee NOT that the employer can no longer keep the employee (i.e. layoffs do to no work to be done is NOT "Just Cause" to be used as grounds to deny unemployment).
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