Dawicke Law
Jason E. Dawicke, Attorney at Law
Dawicke Law
P.O. Box 663
Lewis Center, OH 43035

Unemployment Hearings

The purpose of the Unemployment Compensation Act is to provide financial assistance to individuals who become unemployed through no fault of their own. The Act protects those employees who cannot control the situation that leads to their termination.

If your employer terminates your employment without "just cause," you are eligible for unemployment benefits through the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS). "Just cause" is that kind of conduct which an ordinarily intelligent person would regard as a justifiable reason for discharging an employee. While you will certainly be entitled to unemployment benefits if you are laid off, you may also be entitled to benefits if you were fired or even quit under special circumstances.

The unemployment process is initiated when you file a claim for benefits through ODJFS. Your employer may or may not contest your benefit claim. Regardless, you will be given an opportunity to provide in writing why you believe that the employer did not have "just cause" for discharging you from your employment. ODJFS will then make an Initial Determination as to whether you should be awarded benefits. Regardless of the decision, both you and your former employer have a right to appeal this Initial Determination through ODJFS.

If appealed, ODJFS will make a second determination commonly referred to as the "Director's Redetermination". Again, either the employee or the employer may elect to appeal this decision. At this point, the matter is transferred to the Unemployment Compensation Review Commission (UCRC), and a hearing is held before a UCRC hearing officer. These hearings are like mini-trials, but the rules of evidence (especially hearsay) are relaxed. It is at this hearing stage when it becomes especially critical to have an experienced attorney by your side. Rest assured that you employer will be represented, and if you are not, it is highly probable that you will be ambushed on cross-examination, and forever lose your right to collect unemployment benefits.

Also, if you have been previously awarded benefits, but lose at the hearing stage as a result of the employer's appeal, you will be required to pay all of the unemployment money previously provided back to the state. If you cannot pay it back, the government has certain collection rights, including wage garnishment. With such severe ramifications, it is imperative to have an experienced advocate on your side of the table.

If you need representation at an unemployment hearing, please complete the following form fields:

All fields are required
Full Name:
Phone Number:
Email Address (if none, enter N/A):
Preferred Method of Contact:
Employer at Issue:
Is it your appeal or the employer's?
What reason(s) has your former employer provided as justification for your discharge?
Please provide a brief description as to why you feel that you former employer did not have "just cause" (see above) for terminating your employment:
Submission of this form does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Upon review of your responses, I may offer to represent you. Unless and until you receive a signed letter from me confirming representation, I have not agreed to represent you. In addition, submission of this form does not relieve you from complying with all applicable statutory deadlines required for filing your claim(s) with the appropriate agency or court.