Unemployment Appeals

Have you been denied unemployment insurance benefits? Were you fired without a good reason? Did you quit for a good reason? You must act quickly. The time to respond to the initial decision to deny you unemployment insurance benefits could be as short as only ten (10) days. For current and qualified legal advice regarding time limitations periods, contact a licensed Nevada lawyer immediately.  If you wait too long, you could lose your rights to receive unemployment compensation. For your convenience, we have provided a link at the bottom of this page. You are only one click away from filing a claim for benefits online now. Before you do, however, we recommend that you read the information that we have provided below. If you have any problems with your claim, call us at (702) 608-3030.  Ask us about our money-back guaranty!

Unemployment Claims Legal Representation

Unemployment benefits often amount to a total benefit of more than $11,070, paid in increments over 26 weeks, and that is assuming that you would not qualify for extended benefits. With so much at stake, if you have applied for, but were denied, unemployment benefits, then you may want to consult with a legal professional now. The attorneys at Lucherini Blakesley Courtney, P.C. (“LBC Law Group”) understand and regularly practice in the areas of law pertaining to claims for unemployment insurance benefits. Because the limitations period for unemployment appeals is so short, we recommend that you contact a lawyer who practices in this area immediately. A mere ten days could extinguish your claim forever. Why wait? File an appeal with the Nevada Employment Security Division today! Just click on the button at the bottom of this page to file your claim online and get started.     

Why Should I Hire LBC Law Group?

We are not simply going to tell you that we will do a good job for you, in most cases we guaranty that we will.  We fully stand behind the quality of our services in unemployment benefits representation.  If we tell you that you have a great chance of winning your case, we will stand behind our representation.  In fact, if we do not win your case, we will give you a full refund.  That's worth repeating: if we cannot help you get your unemployment benefits claim approved, we will give you a 100% refund of all fees paid to our firm.  We challenge you to find another law firm that stands behind their services like we do.   

Why Should I Hire a Law Firm That Practices in Many Areas of Employment and Labor Law?

There could exist more to your case than simply unemployment benefits issues. For example, the employer could be ordered to compensate a discharged employee if the discharged employee can show that the employer violated the employee's rights under federal law or Nevada law. Because our attorneys practice in several areas of employment and labor law, we will review your entire case to see if there is more compensation that you deserve beyond unemployment compensation. Depending on the manner and reasoning behind the termination of an employee, the discharged employee may have rights to pursue civil rights claims such as discrimination (based on age, sex, color, race, national origin, religion, disability, gender, etc.), wage & hour issues, breaches of contract, tortious discharge claims, tort claims, constructive discharge claims, OSHA issues, and more. Our attorneys have represented employers and employees, so we understand processes and strategies from the plaintiff and the defendant perspectives. If you need legal representation concerning any type of wrongful termination matters, you should hire a law firm that can fight for you on multiple fronts at the same time.

Our attorneys also understand that some employees who resign from employment have legal rights to pursue claims against an employer who has caused harm to the resigning employee. Some involuntary separations occur when an employee is terminated by the employer, others occur when an employer makes an employee's working conditions so intolerable that any reasonable person would be compelled to quit the employment (often referred to as a constructive termination). Call us if your employer made your working conditions so unbearable that you felt you had no choice but to quit working for that employer.    

Unemployment Benefits Eligibility Standards

Individuals who are considered out of work through no fault of their own may be eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits. Making an employment benefits claim is essentially the same as making an insurance claim. Insurance companies must engage in zealous self-preservation measures. In the process, insurance companies are designed to look for any reason to deny your claim. If you have been denied benefits, you should consult with an experienced lawyer. 

Both the employee and his or her past employers have been paying insurance premiums, usually for years, so that the employee can be given a safety net when she or he has been involuntarily separated from employment for most reasons other than misconduct. Because you have presumably paid into the system for years, you deserve to be paid if you have made a legitimate claim for unemployment benefits insurance. Our attorneys can help.

Minimum qualifications for eligibility for unemployment benefits include, but are not limited to:

  1. Sufficient earnings within the base period of a claim to qualify monetarily for unemployment benefits;
  2. Must be wholly unemployed or employed less than full-time and have earnings less than their weekly entitlement;
  3. Must be found to be out of work through no fault of their own;
  4. Must be available to seek and accept work customary to their normal occupation;
  5. Must be physically and mentally able to work at the time they initiate a claim for unemployment benefits; and,
  6. Must not refuse suitable work when offered.

Legal Definition of Monetarily Eligible for Unemployment Benefits

A person must have worked in employment and have sufficient wages within a base period to qualify for the claim. The work must be in "covered" employment, but is not required to be wholly within one state. The vast majority of employers are "covered" employers, but some employment is exempt from coverage, such as work performed for a church, self-employment and work performed for private employers while in the custody of a state correctional institution.

In Nevada, a person must have earned at least $400 in one quarter of the base period, and have total base period earnings of not less than 1-1/2 times the earnings in the highest quarter, OR must have wages in at least 3 of the 4 base period quarters used to calculate eligibility. Our attorneys can explain in greater detail additional requisites with respect to your eligibility for unemployment compensation.

Legal Meaning of Unemployed

A person must be either wholly unemployed or be working a reduced schedule due to insufficient hours to be considered unemployed. Workers who have been taken off the schedule, but have never been told by the employer that the worker's employment has been formally terminated, could be eligible for unemployment benefits. Persons on a leave of absence, individuals receiving worker's compensation and commission salespersons working full-time but not earning commissions due to lack of sales are not considered unemployed for the purposes of determining eligibility for unemployment insurance payments. Also, individuals who are self-employed do not meet the definition of unemployed, unless the self-employment is casual in nature and can be worked at the same time as a full-time job in the person's customary occupation. Our attorneys can help you examine your employment status as it pertains to your unemployment benefits.

What Nevada Law Considers "Out of Work Through No Fault of Their Own"

Nevada reviews separations from the most recent period of work (Last Employer), and, in some case, the next to most recent work (Next-to-Last Employer). In order to be determined to be out of work through no fault of their own, a person must be laid off, discharged (fired) for reasons other than misconduct as defined under NRS 612.385, and related case law, or quit for reasons meeting the test of good cause under the under NRS 612.380, and related case law. There are other provisions covering labor disputes (strikes and lockouts), retirement and leaves of absence.

If an individual has worked for his or her most recent employer for less than 4 months on a full-time basis, the reason for separation from the previous employer is reviewed as well. Separation from that period of employment MAY be basis for denying benefits.

When a worker has separated from the most recent period of employment (Last Employer) and in some cases, the next to most recent (Next-to-Last Employer) work for a reason other than a layoff due to a lack of work, a temporary hold is placed on the claim while the circumstances are investigated. All parties are provided opportunity to submit information used to issue a determination of eligibility to receive benefits. The Division representative determines if the reasons provided by the employer and the claimant (or separated employee) permit the authorized payment of benefits. When the employee is initially denied unemployment benefits, it is most often the case that the employee has been accused of misconduct by the employer pursuant to NRS 612.385. The party that does not prevail in this process has the right to appeal to a referee for further review. If you have been wrongfully accused of engaging in misconduct, call a lawyer immediately. You could lose your right to benefits in as few as ten days of receipt of the denial letter.

Other factors may be reviewed through this investigative process, including, but not limited to:

  1. The individual's availability to seek and accept work;
  2. Receipt of vacation or severance payments;
  3. Refusing an offer of work; and,
  4. Participation in reemployment services designed to shorten the duration of a person's unemployment.

Requirement to be Available to Seek and Accept Work

A person must be actively engaged in efforts to seek and secure employment in their customary occupation to be eligible to receive unemployment benefits. A person must not have personal circumstances which prevent them from applying for a job and accepting a job when offered. Some examples of circumstances that may prevent a person from being available for work include, but are not limited to:

  1. Inadequate child care;
  2. Lack of adequate transportation;
  3. Lack of tools required to perform the job;
  4. Unwillingness or inability to work the days and hours customarily required by the type of work; and,
  5. A personal decision to attend school not designated as approved training by the Division.

Persons in good standing with a hiring hall union and reporting for job call as directed, those on temporary lay-off with a definite date to return to work as defined by the employer and approved by the Division and persons attending a training or educational program designated as approved by the Division are considered available for work.

If you are out of work, we recommend that you keep a record of all of the places where you have sought employment. If you are accused of not seeking suitable employment, you will be best served if you can provide proof of your job-seeking endeavors. 

Prohibition Against Refusing to Accept Suitable Work

A person must accept an offer of suitable employment when made and must go on referrals to suitable work as directed by this Division. Suitable work is defined as work which the individual customarily performs and that pays the prevailing (average) wage for that type of work in the area that the work is being performed. Individuals who have held a job for a long time and then find themselves unemployed may have difficulty with this provision, as their wages likely exceeded the average wage paid for that type of work. Unemployment Insurance is that, an insurance designed to prevent excessive financial hardship while the worker secures a job with another employer, providing benefits to act as a safety net between jobs. It is not designed to allow an individual to refuse lower-paying positions until he secures a job with 100% wage replacement. We can help explain in greater detail. 

The Nevada Employment Security Division Job Service refers individuals who are receiving unemployment benefits to work when suitable openings are available. A person who refuses to apply for a job as directed by the Job Service may be denied further unemployment benefits. We can give you advice about gathering and retaining evidence of your job search so you do not lose your unemployment entitlements. 

Definition of Misconduct in the Context of Unemployment Cases

An accusation by the employer is perhaps the most common reason that an employee has been denied unemployment benefits. Although the definition of misconduct is not defined by NRS 612.385, the term has been defined by the Nevada Supreme Court. "The term misconduct is used in an industrial sense, not a criminal sense. Nevada's highest administrative appeal body, the Board of Review, has defined misconduct as a deliberate violation or disregard on the part of the employee of standards of behavior which his employer has the right to expect. Carelessness or negligence on the part of the employee of such a degree as to show a substantial disregard of the employer's interests or the employee's duties and obligations to his employer are also considered misconduct connected with the work. Mere inefficiency or failure of performance because of inability or incapacity, ordinary negligence in isolated instances, or good faith errors in judgment or discretion are excluded in the definition of misconduct." Barnum v. Williams, 436 P.2d 219 (1968). 

Basics Regarding Adjudication & Appeals of the Approval or Denial of Benefits

Unemployment Insurance is designed to provide cash payments (i.e., unemployment benefits) to workers who are out of work through no fault of their own while they seek new work. To qualify for these unemployment benefits, the worker must meet all eligibility requirements of Nevada law.

If there is any question of eligibility, the circumstances are reviewed. If a person does not meet all requirements of the law, unemployment benefits cannot legally be paid. We aggressively represent our clients when they have been denied their benefits. 

Soon after the initial claim has been filed, Nevada conducts fact-finding interviews to obtain all information relating to a question of eligibility. The interview is conducted by a non-partial representative called an adjudicator.

Adjudicators review all questions of eligibility, including separation from the last employer, as well as the next previous employer if the most recent period of employment was less than 16 weeks. If either of these separations was for a reason other than a lack of work, the adjudicator determines if the reason for the separation allows for payment of unemployment benefits. If the adjudicator determines the reason for discharge was for industrial misconduct pursuant to NRS 612.385, the separation will not allow for payment of unemployment benefits. 

If either the claimant or the employer disagrees with the determination, they each have the right to appeal the decision and obtain a hearing before an impartial appeal referee. A hearing is held to review previously obtained information, as well as obtain additional information which may not have been presented in the adjudication process. During the hearing, each of the parties are allowed to make legal arguments, citing one or more of the several Nevada Supreme Court cases, where applicable to a particular set of facts. When this hearing has been completed, the referee reviews the facts which have been established, and the legal arguments presented, and issues a written decision. The decision is usually rendered within thirty (30) days of the hearing. While waiting on a decision, you should continue to file weekly for benefits.  If the decision is rendered in your favor, all of the past benefits that you filed for, but did not receive, will be credited to your account within days of winning your appeal hearing. 

If either party disagrees with the decision of an appeal referee, the party may request that the Employment Security Board of Review examine the case. This board is made up of members appointed by the Governor of Nevada and is restricted to reviewing information already presented. This board may also elect to not review the case if the referee confirmed the original determination of the adjudicator. This board may refuse to hear any arguments or objections which could have been made, but were not made, during the initial appeal hearing. Further, this board generally will not allow the presentation of any evidence that was not presented before the initial appeal hearing referee. 

Unemployment insurance claims may also be appealed to a District Court after administrative processes have been completed. In order to appeal to the court, the separated worker must file a Petition for Judicial Review in a timely manner. If the District Court wrongfully denies you benefits, you may appeal to the Supreme Court of Nevada. We can help you through each and every step along the way.   

When Overpayment of Unemployment Benefits is Claimed by the State

Has the State of Nevada asked you to repay the benefits you received? We have assisted several clients with hardship waiver requests where the State forgives the entire debt, or a significant portion of it. With non-fraud claims, the benefits repayment can be reduced to zero payment. With fraud claims, the Administrator will not reduce the repayment, but will often allow for payments over time, rather than in one lump sum. We can examine your case for potential defenses to a fraud claim.

Unemployment insurance fraud is a crime in Nevada. Effective July 1, 2009, significant changes have been made to NRS 612.445 and penalties will be imposed for the commission of fraud. Fraud is defined as making any false statement relating to a claim for benefits, deliberately withholding information to obtain unemployment benefits, failing to report all work and income during a week for which unemployment benefits is claimed, filing an unemployment benefits claim while incarcerated or allowing another person to file a claim on your behalf while incarcerated and not disclosing the fact of being incarcerated, or using a name and/or Social Security Number other than your own to file a claim for unemployment benefits. If you are found to have committed fraud, you WILL be disqualified until all money is repaid, plus any penalties and interest. You may even be prosecuted for felony theft.

Disclaimer: The information contained herein should not be construed as legal advice.  This site is not regularly monitored each time laws have been changed. Thus, some of the technical and numerical data may have changed since the publication of this information. Also, each case has its own unique facts, so different areas of law may be applicable.  

To review the Nevada Revised Statutes concerning unemployment insurance benefits, click here

If you are an employer and would like more information about unemployment insurance, click here.

For Frequently Asked Questions by employers, click here.

To review the Employer Handbook published by the Nevada Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation regarding the Nevada Unemployment Compensation Program, click here.