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Can your employer stop you from getting unemployment benefits?

Contrary to popular belief, unemployment insurance claims are not approved automatically. Instead, each filing undergoes a careful review by the California Employment Development Department (EDD), the offices in charge of managing unemployment claims.

When it receives your request for benefits, the EDD will notify your former employer. They respond by accepting or contesting your claim. In other words, your employer may have a say in whether your claim finds approval.

Does contesting the claim equal a denial?

No, the most your employer can do is contest your claim, and even then, they must indicate why.

An ideal unemployment claim looks a bit like this.

When you file for unemployment, you must indicate why you are no longer working. Say that your boss terminated you for economic reasons, which you stated when filing.

Your former boss receives a notice that you have requested unemployment benefits. Since you committed no wrongdoing resulting in your dismissal, they should accept your claim and notify the EDD.

Here is a potentially disastrous unemployment claim.

Say you lost your job for wrongdoing (stealing, non-performance, etc.), but you do not say so in your paperwork. When your former employer receives notice of your claim, they may see that you lied about the reason for your termination. At this point, your ex-boss has the right to contest your claim.

Had you been truthful from the start, your former employer would not have cause to contest. If the EDD decides to deny your claim at this stage, it will not be because your ex-boss protested.

When issues like these affect your life, finding a remedy is vital. Learning more about California employment law can point the way to a solution or inform you of the appropriate next steps.


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