Sunday, August 24, 2008

Who's interest does the state of North Carolina serve, employees or employers?

I had a dispute several years ago with a staffing firm that contested my unemployment after my assignment ended through them. They failed to find me another assignment, but they contested my unemployment based on a technicality in my work agreement. However, the Employment Security Commission of North Carolina (NCESC) ruled against me and upheld the decision through two appeals. I also lost in Superior Court. I guess the judge didn't want to overturn the state government, even though the NCESC had no case for precedent in North Carolina and their attorney referred to a dissimilar case from Nevada. During this process, I came to the conclusion that the NCESC is biased. They support the companies in North Carolina above the employees that are constituents of North Carolina.

When I first contested the staffing company's claim of my ineligibility for unemployment insurance, I had a telephone hearing that lasted 45 minutes. Prior to the hearing, I received a letter from an attorney that wanted $400 to represent me. I didn't have that kind of money available and thought I had a good case. The letter from the NCESC about the hearing stated I could have an attorney present during the hearing, but it wasn't necessary. I tried to see what the attorney that sent me the letter thought, but she wasn't helpful. She was actually somewhat demeaning. I went into the hearing without any advice and no representation.

Here is what I learned to pass on to others. The hearing is very important because all appeals are based only on the hearing. All arguements and materials must be presented during the hearing. Be prepared.

Later after this farse, I got a legal plan from Prepaid Legal Services to protect my family. I also became an independent associate so I could help others get affordable legal services for their needs. I thought about how that attorney sent me a letter about my hearing, so my hearing must be public record. I contacted the NCESC and learned that I could get notices of upcoming hearings, but it would cost me $300 for 20 days of service. I suppose this service is printing the notices and faxing them. I contemplated using this service to contact these people with upcoming hearings to simply tell them to seek some kind of advice. However, I learned that I couldn't contact these people because I am not an attorney. It would be against the law.

Speaking of the law and employment, the state is further biased towards companies as an "at will" state with skewed legislation. Employers can fire employees within 90 days without reason. The employees are not due any severance. There is an artilcle at FindLaw about this.

What is the North Carolina's state government considering their best interest, the employers and lawyers in North Carolina, or the working constituents of North Carolina?

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