Unemployment Attorney
Jacksonville, Florida

  • This page is dedicated to helping Florida residents seeking information regarding their unemployment compensation denials. If you do not live in Florida, you should contact an attorney in your state to learn the rules for unemployment compensation. In Florida, Unemployment Compensation is governed by state law under Chapter 443 of the Florida Statutes. The Agency for Workforce Innovation (AWI) is the governing agency. DO NOT WAIT TO REPORT YOUR CLAIM. You must report your claim immediately upon being terminated. In order to receive benefits, you are required to report each week you are out of work and include a job search list, which details every place you applied for work. Sometimes employers deny unemployment compensation. As of July 1, 2011, Governor Christ signed legislation changing the standard for misconduct.

  • Unemployment compensation denials most often occur for one of the following reasons:
    •     (1) Voluntarily leaving your employment without good cause; and
    •     (2) Misconduct can now be argued:
    •         (a) regardless of whether what you have done happened at work or during working hours; and
    •         (b) includes but is not limited to the following:
    •                     (1) Conduct demonstrating conscious disgregard of an employer's interests and found to be a deliberate violation or                             disregard of the reasonable standards of behavior, which the employer expects of his or her employee;
    •                     (2) Carelessness or negligence to a degree or recurrence that manifests culpability or wrongful intent, or shows an                                 intentional and substantial disregard fo the employer's interests or of the employee's duties and obligations to his                             or her employer;
    •                     (3) Chronic absenteeism or tardiness in deliberate violation of a known policy of the employer or one or more                                         unapproved absences following a written reprimand or warning relating to more than one unapproved absence;
    •                     (4) A willful and deliberate violation of a standard or regulation of this state by an employee of an employer licensed                             or certified by this state, which violation would cause the employer to be sanctioned or have its license or                                         certification suspended by this state; and
    •                     (5) A violation of an employer's rule, unless the claimant can demonstrate that:
    •                             (i) He or she did not know, and could not reasonably know of the rule's requirements;
    •                             (ii) The rule is not lawful or not reasonably related to the job environment and performance; or
    •                             (iii) The rule is not fairly or consistently enforced.

    There are some rules. This list is not exhaustive. In order to received Unemployment Compensation, you must be:
    •       (1) "physically able to work" in order to obtain unemployment benefits- meaning that you must be able to physically and                         mentally work in the occupation being sought; and
    •       (2) "available for work" in order to obtain unemployment benefits, meaning that you must be actively seeking employment and               be ready to accept and perform a job offered to you.

    NOTE: You cannot collect Unemployment Compensation and Workers' Compensation benefits at the same time. If you are receiving social security disability benefits or a pension, this may also disqualify you from receiving unemployment benefits.


    If you were denied, you should immediately contact the Agency for Workforce Innovation to appeal the decision. You only have twenty (20) days in which to appeal the decision. If you fail to notify the Agency within twenty (20) days, you may be forever barred from appealing the decision to deny your benefits. The appeal will be done telephonically. On the phone will be a hearing officer, the employer, any witnesses the employer may question regarding your employment, you, and if you have witnesses, your witnesses. The hearing officer will begin by introducing the record. The hearing officer will then take testimony of the employer representative and the employee. Each side will have the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses. There are very specific rules for putting documents into evidence. Just because you may have sent documents to the AWI, does not mean the hearing officer has the documents. If you plan to submit documentary evidence, you are required to supply the hearing officer and the employer with the documents at least two (2) days prior to the hearing. If you do not do so, you may not be able to use the documents in your hearing. If after your hearing, you are still denied benefits, you are entitled to a review by the Unemployment Appeals Commission. This is not a hearing. It requires a written appeal and should outline the reasons you believe the hearing officer abused his/her discretion. If you would like to learn more or speak to me about representing you at an unemployment hearing, please contact me today for an in-office consultation.