For the past six years we have been requesting statistics, via OPRA, from the Department of Labor in order to compare results from our firm with the overall averages of unemployment claimants filing appeals. For the sixth straight year, we are releasing the Department of Labor statistics along with our statistics. The summary is as follows:
Department of Labor Statistics (years range from October to September)
Fact Finding Hearings - Not Available
Appeal Tribunal Hearings
|Claimant Appeals Favorable||27%||29%||27%||25%||25%||24%||26%||29%|
|Employer Appeals Favorable||36%||33%||31%||32%||29%||30%||30%||29%|
Board of Review Appeals
|Claimant Appeals Favorable||27%||20%||9%||6%||6%||8%||7%||5%|
|Employer Appeals Favorable||55%||46%||8%||11%||11%||11%||11%||6%|
Appellate Division Appeals (compiled from LEXIS, not OPRA)
|Claimant Appeals Favorable||15%||26%||21%||32%||27%||31%||23%||13%|
|Employer Appeals Favorable||50%||0%||100%||25%||50%||n/a||0%||50%|
We have also compiled our firm's statistics for calendar year 2018. Schorr & Associates Results: (Our statistics of past performance do not guarantee any future performance)
Schorr & Associates Performance
|Appeal Tribunal Hearings||74%||77%||77%||90%||88%||96%||90%||94%|
|Board of Review Appeals||27%||76%||33%||44%||50%||80%||78%||75%|
|Appellate Division Appeals||87.5%||80%||67%||100%||100%||100%||N/A||N/A|
As the success rates of unrepresented claimants continues to drop, our success at the Department of Labor has continued at the same high levels. The statistics reflect that the percentage of positive results obtained by our firm have been triple or better than the average of all Appeals at every level. Our 95% success rate at Fact-Findings and 96% success rate at Appeal Tribunals demonstrates that the safest way to ensure unemployment benefits remains retaining an attorney for all hearings.
A major change in unemployment law this year significantly affects unemployment appeals moving forward. The severe misconduct disqualification was repealed, leaving only two tiers of disqualification, a six week postponement of benefits for misconduct and a total disqualification for gross misconduct. The definition of misconduct has also been statutorily defined for the first time. Appeals to the Appeal Tribunal for misconduct findings may increase because claimants will no longer need to fear an upgrade to severe misconduct, which happened all too often. The change of definition coupled with a new requirement that employers need to demonstrate, with written documentation, that the employee engaged in misconduct will also make it harder to disqualify claimants.
Despite an overall claimant reversal rate at the Board of Review of only 8%, we were able to achieve remands and reversals at the rate of 80%, ten times the average. At the Appellate Division this year, claimants won about 31% of their claimant appeals resulting in reversal. It still makes a big difference to have an attorney at the Appellate Division, though. Self-represented appellants won 6 out of 32 appeals (20.6%), but appellants with attorneys won 10 out of 19 (52.6%) and this firm’s success rate was 1 of 1 (100.0%).
All in all, the statistics for 2018 and the past six years confirm the importance of having counsel at every level of the increasingly complicated and contentious unemployment process.