Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Yay, Me!

One of the things I do at my job is payroll and anything related to payroll, including unemployment claims. Because we are a local government, we do not actually pay unemployment insurance, instead we have to pay the state's unemployment division dollar for dollar any benefits paid out that are charged to the city. This does not happen often since the rumors are true - it is pretty difficult to actually get fired from a government job. And if you just quit, then you're not entitled to benefits. However, by default we get several claims a year for our part time employees if they are laid off from their primary full time job. When this happens, I have to file an appeal with the state explaining that the person in question is still employed with the city at or above 90% of their pre-unemployment wages. Normally that is the end of it.

However, in December of 2007, the state had a computer upgrade that apparently did not go well. At this same time, I filed an appeal on for a part time employee who was still employed with us, just like I've always done, and then I filed it away and didn't think about it again. Until I received a bill the following month for benefits charged against the city. That is when the saga began. Since then I have been fighting with the state of Minnesota to try & get this reversed. For NINE months. I've sent letters, faxes, email, made phone calls, etc, and nobody could seem to help me get this resolved. I mean, seriously, I could have gotten pregnant, carried the baby to full term & delivered it in the time it took them to figure this out! (That is just a hypothetical example...under no circumstances will we be having any more children!)

Finally, I'd had enough. I got all of the information together about each time I'd contacted them and all of the documentation showing that this employee still worked for us...and was working more for us than he had in the past and I typed up a letter informing them that if this was not resolved within 2 weeks, I would begin contacting our state representatives until I did get a resolution. I sent that letter to 2 different fax numbers and the snail mail address I had for them.

I actually got a phone call that same day from a lady who wanted more copies of time cards and stuff. She informed me that the date to file an appeal ended before my SECOND request and so she didn't know if they could reverse it. I reminded her that I never received that ruling, which would be their error, so they couldn't hold that against me. She said she'd review everything and IF there was an error, refund our money.

Now I know this isn't "my" money, it's the City's, but let me tell you, after fighting with them about this for 9 months, it might as well have been mine. By this time, I was mad! When I have to submit a check to the council showing unemployment payments being made for an employee who still works for us, it makes it look like I didn't do my job.

Monday morning I came into work and there was a letter from the state stating that they had reviewed everything and found that the city should not have been charged benefits, and those benefits have been reversed out. That was pretty nice to hear.

Then, on Tuesday, I came back from the bank to find I had a voicemail from the director of the customer service area of the state's unemployment department saying, "You were right, we were wrong." Okay, may the "we were wrong" part shouldn't be in the quotes because he didn't say that exactly, but he did say "YOU WERE RIGHT" and that my original appeal had been processed incorrectly!!! The State of Minnesota said that to me!!! I has taken me 9 long months to hear that, but now, it is worth it! I am never going to delete that message. I want to figure out how to transfer it to a tape so I can take it with me if I ever do get out of here. The state of Minnesota is a lot like the IRS - they are never wrong....except this time! Yay, Me!!

No comments: