Why do I have to payback unemployment payments after winning a union arbitration?

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Why do I have to payback unemployment payments after winning a union arbitration?

I was fired from my job as an automotive technican for insubordination, refusal to do a job. I filed for unemployment benefits while waiting for union arbitration which took 6 months. I won the arbitration so got back pay for 4 1/2 months and my job back. A month later I got a letter from the Department of Labor saying I have to payback all money’s I received which is more

that I received as back pay. I wasn’t told beforehand that I would have to repay unemployment

benefits from the union or union lawyer. Why do I have to payback this money?

Asked on July 16, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You have to repay it because if you were reinstated *and* retroactively received back pay, you were not unemployed: you still have your job, and you were paid your salary for the back-pay period. If you were not unemployed, you are not eligible for unemployment; you cannot receive unemploymet for periods you are working or being paid by your job. That is why you must repay the money.


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