Unemployed Florida

Unemployment Appeals

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Re: Unemployment Appeals

Post  ofantastic on Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:49 pm

Hi there. Smile

I had my appeal on Dec. 21st, a Tuesday, and received my letter the 24th, the Thursday last week. The appeals office told me that They sent my information to the claims office to reverse everything since I won on the 22nd.

Just curious how long it takes to receive backpay?

Thanks!

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Re: Unemployment Appeals

Post  GonzoFL on Wed Dec 30, 2009 9:55 pm

Hey ofantastic,

I replied to to your question on the legal advice site earlier today.

http://forum.freeadvice.com/search.php?searchid=2419861
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Re: Unemployment Appeals

Post  Unemployed In Orlando on Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:42 pm

Anyone who has had issues and headaches with an appeal who would like to tell their story to Jim Stratton from the Orlando Sentinel? He will be writing an article soon about the whoas you have had and would like some input from someone. Thanks!

Jim can be contacted at :

Jim Stratton
Orlando Sentinel
407-420-5379 (office)
jstratton@orlandosentinel.com
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New to Forum - Please Help!

Post  ThatGirl03 on Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:02 pm

I applied to AWI on 12/2/09 after being laid off from my job. I was erroneously denied benefits by AWI on 12/16/09. I appealed on 12/28/09. I began receiving benefits on 1/22/10, but payments were erroneously stopped again by AWI on 2/17/10. I received a 'Notice of Determination' from 2/17/10 stating ' I have been overpaid and now need to pay AWI back for previous funds received (approximately $2,000.00.)'

In my contacts with AWI since 2/17, I have been told by numerous phone agents and "supervisors" that 'the original disqualification (from Dec. 09) was never removed from my file.' After 2 emails from one supervisor (Don Hale), a 'Redetermination of Benefits' was issued on 3/3/10, stating that I do qualify for benefits ( I have yet to receive that notice; I asked for it to be re-mailed yesterday, and was told I should have it by next week.) A second "supervisor" (Gabriel Andrews), reported he sent an email to the "Fix" Department on 3/8/10, yet a third supervisor in Orlando (Elba Roman) reported to me on 3/9/10, that Mr. Andrews never put his notes into my file, and she made it clear she doubted that Mr. Andrews is even a supervisor.

I have been told this past week that it could take anywhere from 21 - 30 additional days to get this issue resolved. As I continue to claim my weeks, my benefits are now going to the Overpayment Department, because they think I now owe them money. However, I am getting the $25.00 a week stimulus check ( and this makes no sense at all, because if I owe them money, why are they sending me money? One agent told me to " take it." Duh!) I have also been told there are two more parts to this correction process. First, the disqualifier needs to be removed from my account. And second, the Benefits Overpayment Department has to reverse the payments sent to themselves and send them back to me. Ms. Roman reported this " shouldn't be too long." I reported to her that " this shouldn't be happening in the first place." I have received no AWI benefits since 2/9/10.

I have had two agents from two different departments tell me " yours is the most complicated case I have ever seen." I have made multiple calls, and asked for extensions or emails so I can reach ONE person and ONE department instead of getting different departments and "supervisors." I have been given none, although Ms. Roman assured me repeatedly that
' the next agent to answer any of my calls would know who she was by her initials in the system on my file,' although she could not guarantee I would get the Orlando office when I called again.

I have found the AWI contacts in this forum, but there are many and am not sure if numbers are still correct. Who would be the best department and person to contact? From what I can tell, the Tallahassee office looks like the best bet. Has anyone else here had a similar problem with AWI trying to now get them to pay monies back, and if so, what did you do?

I am also going to post an idea in the 'Off Topic' section, so please go there and respond also. These problems have gone on for too long and something needs to be done.

Thank you in advance, everyone, for your help!

***ADMIN EDIT - Moved to appeals thread Very Happy


Last edited by Unemployed In Orlando on Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:31 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Moved to correct thread)

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Re: Unemployment Appeals

Post  studioWI on Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:30 pm

Hi Dawn--

I unfortunately can be of no help to you in this matter, but I bet that Diane (from the NewsHour TV program) would be enormously interested. We've exchanged emails, and she is a very interested spectator; this would be right up her alley. She is an honest, engaging person who may be able to ask the right people the right questions to ultimately answer your questions.
The polar opposite effect of that is.....pissing AWI people off.
But everything now seems to be a gamble...however...

Try the contact numbers ((@877-846-8770 + extension) Cassandra) until a PERSON either answers or returns your message. Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays seem to be their least "peak" hours and once you find a contact that cares, don't let them go. I've had great success with these folks...it may not have been a timely solution, but the people I've dealt with have solved whatever issues I've had. (I once thought of putting Cassandra on Speed Dial.)

Good luck ThatGirl. Keep us informed.

P.S. If you try Cassandra's extension, you may find yourself transferred to Dierdre, a most capable CSR.

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Re: Unemployment Appeals

Post  Unemployed In Orlando on Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:34 pm

Every 3 months the system "requalifies" you to see if your benefits will change. Looks like this is the case in your matter. Cassandra was a great contact but unfortunately doesnt answer now when dialed and is in a different department. I would suggest Josh or Melody, they have supervisors right in the same area who they can immediately go to and get any problem fixed without having to wait. Try one of them first thing monday and let us know what happens Very Happy
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Re: Unemployment Appeals

Post  ThatGirl03 on Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:53 pm

Thanks for the replies WI and UIO. WI - what is a 'CSR?' And UIO - why does the system "re-qualify" you every three months? I'm not sure that is what's happening, as I only received 3 benefit payments before they were stopped again. ;(

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Re: Unemployment Appeals

Post  Unemployed In Orlando on Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:13 pm

ThatGirl03 wrote:Thanks for the replies WI and UIO. WI - what is a 'CSR?' And UIO - why does the system "re-qualify" you every three months? I'm not sure that is what's happening, as I only received 3 benefit payments before they were stopped again. ;(

CSR = Customer Service Representative

And the system requalifies you each quarter because that is their way to run a check to see if any money has been earned (by working which is reported) so they can adjust or deny further payments.
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Re: Unemployment Appeals

Post  ThatGirl03 on Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:52 pm

Thanks for the info UIO! If this is what's happening (requalifying) - why do they stop your benefits checks, and any idea on how long to get them re-started?

WI - I contacted Diane Lincoln from PBS and Jim Stratton from The Orlando Sentinel yesterday. Jim S. is the one who directed me to this website.

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Re: Unemployment Appeals

Post  studioWI on Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:04 pm

ThatGirl03 wrote:Thanks for the info UIO! If this is what's happening (requalifying) - why do they stop your benefits checks, and any idea on how long to get them re-started?

WI - I contacted Diane Lincoln from PBS and Jim Stratton from The Orlando Sentinel yesterday. Jim S. is the one who directed me to this website.

Take a deep breath Dawn. Nothing official will occur before Monday. (I know.)
...and sometimes* I've had to wait for 3-4 weeks for issues to resolve themselves... Sad ...and have been paid retroactively...

I know Dawn...borrowing from Jill to pay Jack, even for a few weeks, is a sad, humbling fact of life (it seems) for AWI clients. Finding the worker who actually cares is paramount in a search for resolution/solution.

'luck ThatGirl.

* plural

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Re: Unemployment Appeals

Post  ThatGirl03 on Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:29 pm

New News! I contacted Melody this morning and she spoke with her supervisor about my issue. Melody could not figure out why my payments were stopped, and reports she didn't see a 'disqualifier' on my account. She says the problem is the Benefits Overpayment department has yet to correct the problem. Her supervisor is fixing that today, and Melody reports when I claim next (3/23), the money should be sent to me and not AWI. As for the retroactive amount, she reports this shouldn't be too long - certainly not the 21-30 days the Orlando office told me. Melody also said Orlando often doesn't have access to the info they (Tallahassee) have ( Nancy - you were SO right!) Melody promised to call me back this week, and let me know of the progress - whew!! Thank you UIO and Nancy for this forum and all the helpful information! I will keep all posted.

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Re: Unemployment Appeals

Post  Unemployed In Orlando on Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:11 pm

ThatGirl03 wrote:New News! I contacted Melody this morning and she spoke with her supervisor about my issue. Melody could not figure out why my payments were stopped, and reports she didn't see a 'disqualifier' on my account. She says the problem is the Benefits Overpayment department has yet to correct the problem. Her supervisor is fixing that today, and Melody reports when I claim next (3/23), the money should be sent to me and not AWI. As for the retroactive amount, she reports this shouldn't be too long - certainly not the 21-30 days the Orlando office told me. Melody also said Orlando often doesn't have access to the info they (Tallahassee) have ( Nancy - you were SO right!) Melody promised to call me back this week, and let me know of the progress - whew!! Thank you UIO and Nancy for this forum and all the helpful information! I will keep all posted.

Thats awesome news! cheers I knew Melody would be able to hook you up!! Please let us know what happens next week so we can share with others who might have some of the same issues Wink
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Re: Unemployment Appeals

Post  studioWI on Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:22 pm

ThatGirl03 wrote:New News! I contacted Melody this morning and she spoke with her supervisor about my issue. Melody could not figure out why my payments were stopped, and reports she didn't see a 'disqualifier' on my account. She says the problem is the Benefits Overpayment department has yet to correct the problem. Her supervisor is fixing that today, and Melody reports when I claim next (3/23), the money should be sent to me and not AWI. As for the retroactive amount, she reports this shouldn't be too long - certainly not the 21-30 days the Orlando office told me. Melody also said Orlando often doesn't have access to the info they (Tallahassee) have ( Nancy - you were SO right!) Melody promised to call me back this week, and let me know of the progress - whew!! Thank you UIO and Nancy for this forum and all the helpful information! I will keep all posted.

Good news ThatGirl...it's nice to hear that the resources here helped someone.

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fantastic!

Post  nancym on Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:28 am

ThatGirl03 wrote:New News! I contacted Melody this morning and she spoke with her supervisor about my issue. Melody could not figure out why my payments were stopped, and reports she didn't see a 'disqualifier' on my account. She says the problem is the Benefits Overpayment department has yet to correct the problem. Her supervisor is fixing that today, and Melody reports when I claim next (3/23), the money should be sent to me and not AWI. As for the retroactive amount, she reports this shouldn't be too long - certainly not the 21-30 days the Orlando office told me. Melody also said Orlando often doesn't have access to the info they (Tallahassee) have ( Nancy - you were SO right!) Melody promised to call me back this week, and let me know of the progress - whew!! Thank you UIO and Nancy for this forum and all the helpful information! I will keep all posted.

That's great, ThatGirl! Melody has been one of our heroes for a while here. Let us know how it all works out. Hopefully you're in the clear now for a while.
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Re: Unemployment Appeals

Post  ThatGirl03 on Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:37 pm

Update: I just checked my info on AWI and it reports all of my retroactive money was issued today (!), so it should hit my bank by Friday. I have not heard back from Melody yet; will keep all posted if she has any new info to give. Thank you all, for your support and guidance through these issues.

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Re: Unemployment Appeals

Post  Unemployed In Orlando on Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:40 pm

ThatGirl03 wrote:Update: I just checked my info on AWI and it reports all of my retroactive money was issued today (!), so it should hit my bank by Friday. I have not heard back from Melody yet; will keep all posted if she has any new info to give. Thank you all, for your support and guidance through these issues.

Thats great! Thanks for keeping us updated on your status, let us know if anything else transpires Very Happy
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State Employee - 10 + yrs. - Fired by a liar(s)

Post  expd7IT on Mon Apr 12, 2010 5:51 pm

Hi,
First off I would like to state that I am glad I decided to "waste" my time today searching on the Internet for Florida unemployment stories about the appeals process, since I will be going through this also. I just have to say WOW! I am glad I did, and I am glad I ended up here. The resources and stories have pretty much answered or confirmed what I believe to be true.

My situation is probably very unique, and I am 100% open to discussing my story to any reputable news reporter interested, except the News-Journal (Daytona Beach)<< My ex-employer has "connections" there.

I also want to add that I sent them (ex-boss(es)) a nice, friendly e-mail stating I only wanted my vacation pay, unemployment, and my State Termination papers..and to go about my life. No reply period, as expected.

My appeal was filed because my Determination stated:
THE DISCHARGE WAS FOR MICONDUCT CONNECTED WITH THE WORK.
DISQUALIFICATION IS REQUIRED FROM 02/09/10 THRU 03/15/10 & UNTIL YOU EARN $4675

The Appeal Notice now states:
SEPARATION: Whether the claimant was discharged for misconduct connected with work or voluntarily left work without good cause as defined in...<blah blah statute statute code>

Obviously one not working cannot earn $4675, that's basic math.

Info - Fired by an elected official with the Chief Ass. and Financial Director present on 2/8/10 after 10.5 years of service. Filed appeal 3/8/10 - the day I received the Determination.
I then got an appeal date of 4/21/10, and then immediately received a call from the State that they (ex-employer) could not make the appeal date. Now they wouldn't do that on purpose to make me "suffer", would they? I asked when the next date would be set. I was told in 2-4 weeks. I have received zero benefits.

That is where everything stands right now. Hopefully someone can help me answer these questions.

1) Can my ex-employer do a NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE again. If so, how many times can they do this and is there a maximum time period?

2) Why does my determination state I must make $4675 before I qualify? I made 60K/yr.? The unemployment office replied twice on this with a "I am only calling you to inform you of the appeal" and "I have no idea why that is there ask the appointed referee."

Thanks for reading this...

Lied to, stomped on, fired via a liar. I don't quit.

ATDW

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Re: Unemployment Appeals

Post  GonzoFL on Tue Apr 13, 2010 11:39 am

expd7IT wrote:Hi,
First off I would like to state that I am glad I decided to "waste" my time today searching on the Internet for Florida unemployment stories about the appeals process, since I will be going through this also. I just have to say WOW! I am glad I did, and I am glad I ended up here. The resources and stories have pretty much answered or confirmed what I believe to be true.

My situation is probably very unique, and I am 100% open to discussing my story to any reputable news reporter interested, except the News-Journal (Daytona Beach)<< My ex-employer has "connections" there.

I also want to add that I sent them (ex-boss(es)) a nice, friendly e-mail stating I only wanted my vacation pay, unemployment, and my State Termination papers..and to go about my life. No reply period, as expected.

My appeal was filed because my Determination stated:
THE DISCHARGE WAS FOR MICONDUCT CONNECTED WITH THE WORK.
DISQUALIFICATION IS REQUIRED FROM 02/09/10 THRU 03/15/10 & UNTIL YOU EARN $4675

The Appeal Notice now states:
SEPARATION: Whether the claimant was discharged for misconduct connected with work or voluntarily left work without good cause as defined in...<blah blah statute statute code>

Obviously one not working cannot earn $4675, that's basic math.

Info - Fired by an elected official with the Chief Ass. and Financial Director present on 2/8/10 after 10.5 years of service. Filed appeal 3/8/10 - the day I received the Determination.
I then got an appeal date of 4/21/10, and then immediately received a call from the State that they (ex-employer) could not make the appeal date. Now they wouldn't do that on purpose to make me "suffer", would they? I asked when the next date would be set. I was told in 2-4 weeks. I have received zero benefits.

That is where everything stands right now. Hopefully someone can help me answer these questions.

1) Can my ex-employer do a NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE again. If so, how many times can they do this and is there a maximum time period?

2) Why does my determination state I must make $4675 before I qualify? I made 60K/yr.? The unemployment office replied twice on this with a "I am only calling you to inform you of the appeal" and "I have no idea why that is there ask the appointed referee."

Thanks for reading this...

Lied to, stomped on, fired via a liar. I don't quit.

ATDW


First of all,don't worry about that $4675 B.S. What they are telling you is that if you are in fact denied(loose) your appeal,you would have to make that sum of money in order to possibly qualify for unemployment benefits in the future. The most important issue is your former employers stall tactics. First of all,in order to get a postponement,they would have had to demonstrated a compelling good reason for not being able to attend the hearing. The reasoning for their request for postponement is a matter of interpretation by the adjudicator in your case. From what I have seen in the past,the adjudicator is fairly lenient for one postponement....and according to an appeals clerk I spoke to a while back,there is no real limit to how many times they can request a postponement....however,they do not have an endless amount they can use. From what I gather,one is acceptable.....asking for another,may be a bit difficult. The adjudicator has allot of latitude on this....and in a nutshell it is up to them to how long the former employer can stall. I don't think the ex employer will try to ask for another postponement. Since you filed the appeal....it is of the utmost importance you DO NOT miss the hearing when the new date is set.. Be calm and be prepared...stick to the facts,answer the questions asked and stay on point. DO NOT quote statutory law or case law...stick to the point on why you were dismissed....AND DO NOT INTERUPT the adjudicator or your ex employer when they have the floor. Since they are claiming misconduct...the ex employer will have the burden of proof. Are they contending that you quit? .......or what do you believe the misconduct they are contending is? Misconduct is a favorite tactic used by employers...it's a catch all for anything they didn't like about you or something you may or may not have done. Let us know how this procedure goes and if you have any other questions please feel free to ask.
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Re: Unemployment Appeals

Post  studioWI on Tue Apr 13, 2010 11:43 am

Good job Gonzo.

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OMG

Post  expd7IT on Tue Apr 13, 2010 2:20 pm

I just wrote for an hour, went to post and ??.
Can you remove that copy please?

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Thanks for the informative reply

Post  expd7IT on Tue Apr 13, 2010 3:03 pm

Hi Again,
Thanks for the info and the advice.

It's a long story, would take to long to write, so I will stick with the specifics for the hearing.

1) My girlfriend of 5 years was fired, after her mom died, while on FMLA. There are married employees and office lizards all over the place.
She was fired by the Chief Ass. fyi. I believe this shows a pattern of firing and a disregard for the law (it's illegal to fire anyone on FMLA, just found that out) and, even though to this day I have no idea what I did. This was 1.5 years prior to my firing. We are not together unfortunately.

2) I have an e-mail from my boss, to attend the meeting I got fired at. In that e-mail he states that the e-mail I forwarded is deemed to be insubordination.
The e-mail in question was sent by the Chief Ass. to 4 counties (people I have worked with for years), in that e-mail he lied about me repeatedly, so I replied (and forwarded to my boss) the facts and what really happened. Prior to that I have had to call some of them, to explain really what happened.

example -
from Chief Ass<to one of the offices>:I cannot give you the admnistrative passwords, expd7IT said you deleted stuff, hacked the server, and he is pissed.
my reply: I never said any of that. I said you (Chief Ass.) made me give out the administrative password when you shouldn't, and that I had to change them because there were three IP's using all the bandwidth, and no one replied to my inquiries on what they were. So I changed the passwords, and I just gave them to you and what happened, the network is all screwed up again.

This is so funny, he made me give out the Network Admin Password, and then he just started giving it out. I personally gave my boss a signed letter stating I have no control over the network, Sun Shine Act risks, felonies, I am talking straight out sabotage, I got pictures. What did he do? Nothing, well except he fired me. In the end, I changed the passwords one weekend, 2 months later he (Chief Ass.) blows up about it. I want ANYONE to tell me that what he did was RIGHT. Once the passwords where changed, bingo!!, all was well and I blocked the suspiscious IP's from the office.
TWO DAYS after giving him the new passwords, there went the network again. I wanted to bring this up in the meeting but was fired before I could.

Q: If you are insubordinate, you're not quitting, you are getting fired.
Q: I cannot be insubordinate by stating the truth, and/or facts, and following the law.

3) They wrote a company policy against me that states "You cannot date the IT Guy". Maybe not related enough, but WTH!! No joke.

I am sending the e-mails as evidence overnight at the last possible day before my hearing. I want to include some newspaper articles on what I have done, my honorable discharge, and open with having the referee see that I was honorably discharged and I was an asset to that office and to the State. Maybe throw in some awards or letters of commendation. I want this person to see that I dont quit.

Then present the above, and close with "If you are insubordinate, employed for over a decade, you're not in it to quit. And I proved that, they are the ones that quit, and now they want to cover it up and make me suffer for a reason I do not and do not care to know."

Thanks All,
expd7IT

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Re: Unemployment Appeals

Post  GonzoFL on Tue Apr 13, 2010 3:33 pm

Wow...now that's a complicated shit storm if I ever saw one. At the hearing you get to tell your side of the story. Write out what you want to say and it never hurts to rehearse it a few times. You can also call witness's on your behalf and you also have the right to question any witness's your ex employer has(if any) Remember...they have the burden of proof....that already gives you a bit of an advantage. I have been through a few of these phone hearings and it all boils down to one thing....who is the most believable and most credible.

The saddest part of all this is that you are being denied benefits while the State tries to sort this out. You asked in your first post this postponement being done on purpose by your former employer....you are most likely not wrong...they do hope to wear you down before the hearing in hopes you will give up. I know of one local employer,who employed hundreds of people,that would fight every UC claim against them. At that time my wife was an employee there and sat in on many of the the phone hearings. Over 90% of the hearing the employer knew he could not win....but it didn't matter,it didn't cost him anything but a little time and there was always the chance that the ex employee would just give up or find another job. The more people an employer terminates and that receive UC benefits...the more it costs the employer in taxes.

Main thing when your hearing comes around...stay on point,don't give out to much info....don't bring up anything that you don't necessarily need or want brought up(ie: Don't ask a question you don't already know the answer too) and stay CALM.

Prepare for this like your fighting for your life and you can and will prevail. Good luck and keep us informed on the outcome.
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Re: Unemployment Appeals

Post  Unemployed In Orlando on Tue Apr 13, 2010 3:34 pm

expd7IT wrote:I just wrote for an hour, went to post and ??.
Can you remove that copy please?

No worries, I moved your post into this Appeals thread yesterday right after you posted, thats why it was posted still under the Forum listings Very Happy
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Re: Unemployment Appeals

Post  Unemployed In Orlando on Tue Apr 13, 2010 3:36 pm

Good job Gonzo, was going to pm you yesterday on this one since your our go to guy on Appeals cheers
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Re: Unemployment Appeals

Post  nancym on Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:32 pm

I can't help but comment on this one. I just think it's so bizarre that anyone would even dare ask or much less demand the network admin password from the administrator! And on some kind of taxpayer-paid site? That's such a no-no in any corporation serious about its security; I never had access to that even in the small company that I helped put together, with a rare exception when I had to work with the admin to set up some special software installations.

I hope your adjudicator has some sense of that, but unfortunately non-IT people might think nothing of such ridiculous behaviour from your boss.

Gonzo gave out great advice. You need to really have it down on paper what you will present, and go overboard, especially if these people don't know much about the tech stuff. That can set up resentment, I know I've done that, and some people just don't know what I'm talking about and get flustered. I've found that in a legal procedure you have to plan out when to talk and when to stop. Smile

Good luck!
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