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Story of Justice: Kayla*

Working a job at minimum wage is not easy, especially when you have children. Sometimes there are bills to pay that will not wait for your pay day. They are due when they are due, no ifs, and, or buts about it. This was the case for Kayla. She worked as a laundry attendant at a hotel for minimum wage. Like many low income families, her faith was very strong. So strong, that she did not work on Sundays. She stood firm on this, and indicated on her application to her current job that she would not be able to work on Sundays. This was clear and evident, or so she thought. A Sunday was placed on her work schedule one week. She explained to her employer that she was unavailable this week not just due to her religious belief but she also had a family engagement. Her employer ignored her sentiments and exclaimed that she needed to show up or suffer the consequences. Kayla was fired for failing to show up for work on that Sunday.

Kayla’s unemployment application was denied because her former employer claimed she was dismissed for “misconduct.” With nowhere else to turn for help, Kayla came to CCLA and requested representation at her Unemployment Hearing. Understanding the plight, a CCLA paralegal fought at the hearing and won. Kayla was granted unemployment benefits.

The CCLA paralegal was not pleased with the amount Kayla was receiving with her package. After extensive research, he determined that the employer reported the earnings in the wrong month. He filed for an additional hearing. He did not want to go down without a fight. At the hearing the employer admitted that the earnings report was indeed inaccurate. The Hearing Officer increased Kayla’s benefits retroactively and going forward. 

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