The bunker has arisen from its sleepy slumber, emitting the usual morning noises and -- since it's Wednesday -- also various orders!
Let's look in:
Rostrum v. FL Unemployment Appeals Comm:
Judge Salter holds his nose and "reluctantly" concurs in a case where claimants routinely get screwed on the time to appeal:
Although the majority is correct that section 443.151(4), Florida Statutes (2009), has no judicially-recognized, traditional “good cause” exception for a latefiled appeal,2 these cases should be addressed on the merits because of their importance. Unemployment compensation benefits are a safety net that should not be snatched away on a technicality that prejudices no one. The existing twenty-day statutory period for an administrative appeal includes the days the Agency’s adverse determination is in the mail. No allowance is made for intervening weekends and holidays after the mailing but before the twentieth day. Thus, in practice, the claimant may have two weeks from receipt of the Agency’s adverse ruling within which to seek assistance and prepare and file an appeal. There is no statutory or administrative procedure for seeking an extension of time for the claimant to further investigate the stated basis for the Agency’s adverse determination, to seek pro bono or other counsel, to actually write and file the appeal itself, or to “get through” to the Agency’s advertised help line.The Judge even asks for legislative relief (good luck):
While reluctantly concurring in the decision in this case, it is my hope that our Legislature will remedy this recurring elevation of a procedural deadline above an unemployed claimant’s right3 to present his or her evidence and to obtain a decision on the merits. The financial and emotional challenges of unemployment ought to be enough without compounding the effect by putting the claimants through a futile administrative and judicial labyrinth. I therefore urge the Agency to provide claimants with the documents and information provided to the Agency by the employer in support of a determination that the employee is not qualified for benefits, and I respectfully urge the Legislature to amend section 443.151(4), Florida Statutes (2011), to allow a longer period of time within which a party may appeal an adverse determination.I'm sure they'll get right on that!