Filing an Unemployment Claim in Texas - What You Need to Know About Filing With the Texas Workforce Commission

What You Need to Know
The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) was created to help individuals who are entitled to unemployment compensation under the federal labor laws. Generally, if you were laid off or let go (even for poor performance of your duties), left your job due to health concerns, or left with good cause, you are entitled to Unemployment Benefits, provided you worked enough for that employer to be eligible under the unemployment compensation laws.

When You May Not Be Entitled to Unemployment Benefits
If you were let go due to misconduct of any kind, quit without good cause, or otherwise left in a manner that makes you ineligible for unemployment insurance benefits, you will not be entitled to unemployment compensation.

What Happens When You File an Unemployment Claim in Texas?
When you file for unemployment with the TWC, they send a letter to get a response from the company and make a preliminary decision based on your evidence and the response of the company. If one or both of you - meaning you as an employee, and your employer - disagrees with the decision made by the TWC, you have the right to appeal and have a hearing. You and the company, along with their witnesses and lawyers, will give evidence about the claim. Hearings may be held as telephone or video interviews.

What Should You Do During the Hearing?
Give only the most direct response to the questions you are asked. These answers are the ones most relevant to your case. Also, by giving only the information asked, you help the TWC hearing officer decide on your claim better by considering only the relevant facts of your case. The rate of performance, your dependability, and the obvious fact that your boss was a jerk don't matter.  Answer only those questions asked, in a short and simple manner. Make your answers and your evidence show that you did not lose your job due to misconduct on your part or that you quit without good cause. Good cause clauses vary from state to state. What is considered good cause in Arkansas or West Virginia may not be the same as good cause in Texas. An employment lawyer can help you navigate this mine field.

A TWC hearing officer listens to irrelevant testimony all day, every day. He or she is less likely to decide in your favor if you talk about things that are not relevant to your payday claim, or give in to the temptation to dump the whole thing in their laps. No matter how much you think your ex-boss or ex-company deserves to be exposed for the jerks they are, resist. TWC hearing officers listen to this all day, and the more you talk, the less they listen.

Why YOU Need a Lawyer for a Payday Claim in Texas
The TWC was created so that employees just like you could navigate this system without attorneys. However, companies, including your employer, do have attorneys to advise them of their rights and of the labor laws. Their lawyers know the federal labor laws and loopholes that can keep you from getting the unemployment benefits you need. They know how to talk to TWC hearing officers. You need someone on your side who knows the law in your state and your locality. If you believe you are being unjustly treated by TWC in a claim for unemployment benefits, speak to an experienced labor lawyer.

Important Points:
You are entitled to Unemployment Benefits in Texas if:

  • You left your job with good cause - You may need a lawyer to help you decide if the reason you quit was with good cause.
  • You were fired for poor performance, but not for misconduct on your part.
  • You were laid off.
You are not entitled to Unemployment benefits if:
  • You left your job without good cause. You may need a labor lawyer to help you decide if you left with or without good cause under Texas Law.
  • You were fired for misconduct, such as drug use, drunkenness, or lewd conduct. These are only a few reasons you could be denied benefits for misconduct.
You need the assistance of an employment lawyer in Texas to help you:
  • Navigate the complex legal and TWC system.
  • Decide whether or not you quit with good cause under the laws of Texas.
  • To help you understand the Fair Labor Standards Act and how it and Texas law work together.
  • To advise you of your rights under the law.
A good labor law attorney can help you understand the Fair Labor Standards Act and Texas employment law, and they can help you decide if legal action is the right thing for you in your individual circumstance. The company will have lawyers on their side. You should have a good Texas unemployment attorney on yours.

Our firm has represented workers in many Texas cities including Dallas, Galveston, Grand Prairie, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, El Paso, Fort Worth, Arlington, Corpus Christi, Plano, Garland, Lubbock, Irving, Laredo, Amarillo, Pasadena, Brownsville, Grand Prairie, Mesquite, and many more.