I’m pleased to report that I won my appeal!
Here it is:
August 28, 2009
State of New York
Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board
P.O. Box 15126
Albany, NY 12212-5126
Re: A.L.J. Case No. 009-01152
Charles Taylor (DOB 1/9/68)
I wish to appeal the decision issued in regards to case no. 009-00152, based on the following reasons:
The opinion of the administrative law judge Paula S. Yorke, as stated on page 3 of the enclosed Notice of Decision concludes “The claimant’s medical documentation establishing his hospitalization for a mental disorder in 2002, is insufficient to establish that his condition was such to render him unable to perform his job responsibilities.” I object to this conclusion and humbly request that the state insurance appeal board, based on my rights under Title I of the American’s with Disabilities Act of 1990, consider overturning this decision.
The American’s with Disabilities Act clearly defines a person with a disability, eligible for protection under the law, as “one with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of life’s major activities; and those having record of such impairment.”
The hospital records dated from 2002 which I submitted for the file in this A.L.J. case demonstrate my history of severe psychosis associated with schizophrenia. During active phases of my illness, I suffer, as per the hospital record, from “auditory and command hallucinations, religious preoccupation, appearing as guarded and withdrawn, and suffering from confused thinking”—all of which constitute a record of an inability to perform nearly all of life’s major activities, and qualifying factors for protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
My request for reasonable accommodation from my employer was an attempt to avoid the progression of my known mental illness.
Further medical documentation accepted into the file of this case from my treating psychologist, Diane Schneider, confirms that indeed the excessive audits and human resources investigations being conducted by my employer in 2008 were causing me to suffer extreme anxiety—for which she ordered a week of rest from my employment.
Furthermore, a complaint that I filed with the New York State Division of Human Rights on July 7, 2008, alleging that my employer was retaliating through “excessive desk audits” against a previous filing with their office which was dismissed in 2007 is currently under investigation and pending a final decision from that office. (SDR Case # 10126862).
Addressing the rulings in this case pertaining to disqualifying certification requirements for the periods August 4 – August 10, 2008, and effective for the week of November 8, 2008, I humbly request that the appeals board pardon my misinterpretation of state unemployment law and the requests for benefits that I made during these weeks for which my employer had unlawfully placed me on administrative leave without pay. I ask, upon pending review and change of decision in this case, that the appeals board reinstate my current claim with an effective date of December 4, 2008—the date on which I was formally terminated from my six year position with the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, Inc.
I thank you for your consideration to this appeal.
Please check out my collection of short stories detailing my fatastic journey through schizophrenia–