Teacher fights with CMS for unemployment benefits

Teacher fights with CMS for unemployment benefits

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by BILL MCGINTY / NewsChannel 36

Bio | Email | Follow: @billwcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on November 3, 2011 at 11:43 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 4 at 6:00 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District manager refused to answer NewsChannel 36's questions on why the district is contesting unemployment benefits for teachers and teacher assistants who were terminated in May as part of the CMS reduction in force.

Arlene Trefil got her RIF letter on May 12 and CMS asked that she sign it. Trefil’s letter clearly stated that she was terminated.

Trefil applied for unemployment on July 1 and began to receive benefits on the July 12. On July 27, CMS sent Trefil a letter saying she had her job back because the state had found additional money.

In September, the Employment Security Commission told Trefil she had to repay her unemployment money because CMS told the state she was never terminated.

In an appeals hearing on Thursday afternoon, CMS said that the district sent two emails to Trefil and other terminated employees in June and July telling them they would have their jobs back. The email that CMS presented as evidence in the hearing didn’t have Trefil’s name on it. In fact, it was a copy generated between computers in the CMS Human Resources Department.

Trefil denies getting any such email over the summer.

CMS also stated that Trefil used her medical benefits in July, indicating that she knew she had a job in the fall. Trefil explained her benefit was the year long benefit given to her by CMS when she was terminated. Trefil presented the RIF packet that clearly said she had benefits for 12 months beyond termination.

No decision was given Thursday by the hearing officer. Both sides will learn the outcome in one week.

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