Woman Denied Unemployment After Moving Meeting From Day Before Mother Died

| by Jonathan Wolfe

Apparently the death of a parent isn’t a good excuse to miss an unemployment class.

Oregon woman Kristen Smith was ordered to repay a week’s worth of unemployment compensation to the state of Oregon after she rescheduled an unemployment class because of her mother’s impending death.

On the Wednesday before this past Thanksgiving, doctors called Smith and told her that her mother would pass away within the next 24 hours. Smith immediately called her unemployment office and told representatives she needed to cancel her class that evening so that she could be with her mother.

“I called that evening that I found out about mom passing. Soon they told me I was doing the right thing,” Smith said.

Sure enough, her mother passed away the next morning.

Two weeks later, Smith received a call from the unemployment office saying she needed to pay back her income assistance from that week.

“Because I rescheduled the class it showed that I was not emotionally available for work that week and I owe that week back,” the office claimed, according to Smith.

Smith says she has proof she was actively looking for work during the week her mother passed. Nevertheless, she’s still being asked to repay the $400 in assistance. 

Sources: KOIN,