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Separation agreement with employer leaves unemployed woman with no jobless benefits

Teen son helping mom pay the bills as she awaits DEO appeal

When Candace Davis signed an employee/employer separation agreement with Optum Health in early May she said she still wanted to work and never agreed to waive her state unemployment benefits.

“They’re saying I quit my job and I didn’t quit my job,” Davis said. “It was part of the settlement agreement that I had."

The agreement with Optum Healthcare company part of United Health Care issued Davis a lump sum in exchange for her “termination” and the release of Optum, the parent company and all subsidiaries including the parent company “from all claims” Davis “may have.”

Davis told News 6 that sum was for $50,000 to cover future surgery costs for a pinched nerve sustained while working for Optum it had nothing to do with unemployment compensation.

Her unemployment claim with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is listed as active and eligible yet the unemployment benefits have never been released.

On Friday, a DEO mediator ruled against her finding she was not eligible for federal Pandemic Unemployment benefits.

She filed an appeal Tuesday morning a hearing is expected to be scheduled in the next two weeks.

News 6 contacted Optum for a comment but the company HR representative as well as Davis’s former supervisor did not respond.

Davis had recently transferred from the Jacksonville office to Orlando.

She said her son a freshman at Florida State University and gave her money from his college account to cover her September bills. His father died 15 years ago.

“He and I have been a team for 15 years ,” an emotional Davis said. “I hate asking him for help because I know he needs his money.”

She said she is hopeful the DEO will reverse the decision.

If you have an unemployment benefits issue email us : makenedsmeet@wkmg.com


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