Barbara Boyd is Happy to be Back at Work


Barbara Boyd was employed at a home health company since 1989. After nearly 25 years working as a home health aide, she was fired because she asked to extend her vacation by three days so she could attend the funeral of her aunt, the woman who helped raise her.

She attended the funeral and was fired when she tried to return to work.

Then, she was denied unemployment benefits. She did not have a history of disciplinary actions or taking unauthorized time-off. She filed an appeal and the claims examiner found it unreasonable to terminate her under the circumstances of attending a family funeral. Ms. Boyd was relieved to have benefits to tide her over until she could find a new job. Then, her employer appealed the decision. The case was scheduled
for a hearing.

Ms. Boyd came to Legal Aid for help and Senior Attorney Anita Myerson took the case and carefully reviewed the documents that her employer had supplied, including the employer’s notice of appeal. Ms. Myerson noticed it said the employer would appeal the decision or Ms. Fitzgerald could “come to the office and update her file and return to work.”

Ms. Myerson advised her that might mean she could ask for her job back. She called her employer and was back on the schedule. An untrained person might have missed that clause.

Removing barriers to employment is an important part of Legal Aid’s work. Partnerships like the one Legal Aid has with the Deaconess Foundation help Legal Aid attorneys navigate barriers to employment and clear a path to economic stability for low-income clients. To learn more, visit:


Click here to view the full Poetic Justice Issue where this story appeared.

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