Many of our clients become clients because they are frustrated by the claims process and defending claims with the state agencies. Here’s a case in point:
The employer terminated a claimant after utilizing progressive discipline through counseling, warnings and suspension for a variety of infractions and policy violations. The employer responded to the claim, stating that the employee was terminated for tardiness, absenteeism, insubordination, attitude and poor performance.
The state agency ruled in favor of the claimant and granted benefits.
While some, or potentially all, of these reasons may justify termination, the response does not defend the termination in the case of an unemployment claim. The burden of proof is on the employer to prove that the claimant was terminated in a timely manner and that there was a final incident. Why was this employee terminated on Tuesday, instead of Wednesday or the next Tuesday or Wednesday, for example? Did the claimant commit each of these infractions on the same day?
The employer did the “right” thing by utilizing progressive discipline. Where the claim was lost was in the wording of the response and the lack of a definitive “final” incident. The moral of the story is:
“The more you say, the more you pay”…
We put the right response on the claim so you win the claim. We provide training for managers and supervisors on proper use of progressive discipline and we provide consultation services prior to termination so reason the for termination and the final incident are clear, reducing exposure to unnecessary unemployment tax liability.