Many employers can identify claims that should not be paid, yet only half of those protests are won
One of the most important ways employers can minimize the costs of unemployment benefits and improve their protest win percentage is through effective employee policies. It is difficult to win when protesting that an employee violated an important employer policy if you don’t have a strong policy and you can’t prove that the employee knew about it. Poor documentation and policies account for a significant portion of why employers lose their UI protests.
An up to date and effective set of employer policies put together in an employee handbook – and signed off on by the employees who are bound to it – is the first step in setting yourself up to win UI protests. When all of your policies are written properly and compiled in a simple and easy to read employee handbook, they can be used to protest UI claims much more effectively. If you have not already had an experienced professional look over and update your handbook, you should do so as there are numerous pitfalls involved.
The ability to prove each employee has signed the company handbook is just as important as the policy itself. For this reason, having a legible signature (get a printed name as well) on the handbook/policy acknowledgement page is critical to your protest success. In order for the state UI agency to hold the claimant responsible for a violating a policy, you have to be able to prove they were aware of that policy.
This was the case in a recent unemployment claim filed by an employee of Game Stop. He had been suspended and eventually fired for violating the company’s “Employee Transactions and Return” policies. He claimed to the Unemployment Agency that he didn’t know about the policy, but the employer provided evidence showing the claimant’s signature on the handbook receipt showing that return policies had been covered and he was denied benefits.
When the employer can show that the employee signed off on a clearly defined and well-crafted employee handbook, it is very difficult for that employee to later claim that they did not understand or did not know about a policy. For this reason, and many others, it is very important to keep an up to date employee handbook and ensure that any changes are signed off on by all employees.
If you follow the information provided in this blog, you will start down the road to winning more UI protests and providing your company with better protection from other potential legal issues. For more information, visit us on the web at www.unemploymenttracker.com.