The world of unemployment claims can be complicated, but one area that typically remains simple is voluntary resignations. An employee who chooses to leave your organization likely does not qualify for unemployment insurance, making the protest easy.
The problem becomes when you, as an employer, fail to have the proper documentation, potentially enabling their claim to go through by default. Here are a few best practices in handling resignation-based claims to make sure you aren’t overpaying benefits.
Ask the employee to provide a letter detailing their resignation.
A verbal resignation leaves no record and, therefore, can be walked back when it comes to receiving UI. If they file and you appeal with no evidence stronger than a description of a conversation, you don’t have the evidence needed in this situation. It becomes your word against the word of the former employee.
Keep any form of resignation information they’ve presented.
If they don’t submit an official letter, but send a text or email with their intentions, make sure you save this information! It still contains written proof that the employee was choosing to leave your organization, and it was not your decision as the employer.
Get documentation through a certified letter.
When the employee is expressing their desire to leave but not formally, you can follow up with a certified letter to get the information you need. Even if they don’t respond, you still have some form of documentation related to the situation. Be clear in your language, expressing if they don’t respond by a certain date, you are accepting their silence as resignation. Make sure you use ‘resignation’ instead of ‘discharge’ or ‘termination’ to avoid ambiguity in potential proceedings down the road.
Document anything you can.
Throughout all of this, make sure you are taking notes in the employee file or whatever system you have. The easier they are traced to specific dates, the better because you can use them in a situation where you have no other physical proof of the resignation.
Be careful about how you conduct yourself.
After you receive some form of notice of the employee’s resignation, allow them to work however long they agreed to stay. By telling them to go sooner, their leaving may turn into a discharge by the company, meaning they become eligible for UI.
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