The word hearing conjures up images of a courtroom with judges, attorneys, and a jury, but an unemployment hearing is more informal. Legal representation may be present along with officials from the unemployment office. The goal is to review the claim and allow the responsible party, either employee or employer, show their burden of proof.
Depending on the reason for the employee’s leaving, different types of evidence may be required on either side. The general rule is employees who leave at no fault of their own qualify, but there are certain situations around voluntarily quitting that may be reviewed. Both sides will present their evidence about why they should or should not receive unemployment benefits.
If you’re an employer in an unemployment hearing, it’s because you’re contesting a claim you don’t think should be paid. No matter the reason, it’s your responsibility to show why you feel it was the fault of the employee and not your own. Here is where your evidence will play a crucial role in your case.
Keep excellent records
In most cases, presenting applicable employee records can be enough to reinforce your case. Because of this, it’s imperative to maintain excellent records so when they’re needed, you can quickly pull them and let the facts speak for themselves. Instead of talking about what you think about the employee’s conduct, you can use legal documents for support.
Commonly included records are employment histories, performance reviews, disciplinary notices, company handbooks (and signed evidence of receipt), medical records, signed resignations, attendance sheets, drug or alcohol tests, police reports, and more.
Using visual support
Sometimes, even with the sound evidence of your records, a picture or video may have value in an unemployment insurance hearing. Security videos of photos can show the misconduct and remove any doubt based on what is shown. Depending on the case, they can be excellent evidentiary support.
The important thing to consider is how good the visual evidence is. Don’t bring it to the hearing just to bring it – make sure it effectively supports your claims and doesn’t leave room for interpretation. If there’s any way it could be misconstrued, it might be best to leave it at home.
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