When an employee files an unemployment claim, you will receive a notice of their request for unemployment compensation.
It is at this point that you have the option of protesting the claim, provided that you file your protest within the allotted timeframe listed on the notice.
It’s important that you provide the unemployment office with all relevant facts to your case, including pension, vacation pay, holiday pay, and all dates where issues took place.
Once the unemployment commission makes a decision, you will have the option to appeal it if you feel it was made in error.
Common Grounds for Employer Protests
If the employee quit working for your company, inform your state’s unemployment office exactly what they said or did to indicate their intention to stop working. If they simply stopped reporting to work, you should inform the office of the last day they did do any work.
If the employee refused work that was offered, you should include information about how the offer was made to the claimant and why the claimant refused to do the work.
If your employee was discharged for issues related to drugs or alcohol, make sure that your discharge reason is in compliance with state laws regarding the subject.
If you fired the claimant, you should note the date and reason for the firing. Provide a list of all the incidents and behaviors that lead to your firing of the employee. Particularly any violations of company policy.
If there is any question about the employee’s ability to work, this must be documented by your company. Unemployment insurance benefits will be paid if the individual is capable of working, is available for work, and is actively searching for work.
One reason that cannot be used to protest unemployment claims is the lack of work in your company. Laying off an employee because there isn’t any available work is not grounds for protesting an unemployment claim.
Recommended Read: Know When and How to Protest Unemployment Claims
Avoiding Unemployment Claims in the Future
There are several things you can do to prevent having unemployment claims filed against you.
Most of these actions should be taken long before employees have the opportunity to apply for unemployment compensation. In other words, right from the start of your association with an employee.
Place Employees in Their Ideal Roles
Probably the single most important thing you can do to avoid fraudulent claims is to ensure that the employee is positioned in the right role (i.e., one that he or she is completely capable of performing).
This means you should avoid temporarily hiring people to fulfill a need that won’t last long. If you notice that employees are frequently being hired but then don’t work out, it might be worth your while to review your hiring practices.
It may be that you need to implement some kind of proficiency test or a behavioral assessment. These can be better indicators of future employee success.
Communicate Expectations and Responsibilities from the Get-Go
Anytime you hire a new employee, you should set clear expectations of them from the outset. This way they have a good understanding of what kind of standard they will be measured against.
When you do this, it will be clear to both parties whether or not the employee is actually living up to those expectations.
If you don’t provide clear expectations for employees, then you can’t fault them for not living up to your vision of what makes a great employee.
You need to explicitly state what the employee’s job responsibilities will be, what you expect from their behavior, and what kind of performance standards are in place in your organization.
Follow Through on Company Policies
Another thing that’s important to do is following through on any company policies you have set. You cannot simply look the other way when violations occur because that will send the wrong message to employees.
Instead, when employees violate company policies, there should be some type of disciplinary action talent. This way the employee has a clear understanding that such behavior is unacceptable.
It’s not enough to just distribute employee handbooks. Policies don’t carry any weight with employees when they see that they’re not being enforced or that the enforcement is inconsistent.
This will always come back to bite you in any type of unemployment hearing.
Establish Effective Communication with Your Employees
You should also get into the habit of establishing good communication with your employees, so they are aware of company goals and how they fit into the big picture.
When employees have this kind of understanding, they tend to be more motivated and more productive.
Effectively Document Situations When They Arise
Whenever an employee does exhibit behaviors that are deemed undesirable, or when violations of company policy occur, you should definitely document these situations clearly and carefully.
If precise details are required to document these kinds of events, you will have a written description of what occurred and on what date it occurred.
This kind of documentation can support your protest if a fraudulent claim has been filed against you. Make sure to stay in compliance with all regulations regarding employer-employee relations, so that you’re not at fault as an employer.
Keep in mind that if you were to cross the line in your relationship with an employee, then they can use that against you. They can negate your protest by claiming improper employer behavior, which can lead to you paying for their unemployment benefits.
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Dealing with unemployment fraud, especially if you own a large company, is a major hassle. Failure to track your unemployment claims can lead to you having to compensate people who don’t deserve it!
Sometimes, fraudulent unemployment claims are filed by people who never worked for your company. Unfortunately, these claims can fall through the cracks and take hard-earned money out of your pocket.
By partnering with Unemployment Tracker, you’ll be able to manage your unemployment claims more effectively than ever before. Additionally, we can help you protest unemployment claims filed against you, whether they are fraudulent or not. Don’t let people steal money from you!