5 Simple Steps to Dispute False Unemployment Claims
State Unemployment Insurance Tax (SUI) is a required cost that many business owners overlook. For example, a 10-person firm in Texas with the best SUI rate will pay an annual tax of roughly $459 per year. Add a few unemployment claims, or false claims and that annual tax rate can jump to over $6,670 per year. Implementing a few simple processes will help your business pay the lowest possible rate.
Proper documentation offers proof of the reason(s) behind an employee discharge, which can help win false unemployment claims while also providing evidence that a termination was appropriate and handled fairly. Such evidence is particularly useful if the former employee files a charge with the Human Rights Commission or a lawsuit.
Most states grant unemployment compensation to people who lose their jobs through no fault of their own. An employee who leaves voluntarily usually doesn’t qualify unless there are extenuating circumstances. Unemployment benefits are most often denied when the dismissals are for cause or misconduct is involved.
The following steps will help you provide the strongest case possible:
1. Respond Immediately
Talk to the employee as soon as you become aware of the problem. Clearly state your expectations and explain what the employee must do to meet them. When employees are confused about what’s going on, they are more likely to feel as though they were treated unfairly, increasing the likelihood they will file a legal action or a wrongful discharge claim.
2. Maintain Written Documentation
Keep detailed records by completing a corrective action notice every time you meet with the employee to discuss the performance issue. Be sure to give the employee a copy. Describe in detail the nature of the problem and solution. Avoid generalities such as “negative attitude”, “doesn’t show initiative” or “not a team player”. Instead, describe the behaviors you observed that led you to think this way.
3. Keep the Employee in the Loop
Tell the employee what the problem is and how it affects the organization. It will be easier to fix if the employee acknowledges the problem, but that doesn’t always happen. If they deny it, include that as evidence that the employee didn’t respond to feedback.
4. Take Quick Action
If performance doesn’t improve, take immediate action against the employee. Don’t engage in any debate and don’t delay the decision because this will weaken your position. It will also imply that you condone the employee’s actions or that the behavior wasn’t serious.
5. Respond Honestly
Tell the employee why they are being let go. Don’t change your mind. Don’t negotiate. Be steadfast in your decision. As a business owner, you need to be able to remain professional and give specific reasons for your decision making.
JuvodHR employee management software provides simple tools small business owners can use to develop and communicate job expectations. Using JuvodHR’s automated job description creator, the first step is to create a valid job description. JuvodHR experts developed over 14,000 job titles, making it easy for users find the perfect job description complete with tasks and work styles, the personal qualities necessary for success. Job descriptions can be easily edited to meet individual needs.
The job description serves as the basis for corrective action notices and performance reviews. This makes it easy for managers to rate employees on their exact work. Because the process is so logical, it’s also easy to explain – a definite plus for defending an unemployment claim. Performance reviews that are tied to job descriptions are more legally defensible. This translates into stronger cases when fighting false unemployment claims or lawsuits.
The tips outlined above provide a winning strategy for contesting false unemployment claims. Prepare for each hearing—review the employee’s statement and document your key points.
Provide facts and evidence early in the process. Explain what happened, offer supporting documentation. If you have witnesses to support your side, offer those as well. Relying on the facts will provide the basis of a good case.
This post is guest written by JuvodHR, an HR software solution.