trainingAfter more than 20 years in unemployment compensation consulting, I’ve become adept at delivering bad news to clients.  What do I mean by that?  Part of our job as a client’s partner in ensuring that their unemployment program is as successful as possible is to train each client to understand the effect that company policies and decisions can have when dealing with the state unemployment laws and regulations.

Given that federal and state unemployment laws are often written to the benefit of the former employee, conversations regarding unemployment claims can be disheartening for an employer.  But as a good partner, it is our job at CCC to use every claim as an opportunity for a positive outcome, perhaps not at the time but sometime in the future.

Let me give you an example; I experienced recently.  I was preparing an employer for an unemployment hearing.  At first, it seemed like a great case to take to hearing and obtain a denial of benefits.

The Case:  An employee had been put on an improvement plan for poor work performance.  After a two-week evaluation, the employer determined that the employee was not improving.  The employer met with the employee to review expectations.  The employee quit during that meeting.  The employee provides a resignation letter.  This information is what the employer supplied at the time the claim was filed, and they were interviewed by their CCC Claims Analyst.

The employer wins at the initial claim level, and the claimant (former employee) files an appeal.  While preparing for the hearing, I read the claimant’s appeal letter which states: “the employer told me in 2 weeks I would be fired and gave me the option to quit.”

When I contacted the witness, he explained that the claimant worked for the employer for almost one year. At no time, could the claimant ever really do the job.  She had been offered and received additional training.  They should have acted more proactively in the beginning, but they really liked her.  When they put her on the performance improvement plan, they noticed two weeks into it, that she was actually getting worse!  The employer had a meeting to discuss this and while he didn’t say “you will be fired in 2 weeks”, he did say “I see where this road is headed, I see that in 2 weeks, you won’t be working here anymore.”

To which the claimant replied, “well, I don’t want to be fired, are there any other options?”  The employer offered to give them a position in the factory or to let them quit.

Could we win this at a hearing?  Likely not:

For all of these reasons, there was a better than 80% chance that the state unemployment agency would see this as a quit in lieu of discharge, which every state determines is a discharge and the employer is required to prove misconduct.  While this was not a great case in terms of obtaining a denial of benefits, it was an excellent training opportunity. The employer received training about:

The employer learned a lot during the call, and we’ve set up additional training for their field management.  They also learned that CCC is always their advocate, but that doesn’t mean that we will not share with them truthfully.  We at CCC, hate having to tell an employer that the claimant will likely be granted unemployment benefits.  We will always allow the employer to make the final decision, even if it is against our recommendations, but we take every case as an opportunity to train our clients to have a better outcome next time.


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