Did you know that most of the time, when a state investigator hears the term ‘poor performance,’ they automatically see a green light to pay the claimant UI benefits?

When dealing with performance issues, draw a line right down the center of a performance case and ask yourself this question to help determine if it was a true performance issue: Was this a case of the claimant could not do the job or would not do the job?

If the claimant was never able to perform up to the employer’s standards, even though they were working to the best of their ability, then that is a truly poor performance case, and UI benefits will be paid as this is a case of ‘could not do the job.’

Many times though, we see managers using poor performance as the reason for discharge. However, when you dig into the performance case, we find it better fits into the ‘would not do the job’ category. Some examples would be: The claimant was not getting the job done because they were spending too much time on the internet/cell phone, spending too much time socializing, not coming to work on time or simply would not follow the instructions given to them by management. In those cases, we want the manager to document it as such.

performance-managementWhen dealing with a performance issue, it is imperative that your managers ask themselves a question, “Why is the employee’s performance below standards?” and then document it appropriately. Unfortunately, state investigators see those infamous words, “poor performance” and will grant benefits without looking further into the specifics of the case. This results in employers appealing the determination and going to a hearing to explain further. We want to ensure that managers are using the terminology correctly to avoid this and are only using the term “poor performance” when it truly is.


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