OnPurposeWhen the unemployment system was created, it was intended as a relief for workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own. To the dismay of employers, this means some cases require a bit of investigative work when an employee is unproductive. If there is no misconduct proven, then the judge will likely rule as if the lack of productivity was due to being unable rather than unwilling. This is especially important when the job functions are simpler in nature. This also means employers must tread lightly with terminology when protesting claims regarding lack of productivity. Terms like “poor performance” absolutely should not be used when protesting a case, as it leaves open the possibility of an inability (no fault to the employee) argument rather than unwillingness.

Instead, CCC recommends tracking the specific employee’s behaviors that may cause poor productivity. In most cases, we have seen that poor job performance can be attributed to another behavior, such as chatting with coworkers, excessive breaks, insubordination, etc. It is important to find and document these behaviors, so your case can argue unwillingness. This may mean delaying termination to have proper documentation.

This is just another example of how terminology, phrasing, and attention to detail can have a dramatic effect on the outcome of an unemployment case. Although this may take a bit of extra work for the employer, it can help avoid thousands in benefits and prevent a culture accepting of unproductivity from forming in your workforce.


Contact CCC to see how we can save your organization time and money.
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