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Clifton_Suspension_Bridge

I am often asked this very question.  You need to keep in mind that for a person to be disqualified in these types of cases, the employer has to prove misconduct.  With that being said, if a suspension is part of your progressive discipline policy and you can prove the violation did in fact occur, the claimant will be disqualified.  However, there are times where an employee is put out on a suspension pending the outcome of an investigation or even pending the outcome of criminal charges.  If the employee is being suspended because the employer is conducting an investigation, you most likely will lose initially because you cannot prove misconduct if an investigation is ongoing.  What you need to do is provide the state with as much information as possible at the time of the claim.  Such as all your supporting documentation which would consist of the suspension letter which tells the allegation, the policy which shows the rule that was allegedly violated, the signed acknowledgment for the policy to show the employee knew the rules and all prior warnings if they factor into the decision.  What you should not give to the state is anything that you don’t want to share with the employee.  You should assume that any and all documents submitted will be disclosed to the employee.  This would be statements you obtained or any other information that is part of the investigation.  You should also do your best to complete the investigation as quickly as possible so at the very least you are ready to move forward should you get to the hearing level.  If you need more time to finish the investigation, you can request a postponement for the unemployment hearing.  Keep in mind that there is no guarantee this will be granted, but you should still request to protect your rights!  In suspension cases that involve criminal charges, the same procedure should apply.  Only disclose what has been disclosed to the employee.  These types of cases are not within your control so you would need to request a continuance for the unemployment hearing and simply explain that you cannot meet your burden of proof until the criminal charges have been adjudicated.  Again, there is no guarantee, but at the very least you are preserving your rights to the next level should you need to request a remand from the Board of Review.

These cases can be complicated so you should consult with your Corporate Cost Control team for direction and assistance!


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