Unemployment Insurance is one of two benefits that all employers must provide to their employees. Depending on your state, unemployment insurance costs fluctuate for the owner based on number of claims received and paid out annually. Personally, I don’t want increased costs for unemployment insurance. Our rate is currently the lowest the state allows, even after 12 years in business, and this is because I ensure that our terminations are always completed in a way that would ensure a “just cause” termination from the claims reviewer.
Our Continuing Education training goes more in depth about “just cause” terminations. This article will outline antecedents and actions for responding to unemployment claims.
Antecedents to receiving an Unemployment Claim:
- Document employee handbook receipt with employee signature and date.
- Document all employee training with topic, date, and employee signature.
- Document all performance reviews and coachings with date and employee signature.
- Document performance reviews and coachings objectively and narratively.
Behaviors when you receive a claim:
- Respond within the provided timeframe.
- Respond with facts to support termination for “just cause.”
- Respond objectively (not emotionally).
The consequences, if documentation is in order and correct, should result in a determination that the termination was for “just cause” and no judgement awarded.
There are occasions when an employee should earn unemployment insurance which is why this program exists. When employees lose jobs for no fault of their own (restructuring, downsizing, no work available, etc.) it is not recommended to fight the unemployment claim. I have also chosen to not fight an unemployment claim when terminating an individual who was impacting morale. They were terminated without documentation or previous warnings or coachings. The termination was needed and costs associated with their termination were worth it to me to not have this person on our team any longer. In the long run, their termination didn’t impact our costs and the morale of the team improved, so that was a win-win.
The consequences of an unemployment claims review process will not be favorable for employers who terminate without cause and will result in increased costs for unemployment insurance.
For more in depth training on Unemployment Claims, PracticeEd offers a continuing education course that is geared towards the needs of ABA Practice Owners and Leaders. Join me for this informative tutorial, as I share my claim stories and give practical advice on keeping your costs low.