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Winning Unemployment Claims

How many times have you terminated an employee for cause, received an unemployment claim notice from the employee and lost the claim hearing?  So often we terminate employees for good reason and wind up losing the unemployment claim simply because we have not documented the employee’s performance properly.  Here’s a refresher to avoid this common pitfall and improve the probability of winning an unemployment claim.

  1. Document all performance related meetings with employees.  You don’t have to have typewritten notes or fancy terminology.  You simply need to clearly define the issues that you are discussing.
  2. Clearly define the improvement that you want to see from the employee and provide a 30-day period to improve.
  3. Begin this process early.  Don’t put these meetings off.  Starting the coaching process early makes a statement that you are not the type of manager to allow behavior or performance issues to go unnoticed.  In addition, you begin the documentation process early and allow yourself plenty of time to build three documentations of issues prior to termination, if this becomes necessary.
  4. Be sure to have the employee sign the documentation of each meeting.
  5. Let the process do the heavy lifting.  There is no need to be confrontational in this process.  A courteous, detailed business demeanor may dissuade a harassment claim.  You will make a positive statement to the remainder of your staff that you are serious about their performance and that you will treat them with respect.

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