Unemployment is never something an employer or an employee enjoys or wishes upon another. However, as a business owner, it is imperative that you have an unemployment management process in place to address any claims and mitigate risk. The biggest mistakes employers make are oftentimes caused by poor recordkeeping and/or lack the staff to attend hearings. As a result, billions of dollars are wasted on inaccurate unemployment benefits.
There are risk management methods that will help prepare employers for unemployment issues that may arise and the proper processes to implement.
- Keep a record of everything. Incomplete and inaccurate documentation has been a long-standing issue with unemployment management processes. To combat this issue, make sure to document everything. Be sure to keep the data securely stored and easily accessible should you need it.
- Only terminate when necessary. It is important to familiarize yourself with the legalities of your Code of Conduct and state unemployment laws to ensure your employee terminations do not put you at risk for an unemployment lawsuit. For example, if an employee is terminated for repetitive absenteeism, make sure that company policies are fully communicated to the employee. You should also have records of their absences and the written and verbal warnings distributed to the employee before termination.
- Familiarize yourself with your state’s unemployment system. Unemployment systems vary by state, so it is critical that you educate yourself and remain diligent in updates to your state’s system.
Contesting an Unemployment Claim
There is a general process for contesting an unemployment claim. Here’s what you need to know:
A state agency will notify you of an unemployment claim. You will typically have 7-10 days to provide written contest of the claim. If you miss the deadline, you default for failure to fulfill your burden of proof.
Be as detailed as possible with all accurate and appropriate documentation to support assertions. Have documents and witnesses ready for a hearing to support your defense. If you fail to appear at the hearing, you will likely lose the case.
Unemployment management and mitigating risk are at the core of effectively combatting unemployment claims and the costs associated with such issues. One way to regulate unemployment claims and risks is to invest in a system to manage all claims. PEO service providers, like Quality Business Solutions (QBS), offer unemployment management services. QBS assists with claims processing and reviews, hearings representation, and quarterly and annual reports. For an unemployment management solution, please contact QBS for more information.