To Appeal or Not to Appeal – That is the Question!!
great TIP from our fantastic service team:
Eligibility Determinations: When
Should You Appeal?
Purpose of the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Process
for unemployment insurance, benefit amounts, and the length of time benefits are available
are determined by the State law under which unemployment insurance claims are established.
The appeal process affords both employers and claimants the opportunity to request
a review of how those eligibility rules were applied to a specific employment separation
or change in employment status.
Responses vs. Appeals
to unemployment claims with information describing a separation of employment or a
change in status is necessary to assist state agencies in making accurate eligibility
decisions. While you may respond to a claim with all the facts in your possession,
the facts of your separation may not be sufficient to meet the state guidelines for
a disqualification or a non-charge to your account.
contrast to the claim response, an appeal is your request for the state to assign
a hearing officer to review the facts of a particular case because you believe the
eligibility rules have not been properly applied. Requesting an appeal is not appropriate
for every eligibility determination.
you disagree with a decision that the claimant is allowed benefits or that your unemployment
account is subject to charges on a particular claim and wish to file an appeal, you
must be prepared to present facts and evidence to support your argument that the state’s
decision to allow benefits is incorrect.
Voluntary Quit cases, you must be prepared to argue that the claimant did not have
good cause to quit. In a Discharge case, you must be prepared to prove the employee’s
discharge was for misconduct. As the appealing party, you bear the responsibility
to provide the evidence that supports your position. This can be done effectively
admission by the claimant
policy prohibiting the claimant’s actions
claimant’s acknowledgement of receipt of the policy
some situations, you may not have one or more of these proof sources available to
you and in this appeal environment, what you think may have happened is not nearly
as important as what you can prove.
in mind that witness statements, even if properly authenticated, are hearsay and may
not be sufficient to meet the burden of proof. If a claimant appears and denies the
contents, the claimant’s first-hand testimony will typically outweigh the employer’s
written statements. First hand testimony is always the strongest evidence.
Resignations (Good Cause)
cause is generally defined as “such cause, connected with the work, as would lead
a reasonable person who is otherwise interested in remaining employed to nonetheless
leave the job.” While the burden for showing good cause rests with the claimant, you
must be prepared to offer an argument that good cause did not exist or evidence that
the reason the claimant
for quitting is not factually correct.
are some common issues that make winning quit cases more difficult:
documentation regarding the reason the claimant left employment
employer significantly changed the claimant’s work hours, pay, or job duties
employer took no action to investigate employee complaints of unsafe work conditions
employer gave an employee the choice of resigning or being discharged
has been defined as a “willful, substantial breach of a material duty owed the employer
which tends to damage the employer’s interests.” For purposes of unemployment eligibility,
this means that a single instance of most policy violations will not be considered
misconduct, but rather repeated violations of the same rule or policy after being
warned. Not all violations of company policy are misconduct. Claimants who are discharged
for poor job performance are rarely denied benefits unless you can prove the claimant
was able to do the job to your satisfaction and did not.
are some common issues that result in employers losing discharge cases:
following stated company discipline policy
documentation of past policy violations
taking disciplinary action within a reasonable time after the policy violation
for an accumulation of incidents as opposed to for a specific final incident
you disagree with the eligibility decision from the state and you have documentation
and testimony to support your argument, a formal appeal and request for hearing should
all relevant documentary evidence was not already submitted with the claim response,
it should be submitted with the appeal. Remember, in some states evidence not submitted
with your original response will not be considered.
when to file an appeal will help to conserve your organization’s time and resources
while achieving the best possible results.
This weblog is sponsored by TALX.
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