When business owners say they want to avoid unemployment claims, what they really mean is: “how do I avoid having to pay out unemployment claims?” There are actions employers can take to better their odds of winning the claim. However, it’s much more difficult without having laid the groundwork. Avoiding unemployment claims begins long before the claim ever hits your desk.
There are six proactive things employers should do to avoid unemployment claims:
1. Hire Smart
Avoiding unemployment claims starts with having the right person in the right role at the right time. Hire only those workers you absolutely need and who are qualified for the position.
When you’re overwhelmed and need to fill a position fast, it’s tempting to hurry to get someone in. Hire in haste and you’ll often regret it!
Workers who “just weren’t a good fit” are usually entitled to unemployment benefits.
2. Set Clear Expectations
You can’t fault an employee for not meeting your expectations if you weren’t clear on what those expectations were.
That goes for job responsibilities, work behavior, performance standards, etc.
Ensure steps are specific and actionable. “She needs to communicate better” is not actionable. Instead:
3. Follow Through on Your Policies
Too often, employers have a handbook only because they know they’re supposed to. Policies become meaningless if employees see they are never enforced, or are enforced inconsistently. That spells trouble in an unemployment claim hearing. If you’ve written up and eventually dismissed an employee for a policy infraction that other employees “get away with” or was previously overlooked, you might have a hard time proving your case.
Follow through on your policies consistently. Items 4 to 6 will be in Part 2 next month