Documentation is a great defense against potentially paying out unnecessary unemployment benefits. Documenting events as they occur (both the good and the bad) will assist you in the future when/if a separating employee files for unemployment. Documentation on events that may seem minor at the time could end up being key in a future unemployment claim.
Documentation for Voluntary Quit Cases
Get all resignations in writing with the intended last day of work and the employee’s signature. If an employee resigns via text message, make an effort to preserve a copy of the message in the employee’s file. When someone resigns verbally, ask that he/she put the resignation in writing. If you are unable to get the employee to put it in writing, ask the person to whom the employee resigned to document the reason that was provided to them, as well as the date and time the resignation occurred.
Documentation for Discharge Cases
When documenting final incident details, include the following:
- Who – Besides the claimant, who else was involved in the final incident? Were there any witnesses to the claimant’s actions?
- What – What exactly did the claimant do that led to the discharge? No detail is too small.
- Where – Where did the final incident take place? Did it take place on or off the work site?
- When – When did the final incident occur? Be as specific as possible with dates and times.
- Why – Did the claimant offer any reason for his/her actions?
Along with all final incident details, it is important to provide any supporting documentation to show proof of the claimant’s actions. Include the policy the claimant violated, ideally along with the signed acknowledgment. As the instigating party in discharge cases, you not only have to prove what policy was violated, but you must also have to show that the claimant was made aware of the policy. If the claimant had ever received any prior warnings that relate to the final incident, include those as well to demonstrate that you attempted to work with the claimant to help correct the matter at hand.