Documenting employee discharges can affect your unemployment costs. States tend to deny or limit benefits to employees who are discharged for acts of misconduct. Misconduct is generally defined as a deliberate or willful act within an employee’s control of which the employee knew, or should have known, might result in discharge. The burden of proof, however, will always be on the employer.
To help you prepare for a discharge, we’ve compiled a checklist of questions that should be considered before a disqualification for misconduct is imposed.
Employee Knew What Was Expected
- Clear and proper instructions were given on job procedures and tasks.
- Applicable written rules and policies were previously reviewed.
- Violated rules or policies have a rational relationship to the employer’s interest.
Counseling and Warnings Were Given
- Efforts were made to help employee correct problem.
- Standards of conduct were clearly defined.
Note: Certain acts of major misconduct may warrant immediate dismissal. Consult your Personnel Department.
Employee Knew the Consequences
- Warnings were issued and/or other disciplinary action was taken prior to discharge.
- There was no reason to believe that violations were condoned (for example, rules were applied fairly and consistently to all employees).
- The final incident clearly violated a previously defined rule or policy.
Employee Was Treated Fairly
- Rules were applied consistently.
- Mitigating circumstances (if any) were considered. Employee was given the opportunity to explain their side.
For advice about employee discharges and more, Trust members and HR subscribers can contact us today.