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Listen to employee’s side of the story before contesting unemployment benefits

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in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

Workers terminated for misconduct aren’t eligible for unemployment compensation. But before you oppose benefits, consider the employee’s side of the story. Rest assured, the hearing officer will. And even if you win the first round, an appeal may consume time and money better spent elsewhere.

Recent case: Ajullu worked for a temp agency in production. She missed a few days after an injury. Then, her supervisor allegedly called her and told her she had to come in on Saturday and Sunday to make up the time. When she didn’t show, she was fired on Monday morning, right before her regular shift for the week.

She applied for unemployment and her former employer opposed them on the grounds that she failed to show for work.

Somehow, Ajullu missed the hearing but she appealed, wanting to tell her side of the story. She claimed she had never been informed she was supposed to come in on the weekend and that she had actually worked the Monday shift, showing up on time.

The court said she should have the opportunity to make her case before the hearing officer. She now will get a chance to show she wasn’t guilty of misconduct. (Niygwo v. Employer Solutions, No. A-13-0405, Court of Appeals of Minnesota, 2014)

Final note: By listening to the employee’s side of the story, you can get a good idea of whether she’ll appeal denial of benefits. Then you can decide whether it’s worth the trouble to oppose benefits.

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