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Keep detailed records that document employee’s poor work

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Want to make sure that a poor performer who is consistently not doing her job doesn’t end up receiving unemployment compensation benefits when you terminate her? Then create a detailed, dated and contemporaneous record showing exactly what she did wrong and when.

You can use those records to deny benefits if necessary. State unemployment officials and courts are much more likely to be persuaded by a detailed record than the worker’s mere assertion that she was doing her job just fine.

Recent case: Sharon worked as a full-time house cleaner for Polishing Touch. The company received regular complaints about Sharon’s cleaning and began making detailed and contemporaneous notes of many shortcomings that clients had noted.

For example, the company got complaints that homes were still messy after Sharon left, that she failed to properly wash windows, spent too little time on some jobs, failed to clean an obviously dirty stove top, left a client’s door unlocked and even left a list of home-entry codes at a client’s home.

Sharon was fired and filed for unemployment compensation benefits. She argued that some clients had been pleased with her services and that she had always done a good job.

The company came in with its records and argued it was clear Sharon had been discharged for poor performance. The court considered those records as more credible than Sharon’s testimony and denied her the benefits. (Hobbs v. The Polishing Touch, No. A16-0619, Court of Appeals of Minnesota, 2016)

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