Unemployment Insurance Question

We will be terminating an employee who’s been with us only a month. How do I ensure that they don’t get unemployment?

Answer from Margaret, PHR, SHRM-CP:

Unemployment insurance (UI) benefit claims can be difficult to contest. Most state unemployment departments will only deny benefits if the employee’s misconduct rose to the level of gross misconduct, like stealing or workplace violence. Fortunately, however, the effect of a single UI claim on your state unemployment insurance tax rate is minimal to non-existent. More importantly, even if your UI rate increases, that additional cost is often less expensive than keeping on an employee who shows no willingness or ability to improve. If you have documented employee performance expectations and the employee still isn’t meeting them, I wouldn’t let the possibility of a higher UI rate dissuade you from termination. If you’re worried about your UI tax rate generally, the best thing you can do is minimize turnover.

Margaret holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Portland State University and a Professional Certificate in Human Resources Management. She has worked in a variety of HR roles in a multi-state capacity. Margaret regularly attends seminars and other continuing education courses to stay current with new developments and changes that affect the workplace and is active in local and national Human Resources organizations.