Unemployment Compensation Service Case Study

The Decision is...

What do you do when an unemployment insurance hearing goes wrong, and you know you're in the right? Here's one employer's story...

The Final Incident
The claimant was a senior maintenance worker for a property management company when his supervisor received a complaint about an unresolved repair request. While conducting an investigation, the supervisor received six additional complaints. Ultimately, he discovered that 18 out of 64 jobs on the worker's maintenance logs were marked as complete when they were actually unfinished or completely ignored. After being questioned, the claimant admitted that he had been falling behind in his responsibilities. And because he did not want to be reprimanded, he had been marking the jobs as complete - even when he had not done the work. The claimant was discharged for falsifying the maintenance logs and time tracking sheets on which his payroll was based.

The Claim 
ADP received the unemployment claim and sent a protest to the state agency detailing the reason for the termination. The falsified records, the employer policy and the claimant's letter of discharge were submitted with the protest. The claimant was found eligible to receive unemployment benefits and ADP filed an appeal on behalf of the employer.

The Hearing
An ADP representative attended the hearing with the employer. In his testimony, the supervisor explained how the initial complaint led to an investigation of the claimant's maintenance logs and to the subsequent discovery of additional incomplete or neglected work. The supervisor testified that the claimant admitted to falsifying the maintenance logs; and the logs, time tracking sheets, two written complaints and the employer policy were all submitted as exhibits. The claimant testified that he had been working to the best of his ability and that while the job had become too much to handle, he had not asked for assistance. The claimant also stated that he could not keep track of so many open jobs. If no one called to follow up on an item, he would mark it as having been completed. When questioned by the Administrative Law judge, the claimant categorized his actions as simple mistakes due to being overworked. In an attempt to catch up on his duties, the claimant said that he actually worked more time than he reported on his tracking sheet.

The Decision
The Administrative Law judge found in favor of the claimant. The decision stated that the claimant had worked to the best of his ability, considering the circumstances. The actions of the claimant could be considered inadvertent, but did not rise to the level of misconduct. The claimant was ruled eligible to receive unemployment benefits.

The Appeal
ADP filed an appeal to the Board of Review on behalf of the employer. The Board of Review is a panel of judges that generally does not accept additional testimony or evidence, so the ADP representative submitted a written argument challenging the decision of the judge as being factually flawed and in opposition to state unemployment insurance laws. The appeal cited the specific testimony of the parties and argued that the claimant had been involved in misconduct through the intentional neglect of his duties. After reviewing the written argument, the transcript of the hearing testimony and the hearing exhibits, the Board ruled in favor of the employer. The decision stated that the deliberate inaction of the claimant did rise to the level of misconduct. It further stated that an employee has a duty to the employer to carry out his responsibilities in good faith and with the interests of the employer in mind. The record of the hearing reflected that the employee in this case held intentional disregard for the interests of the employer, causing harm to the employer and breaching the duty owed. The claimant was found ineligible for benefits.

The Final Word 
When a judge fails to rule in your favor, you have the right to appeal to the Board of Review. But remember - only the evidence and testimony presented at the hearing will be considered. An appeal is warranted if you believe that evidence has been overlooked or that the judge's decision was inconsistent with state unemployment insurance laws. Your ADP Unemployment Compensation Service representative can review the hearing information and help you determine whether there's a valid reason for an appeal.

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