To win a claim you must show the employee’s discharge was due to “Willful Misconduct”. If the firing was for incompetence the company will loose the claim. There is no such thing as a verbal warning. Always give the employee a written warning and if at all possible have a witness present and have the witness sign all of the forms.
I. STRATEGY FOR REPLYING TO THE INITIAL CLAIM
Show that the:
1. Company had policies and rules in place, e.g. a company Hand Book
2. Employee was aware of the rules, e.g. employee’s signature acknowledging receipt of the Hand Book
3. Employee was warned previously about the offence(s), (except for 1st time discharge offense)
4. Employee was aware of consequences
5. Employee committed the dischargeable offense, (ie: action hurt the company)
6. For employee terminated for poor performance during 90 day probationary period prove employee signed the 90 Day Probation form within 7 days of employment.
II. HOW TO HANDLE AN ADVERSE RULING APPEAL
Send a copy of all of the employee’s discipline notices and all other relevant facts to both the Appeals office and to the employee to make sure the employee cannot say they did not receive the paper work send it using UPS, FedEx, or some other carrier where the terminated employee has to sign a receipt.
III. PREPARING FOR THE APPEAL’S HEARING
1. Ask for a copy of the employee’s original and appeal filings.
2. Prepare your the witnesses. Your witnesses must be present.
3. Answer all of the Appeals Referee’s questions.
4. Bring up questions that the Referee missed.
5. Supplement Referee’s questions with your own if they are relevant, see section #1 Strategy.
6. Cross-exam the employee only if you know the answer to the questions or can prove the answer(s) to your question(s).
7. Give closing statement that includes points from section #1 Strategy.