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Employee termination question: Pennsylvania

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  • Employee termination question: Pennsylvania

    We terminated an employee for absenteeism this year. He applied for UC benefits and was denied. His reasoning was that "he did not know where to go to work."

    On his petition for appeal, now he is claiming he took a vacation day and was fired for it. He is also claiming he wasn't being paid for lunch and a few other little things that are not true. Anyhow, my question is this: What am I supposed to respond to? His original reason for being fired or his new set of reasons? I thought an appeal had to be based on a claimants original reasoning for being fired, not a whole new set of issues.

    Thanks for the input.


  • #2
    I think you can respond to both with one reply. He was termed for being absent. Did one of the absences occur on the so-called vacation day? If not say so. If the absence was on a so called vac day, then I would explain your vac policy and that it was not followed (assuming that is true) so it was an absence.

    Are you sure his manager did not approve a day off without letting you know?


    • #3
      Thanks for the reply. We are a small hotel with less than 20 employees. I am the owner and I personally spoke to the terminated employee on the phone the morning he didn't show up for work. I told him that if he didn't come in to work, he could possibly be terminated. (We also issued him a written warning which he signed, the day before for absenteeism.) He then said he wasn't coming in to work because he didn't have any clean clothes. There was never anything mentioned about him taking a vacation day. That was news to me when I got his appeal for UC benefits. I am just confused because his reasoning on the appeal is completely different than his original claim.



      • #4
        Just to be clear, UI claims are far from a sure thing, going in either direction. Both sides tell their stories, and the state gets to toss a coin and decide whose version they (the state) like best. And it is very common in these things for both sides to be less then truthful. Meaning the people deciding these things are pretty skeptical about anything either party says. At the end of the day, it really is the state's decision. There is no certain method for either party to "manage" the state in such a way as to force a decision that they want.

        Just tell the truth. Keep it short and to the point. You want your narrative to be consistent with all known facts. Listen very carefully to what the Administrative Law Judge says (assuming that this is an actual hearing). Do not interrupt the other side for any reason. Avoid repeating yourself or raising your voice. The party that brasses of the ALJ tends to lose. Your credibility is everything in a hearing. If you personally develop a bad reputation with state UI, it could effect future decisions.
        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


        • #5
          All you can do is tell the truth as to why you terminated the employee. (no matter what the employee said) The state will make the decision whether to grant UI benefits or not.
          Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

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