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Old 08-15-2019, 10:50 PM   #1
Hawkpuppy 1
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Default Disputing Unemployment Claims??

So, long story short, we had an employee that had been with us about 30 days that we decided to terminate for several violations of company policy. Said employee then filed for unemployment, which we disputed. Now, Texas Workforce Commission has called back and somehow sounds like they will rule in favor of the employee. We will continue to dispute this. Has anyone had any luck or experience fighting and winning against TWC? Seems as if they always rule in favor of the employee, not the employer.
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Old 08-15-2019, 10:57 PM   #2
Stuck
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Do you have documentation of his violations?
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Old 08-15-2019, 11:15 PM   #3
RR 314
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Have you had a telephonic hearing with the TWC? Following that they usually send a Decision. I have never received a phone call from the TWC after a hearing. You can appeal their decision to district court.
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Old 08-15-2019, 11:22 PM   #4
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I’m going after the home builder I use to work for. I gave my two weeks and they didn’t pay me for my last day.
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Old 08-16-2019, 01:41 AM   #5
BuckRage
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they are always going to lean towards employee bit they will rule in your favor if you can show they broke policy. There needs to be a paper trail and clear procedures. I went through this a few years ago and we "won". the arbitrator will mediate and get bothbsodes back of the story

Last edited by BuckRage; 08-16-2019 at 01:44 AM.
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Old 08-16-2019, 01:44 AM   #6
txwhitetail
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From what I’ve seen they will always rule for the employee unless you prove otherwise. Have your documentation in order and you can prevail.


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Old 08-16-2019, 03:54 AM   #7
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As long as you have documentation of policy violations and a signed letter by employee of termination and in the letter it says why you fired the dumbazz you should be fine.


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Old 08-16-2019, 06:16 AM   #8
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Yes. I have been in an arbitration case with a fired employee. The ruling was in our favor and the ex employee had to pay back 6k to the state. Make sure you have all your ducks in a row and its easy.
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Old 08-16-2019, 06:29 AM   #9
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We just went through this as well with a terminated employee. Good documentation is the key. Try to provide as much detail as possible, dates, infractions, witness statements and such. Good luck!
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Old 08-16-2019, 06:29 AM   #10
DirtyDave
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Like others said, all depends if the Employer has their ducks in a row. Documentation of everything. Clear policies, Clear violations, Write-ups, Security footage, etc.
We fired a night shift guy for being on his phone all the time. He denied it, but we have hours of footage..... LOL
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Old 08-16-2019, 07:16 AM   #11
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I've seen it all. It's a complete pile of BS.

We had a guy show up on his first day on a motorcycle. This is way out in West Texas and he traveled in the night before. The next day (1st day of work) he just got on his motorcycle and drove off without saying a word. "Worked" maybe 3 hours. He filed and it was a PITA to win. I wanted to scream at the agency lady taking his side.

After 3 or 4 more guys filing on us I got smart. I had a guy call our office manager and said he wanted to quit so he could be in San Antonio full time with his family. I told the OM to ask him to e-mail his resignation which he did. He then worked another week or so and left as per his letter. Unemployment fought so freaking hard for that guy I couldn't take it. We must have spent 12+ hours on the phone fighting that. They even called me (an owner) and drilled me over and over. I assume trying to catch me saying something/anything. All I said over and over was.. He quit on us, we actually need him really bad right now!


So OP - Good luck! Don't back down.
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Old 08-16-2019, 07:42 AM   #12
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company I worked for (large company) for the most part did not even dispute the claims because it wa so hard for employer to win, even with just cause
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Old 08-16-2019, 07:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick View Post
company I worked for (large company) for the most part did not even dispute the claims because it wa so hard for employer to win, even with just cause
Same here, I fought a few and would get tired of the phone calls with TWC. Sometimes it was worth paying unemployment just to get the cancer out of the shop. It only takes one or two sorry azzes to create drama and cause problems, then it typically starts spreading through out the shop. Grown azz men worrying about what the other guy does. Wait .... that could be TBH too
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:11 AM   #14
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Cut your losses and move on. Been there, done that. They are the equivalent of the child support dept of the Attorney General, and you're "the man".
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:13 AM   #15
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Do you not have unemployment insurance? Or do I not understand how to works?

Seems to me if you have ins it wouldn’t be worth fighting.


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Old 08-16-2019, 09:37 AM   #16
RiverRat1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ethic1 View Post
Do you not have unemployment insurance? Or do I not understand how to works?

Seems to me if you have ins it wouldn’t be worth fighting.


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So many claims and insurance skyrockets.
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:38 AM   #17
ethic1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverRat1 View Post
So many claims and insurance skyrockets.


I gotcha


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Old 08-16-2019, 09:43 AM   #18
BigRed323
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Only 30 days? Do you guys have any sort of probation period established?
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:16 AM   #19
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you wont be on the hook for much of this FYI. They base how much you pay out in unemployment based on how much they make over a period of time.

That being said just fight it all the way to the phone hearing with a judge. Good chance that employee will forget or not make it to the hearing and they immediately disqualify themselves when they do that.

I have won every claim I've fought basically because of this. They ignore the mail they get and totally forget to come to the hearing lol.
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:43 AM   #20
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So much of the success of overturning the ruling depends on the mood of the officer and the documentation you have in order. If your company has good policies, they were followed, and things were documented appropriately, you can generally be successful in the hearing overturning the ruling. The burden of proof lies with the employer though, so if policies weren't followed, or there are gaps in documentation, it'll be hard to over turn the initial ruling.

Other states, particularly New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New Mexico, will rule in the employees favor in most situations. I've had harassment claims overturned in those states (ruling in favor of the harasser), even though I had things in order on my side. Very frustrating. It's situational, but I won't even bother doing the hearing in some of those areas anymore. Just not a good use of time when they will award them the decision anyways.

Like DeadEye said, if you get to the hearing stage, lots of times they don't even show up. I've had people call into the hearing before from the road before with the windows down. The hearing official got frustrated with them, ended it early, and ruled in our favor. People will also try to say everything under the sun to get something to stick (discrimination, FLSA, hostile work, worst manager I ever had, etc.). When the hearing gets to that point, most of the officials see right through that and will rule in your favor anyways.

Texas is getting more difficult than it used to be to win those decisions. Good luck.
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:52 AM   #21
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All of our guys work out of state. I recently fired two guys for being in a company truck after drinking and around midnight, they lost a $30K piece of equipment out of the back of the truck. I didn’t hear of it until that next morning and I fired them immediately and put them on a greyhound back home. Yep, you guessed it. They are being awarded unemployment. How was I supposed to give them a drug/alcohol test at midnight. The next day was Saturday. Nobody hardly open. Only documentation was what another employee state he saw and the guys driving admit they were in the truck and admit they lost the price of equipment and were too **** drunk to even know what direction they were going and couldn’t go back to find it. You almost have to have a video of them doing it and then show TWC the handbook that states we don’t allow drunk driving in company vehicles.
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:55 AM   #22
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TWC has become very particular over recent years about contesting UC.

Outside of gross misconduct, TWC wants employers to be able to show the employee had been warned and that the employee knew they could lose their job.

If you don't have any documentation it makes it difficult. However, being that he was only with the company 30 days, very little if any would be charged back to you due to how they calculate the base period to determine wages/earnings.

The goal when responding to a UC is to show the company had a policy/procedure, the employee knew about it, violated the policy/procedure, the employee was warned and understood how to correct the issue(s) and what the consequences were if they didn't. When you respond, your position statement should include copy of policy/procedure violated, copy of handbook acknowledgement signed by employee, copy of any training employee completed which is relevant, copy of disciplinary write ups, manager or witness statements as well as termination documentation. Throw everything you have at TWC.

I've probably written over 5k UC responses in the past 15 years for clients and you really need to be able to check those boxes to come out ahead against TWC. But, if you do these things and are proactive, and the termination was for misconduct (your documentation needs to begin with misconduct not poor performance, which is typically the result of misconduct) you will be in a much better position to argue against benefits being awarded. If you lose, appeal.
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Old 08-16-2019, 11:19 AM   #23
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The TWC has gotten out of control and I have gone rounds with them over cases. In this situation though even if they find in the employees favor it should not come back on your company due to the short time he was employed. I have had this senario and they awarded benefits but took them from the previous employers account and not mine.
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Old 08-16-2019, 11:36 AM   #24
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We have a 90 day probation period before they could apply for unemployment.
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