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by HR Guy | March 10, 2009

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Hi, HR Guy
In my years as an HR professional one of the more frustrating issues has been employees with poor work performance who are terminated after repeated attempts to redirect their behavior. They get fired, yet they file against us for unemployment even though the situation could have been averted. Is there no escape from this unfair situation, or are we doomed to continue to financially support former employees who have no real work ethic or desire to gain any?

Sincerely,
Financially Frustrated

Dear Finacially Frustrated:
I understand your annoyance at having to support an employee who you don't believe has done right by the firm. However, companies are required to pay insurance on unemployment. Based on the number of cases, the premiums a company must pay for this insurance goes up. However, there is a maximum to how much a company must pay. Once that is reached, the company doesn't have to pay anymore, no matter how many employees get laid off. While this is a requirement, that does not mean that you are completely at the mercy of the type of employees you've described. States verify applications for unemployment, so firms do have an opportunity to object to a former employee receiving benefits if that person was let go for performance reasons or because of some other grievous act. Lastly, as a deterrent against such a situation happening again, consider what qualities the troublesome employees had in common. Keep this in mind when looking at candidates and try to screen them more closely in the future.

Good luck!

HR Guy

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Filed Under: Workplace Issues
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