January 2017 Unemployment Hearing Forum


Hearing Forum:  

What Happens when more than one manager is involved in a termination.

1. Claimant was employed for a year
2. Claimant was AWOL two times prior to the final incident.
3 Claimant was AWOL a third time.
4. The company HR Manager called the employee on the phone and requested an in-person meeting with the intention of terminating the employee.
5. Claimant reported to work and the HR Manager was not available. The direct supervisor performed the termination.
6. The HR Director approved the prior warnings and the direct supervisor reviewed with the claimant.


The HR Manager attended the hearing. Testimony was given from the claimant’s personnel file. The aforementioned facts were reviewed with the judge. The HR Manager was asked about the final incident and was asked about the last incident. The HR Manager could not give firsthand testimony as she was not present during any of the counseling sessions nor the termination.

The claimant testified that she attempted to call the direct managers cell on the day of the final incident but the number was disconnected. The HR Manager testified that this was not true. However, it was not her phone.


The judged stated that the employer’s testimony was vague and of a hearsay nature. The claimant was allowed benefits.

Take Away:

An Unemployment Hearing is a sacrifice of management time. Two people attending a hearing is more often than not practical. Claimants often testify to actions performed on a day to day basis. The supervisor who is involved in the day to day activities is a better witness although that person may not be involved with the decision to terminate.

It is important to remember that the company person whom was involved with the last interaction with a claimant is the better witness. Although a progress discipline history is important with regards to unemployment matters, the last incident and/or interaction is the act which bears the most weight.

With regards to the final call off supposedly made by the claimant, the manager to whom the employee calls off to is the best witness for the hearing. With this case the employer made the decision to send only one manager, unfortunately it was the “hearsay” manager.

Questions, comments or concerns? Let us know.  Please e-mail your UCM account manager for a prompt response.