Voluntary Resignations and Unemployment Claims

As a business owner, you know that employee separations are necessary and costly. But you might not know that even voluntary resignations can effect your unemployment insurance. Approved claims are the basis of your experience rating which impacts your future rate for unemployment insurance. With good documentation, you can keep your experience rating low. 

Types of Separations

The three types of separations are voluntary quit, discharge and lack of work. In cases of lack of work, you expect unemployment claims, but you do not expect unemployment claims in cases of voluntary resignations or discharges.

The Burden of Proof 

Even in cases of voluntary resignations, state agencies review the facts and circumstances that surround a separation in light of various rules, regulations and state laws. They expect a clear and concise explanation of the events leading to the separation and may determine that unemployment insurance applies. 

The burden of proof usually rests with the former employee, who needs to prove one of the following: 

1. They quit for a compelling reason, like changes in:
  • Pay
  • Hours and schedule
  • Work location
  • Hiring agreement
2. They did everything they could to address the problem before resigning.
3. Their only alternative was to resign.

However, if the state views the voluntary resignation as a discharge, the burden of proof rules apply to the employer. Note that state agencies tend to side with the employee unless the employer has strong supporting documented evidence. The state may look for:

1. Forced resignation
2. Inadequate no show/no call records
3. Demotion without misconduct
4. Denial of the two-week notice period after a voluntary resignation

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth its Weight in Gold

Poorly executed employee separations can affect your business for years to come. We can help take the necessary steps to prepare documentation, communicate with employees and work with state agencies. Separations, whether voluntary or not, are never easy. We have plenty of experience with all types of separations. Contact us to make employment separations as painless as possible.

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