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Basic Practices to Control UI Costs

What steps can employers take to control their unemployment insurance (UI) costs as much as possible?

Strong policies and practices are the foundation of a solid program to contain UI costs. Specifically, employers should:

  • Maintain a stable workforce:
    • by effectively screening job applicants to weed out unsuitable candidates.
    • by giving new employees thorough orientation to the workplace and the employer's specific policies and procedures, upon hire.
    • by having the new employee sign a receipt that he/she has received orientation and an employee handbook and agree to abide by all policies outlined.
    • by providing the new employee with training specific to the job, as necessary.
    • by applying the employer's policies and procedures consistently and fairly to all employees.
  • Communicate the employer's reasonable expectations clearly, whenever there are workplace changes or the need to address an employee's workplace shortcomings.
  • Document all instances of unexcused absence or tardiness.
  • Document any instances of verbal or written warnings/suspensions.
  • Listen to what the employee has to say regarding workplace disputes and/or warnings.
  • Ask the employee for the reason for quitting, should that occur.
  • Offer a leave of absence to an employee, if appropriate, even if the employee does not request such a leave.
  • Limit the list of on call employees as much as possible, giving fewer employees as much work as possible (since part time and on call employees may be eligible to draw UI benefits against the employer's UI account).

Conversely, what should employers NOT do, if they want to control their UI costs as much as possible?

  • Do not retain poor performers beyond their introductory period, since your potential UI liability will increase with the employee's tenure on the job.
  • Do not give an employee more chances than your policy dictates to reform their workplace behavior as this leniency may be regarded as condonement of the employee's behavior and, therefore, not misconduct which otherwise would be disqualifying for UI benefits under UI law.
  • Do not permit an employee to work following the final incident which may lead to the employee's discharge. Instead, suspend the employee pending an investigation.

The preceding statements are intended to alert employers to some of the many ways that they can influence UI costs. Our advice? Ask your Human Resources personnel for advice or guidance if you are unsure about how UI eligibility might be affected, before taking action to discharge.

Our office staff will be happy to discuss separation eligibility issues at any time.

The core mission of the CAHHS Unemployment Insurance Division is to help participating hospitals and health care employers to limit their UI costs to the maximum extent possible.