Pennsylvania employers can achieve positive results and realize other important gains by wisely and effectively responding to, and when appropriate, contesting unemployment compensation claims. This post is Part 3 of a 3 part series on handling UC claims and addresses best practices for appealing to the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review/Commonwealth Court, when to involve legal counsel, and mandatory electronic filings of UC quarterly reports.
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Pennsylvania employers can achieve positive results and realize other important gains by wisely and effectively responding to, and when appropriate, contesting unemployment compensation claims. This post is Part 2 of a 3 part series on handling UC claims and addresses best practices for preparing for and participating in a Referee’s Hearing.
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Pennsylvania employers can achieve positive results and realize other important gains by wisely and effectively responding to, and when appropriate, contesting unemployment compensation claims. This post is Part 1 of a 3 part series on handling UC claims and addresses best practices for responding to the initial UC claim.
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As we noted earlier this year, the EEOC has begun filing legal challenges to relatively common provisions found in form severance agreements, based on the EEOC’s belief that such language unlawfully interferes with employees’ rights to file charges with and provide information to it. Last week, the EEOC’s attack on severance agreements was dealt a blow.
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This case demonstrates not only that clear and effective employment policies can be crucial to supporting employment decisions, but also that preparing in advance for responding to claims and participating in administrative proceedings will afford employers the best opportunity to successfully challenge non-qualifying UC claims. The employer was successful in this case because it presented relevant witness testimony and policies at the hearing. Employers can control overall unemployment compensation costs, send the right message, and maintain the integrity of its workplace policies and standards of conduct by challenging UC claims when warranted and sufficiently preparing in advance when responding to claims and participating in UC proceedings.
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The National Labor Relations Board recently issued a somewhat surprising decision that provides useful guidance to employers facing employee misconduct. In Flex Frac Logistics, LLC, the Board found that an employee’s discharge for breaching the employer’s confidentiality policy was lawful, despite the Board’s finding that the confidentiality policy was unlawful.
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On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously (Justice Kagan recused herself) in United States v. Quality Stores, Inc., Case No. 12-1408 that severance payments made to employees who were involuntarily terminated are taxable wages under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). The decision overturns a previous ruling from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in favor of Quality Stores which was seeking a $1 million tax refund from the IRS based on its claim that severance payments were not covered by FICA.
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The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued a decision holding that an employer’s termination of an employee for violating a very broad and restrictive return to work agreement (RWA), which prohibited the employee from all drug and alcohol use during both work and personal time, was lawful.
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A Pennsylvania man lost his job in September 2012 and is now without unemployment compensation. Why? He called his boss a “clown.”

On October 17, 2013, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court affirmed the decision of an unemployment compensation Referee and the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review denying Alfonso Miller unemployment benefits.

Miller, a 5-year employee of a private Philadelphia-based organization providing comprehensive services to individuals with disabilities, had some choice words for his supervisor during his regularly scheduled performance evaluation. After calling his supervisor a “[expletive] clown” and referring to the entire evaluation process as a joke, Miller was fired from his job.
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