Effective closing statements at unemployment hearings | be prepared!

Effective closing statements at unemployment hearings | be prepared! https://wahospitality.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/legal388-388x198.jpg

The purpose of a closing statement is to:

  • Provide a hearing officer a summation of the evidence
  • Explain that your evidence is more persuasive than the claimant’s
  • Explain that your evidence is sufficient for a disqualification and ask for one

At the end of an unemployment hearing, employers and claimants in most states are given the opportunity to offer a closing statement. It is not always necessary to present a closing statement. If it appears that the issues are clear and there is no conflict in the evidence between you and the claimant, you can tell the hearing officer that you do not wish to make one.

1. Provide a hearing officer a summation of the evidence

The beginning of a closing statement should include a brief summation of the evidence previously presented. Focus only on the facts most important to your case. Any new facts presented in a closing statement are not considered evidence and cannot be used by a hearing officer to make a decision. The closing statement is meant to give you a chance to convince the hearing officer that the evidence you have already presented is enough to support a decision to disqualify the claimant. You should be as brief as possible. Here are some tips:

2. Explain that your evidence is more persuasive than the claimant’s

If you and the claimant are presenting different testimony or evidence about the same incident(s), include an argument that your evidence is more persuasive than the claimant’s. For example:

  • The claimant’s testimony is hearsay (If the claimant testified about something that another person said or did, and that person did not appear to testify, argue that the claimant should have produced that person as a witness)
  • The claimant contradicted himself and is therefore not a credible witness
  • The claimant failed to tell you, or the state before this hearing, that he/she had a good excuse for the final incident and the testimony is therefore not credible
  • Your witness was very clear and did not contradict himself
  • The claimant refused to answer questions or tried to mislead the hearing officer
  • Your witness answered every question and did not evade answering any of them

 Do not ignore evidence presented by the claimant that helps his/her case. Mention the evidence in your closing statement and argue why it should not affect the outcome of the case

“We believe that the evidence in the record supports a disqualification in this case. We provided first-hand evidence that the claimant deliberately violated our known company policy. She appeared and denied the final incident, but did not provide any first-hand evidence of her own. We believe the evidence proved that her violations were in deliberate disregard of her duties and obligations to us, and it is therefore our position that the evidence in the record supports a finding of misconduct. We respectfully request that the determination be reversed and the claimant disqualified.”

“We believe that the evidence in the record supports a disqualification in this case. The claimant quit voluntarily when she submitted her resignation to her supervisor. The reason she gave at the time was entirely personal and not connected to her work. She appeared at the hearing and testified that she quit because of a problem in the workplace, but she never brought her concerns to us and did not provide any supporting evidence or testimony that the problem even existed. It is therefore our position that the evidence in the record failed to prove that she quit with good cause connected with the work. We respectfully request that you affirm the original determination disqualifying her from benefits.”

3. Explain that your evidence is sufficient for a disqualification and ask for one

Tell the hearing officer why you believe the evidence in the record proves misconduct or a voluntary quit without good cause. Tell the hearing officer how the evidence you presented proved that the claimant should be disqualified. At the end of the statement, ask the hearing officer to find in your favor.

In the case of a quit:

  • Describe the evidence presented which proved that the claimant quit (resignation, statement to supervisor/manager/HR) and the reason the claimant gave for leaving
  • Describe why the evidence proved that the claimant quit for a personal reason; or
  • Describe how the evidence proved that the claimant failed to give you an opportunity to address his concerns prior to leaving

In the case of a discharge:

  • Describe the evidence presented that proved the final incident (testimony or documentation)
  • Describe the evidence that the claimant knew or should have known that the final incident would result in discharge (policy or warnings)
  • Explain that the evidence proved the claimant’s actions were intentional
  • Explain that the evidence proved the claimant’s actions harmed you as the employer, or could have

Examples:

“We believe that the evidence in the record supports a disqualification in this case. We provided first-hand evidence that the claimant deliberately violated our known company policy. She appeared and denied the final incident, but did not provide any first-hand evidence of her own. We believe the evidence proved that her violations were in deliberate disregard of her duties and obligations to us, and it is therefore our position that the evidence in the record supports a finding of misconduct. We respectfully request that the determination be reversed and the claimant disqualified.”

“We believe that the evidence in the record supports a disqualification in this case. The claimant quit voluntarily when she submitted her resignation to her supervisor. The reason she gave at the time was entirely personal and not connected to her work. She appeared at the hearing and testified that she quit because of a problem in the workplace, but she never brought her concerns to us and did not provide any supporting evidence or testimony that the problem even existed. It is therefore our position that the evidence in the record failed to prove that she quit with good cause connected with the work. We respectfully request that you affirm the original determination disqualifying her from benefits.”

Content provided by Equifax.  Equifax and EFX are registered trademarks of Equifax, Inc. Inform>Enrich>Empower is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014 Equifax Workforce Solutions, a/k/a TALX Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.

Read more
Categories: Archive