I got a call from the unemployment office the other day........

They called to verify someones work-search requirements to continue collecting their unemployment benefits.

I searched through my applications folder, I did not see this persons name anywhere, so I asked if there was a date that this person stated they filled out an application for employment. I did not want to mistakenly say they did not apply when they may have done so. The date this person listed as “Applied in person” we were closed, and I was out of town. So I was positive he falsified his paperwork.

So, I thanked the caller profusely for verifying this information, and also explained that in 7 years, this is my first time getting a verification call.
I was told that procedures have changed recently, and more verifications are being done.
So I asked what I should do if I hire someone, and they do not show up for work, (I see that often here, very often) I also asked what to do if I have another new hire show up their first day wearing pajama bottoms, a bathrobe with no shirt under it, and bath slippers with no socks! (yes, it has happened here, I have the pictures for proof)
I now have a direct line to a fraud investigator who will cross reference names, and revoke them off the payment program if they refuse work by not showing.
This makes me ecstatic! Because this area is so desperate for workers, many restaurants have gone to paying cash under the table, end of shift just to get a body in there to do dishes or some other job.
Of course these cash payments supplement whatever entitlement program they are collecting and it is making it real hard to compete when we have this happening do it being so lucrative for them to work 2-3 nights a week without reporting it, and them collecting unemployment compensation at the same time. Sure, Our pay rates far exceed what they can make, but they’d actually need to get off the couch and work to earn it.

Has anyone else gotten a verification call, I sure hope you have.

I havent gotten this kind of call but I had a cook I had to fire for coming to work drunk. He went and filed for unemployment I filled out the paper work got a call from the unemployment office to get my side of the story. The lady I spoke said you did right in firing him. They sent me a letter say that they sided with me and that he was disqualified from receiving unemployment BUT for some circumstances which were not stated he ended up receiving unemployment?!?!?!?!?!? California for you.

Well if it is anything like Colorado, they initially denied him. He appealed and the arbitrator sided with him (from what i heard it is like 90%+ employee side in CO). I am one for two with appeals. I fought both, the one i lost i won the first appeal she won the second. I considered taking it to the final appeal but i already had waisted more time then it was worth.

But back on topic, yes i have actually gotten a confirmation call once in the 4 years i have been an owner. Would explain how we get applications filled out, then when i call back i get ignored.

We are also in Colorado. In 17 years we have probably had about 20 unemployment claims. We fought all claims. We lost one about 15 years ago. Several appealed and we won all of those too. We appealed the one that we lost and we lost the appeal as well. (Later we called and reported where that employee was working for cash…)

Most were cases where the employee left us voluntarily for another job and then quit or was terminated from that employment leading to the claim. These are not hard to win, they are just book keeping to determine which prior employers have the expense charged to their experience rating. The usual scenario is that they quit at the end of ski season and go straight on to some summer job. When that ends in September there are about 8 weeks before the local businesses need to hire up so they fire a claim when they get laid off. We have had one employee do this several years in a row. He gives us notice in March, leaves in April, gets laid off by another employer in Sept and files a claim… then goes back to work for us in November. Not a big deal.

Most important: File all paperwork on time! Document dates of no-shows, squabbles with other crew etc. Use written warnings and have employee sign them and then keep them on file. Keep the date that they tell you they are quitting.

If someone needs to be fired you should have had several opportunities to document what you are dissatisfied with. Make sure you do. If the event is a one time event that is so outrageous that you fire them on the spot, sit down and write out a set of notes. Ask another key employee who was present to read them and comment. If they remember it differently, make the changes they suggest. Date it and file it.

No, we have never received a confirmation call.

BTW, the one we lost… We fired the employee for no-show after giving a warning on another occasion. I was out of town and failed to return the paperwork on time for the initial inquiry but filed an appeal. The employee claimed that other employees used foul language in the kitchen that was offensive and that that was why the employee quit. This was held to be a valid reason to quit (even though it was a total fabrication) and we were given no chance to respond. This employee, it turned out, had used the same ruse around town several times… this one knew how to use the system.

What has gotten my optimistic is that now they are proactively going after fraud and abusers, (might just be my state, I do not know) because when I tried to report “Pajama Boy” for his little stunt a few years back, nobody seemed to care, I even got an earful about how my taking a picture of his inappropriate dress was considered disrespectful on my part. So apparently I am supposed to willingly let an employee disregard health codes and OSHA rules now? What, because if I don’t, it may hurt their sensitive feelings??

I just had another applicant that I had a brief interview with, tell me that he CANNOT start until the end of July because that is when his unemployment runs out, and he “Wants to get his moneys worth”
Of course he suggested that he would be very willing to accept unreported cash payments until that point in time. If he was qualified for the open positions, and he reuses to work until then, I would be on the phone Monday with the investigator to report him. I’m kinda done with putting up with this garbage.

Funny how I advertise that we are hiring EXPERIENCED line cooks and pizza makers who have EXPERIENCE with hand-stretching fresh dough, but all i’ve seen is people who have never worked on the line, or have only ever used frozen pre-made crusts. I’d be happy if someone told me they have only used a sheeter, at least there is a knowledge of fresh dough that I can work with.
At this point, I am no longer willing to try to train someone with zero line or pizza experience. Our starting pay is heads and tails above anything else local, yet I still cannot seem to attract the correct people for the positions that I need to fill…
we have dozens of summer camps in this area, they all refuse to hire local labor, so what does that tell you? They have a unique advantage of being able to supply housing for their out of state workers that they bring in.
Being a heavy tourist destination, there really is no affordable housing to get people into as part of their compensation package,