Susan Fisher, Attorney, Employment Law Services
A popular Denver bar joined the Employers Council because its owner discovered that two former bartenders had received unemployment insurance benefits, even though one quit to take another job and the other was terminated for serious violations of policy. The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) awarded benefits because the employer’s manager did not recognize the letter he received from the CDLE as important mail. In addition, the manager did not respond quickly enough to the CDLE deputy’s voicemails asking for the bar’s side of the story.
After my brief explanation of Colorado unemployment insurance, the owner and I agreed that the Employers Council would file special motions to appeal the decisions beyond the deadlines. The CLDE agreed to hold appeal hearings. Once the Hearing Officers had all the evidence concerning the terminations, they reversed the decisions to award benefits.
The new Member prevailed. Since then, the member is more consistent in documenting disciplinary actions. In addition, the manager and the owner pay close attention to the mail anytime an employee resigns or is terminated. As soon as the bar receives a notice from the CDLE, they let me know. When the CDLE calls asking for the bar’s side of the story, the member responds immediately. Since joining the Employers Council, the member hasn’t lost a single unemployment benefit appeal.