Ask the Legal: Should an employer promise an employee who is leaving that he can collect unemployment compensation?

No. It is a common misconception that employers can agree “not to fight” unemployment compensation benefits when an employee separates from a company for any reason. The reality is that whether or not an individual is eligible for unemployment compensation is determined by the Office of UC Benefits. The determination of eligibility is based upon a number of different factors including whether or not the individual is able and available for work and whether the separation was due to willful misconduct on the part of the employee. The employer’s role is to provide honest information concerning the individual’s employment and separation to the Office of UC Benefits. Should either party be dissatisfied with the determination of eligibility, there is an appeal process in place.

As appeared in:  Pittsburgh Business Times, 7/19/2013

Terri Imbarlina Patak