How Video Surveillance Evidence Can Support Your Unemployment Insurance Hearing
Video Surveillance Evidence
For many years now, the use of video cameras for security or surveillance purposes has become essential to the judicial system. Using video surveillance evidence can also be an advantage for unemployment insurance (UI) hearings. A recent case highlights how video surveillance can be used to an employer’s advantage in a hearing.
An employee entered the company break room around 1PM with a briefcase. According to the video surveillance evidence, the employee slammed the briefcase on the table and started ranting about his boss. Other employees, including his boss, heard him screaming and yelling and called security. The security guard arrived and asked the man to calm down and sit. The employee continued to raise his voice and then exited the break room. He threw his briefcase in his office, slammed the door and exited the building.
This was not the first time the employee had become disruptive and his boss determined this was his final incident. Upon termination, the employee filed a complaint against his boss and the security guard for improper treatment. He then filed a claim for unemployment insurance benefits, which were denied based on the video footage of his episode.
Based on the video surveillance evidence, the judge had determined the employee should be disqualified for UI benefits. If the video not been presented, then first-hand testimony would have been necessary. Additionally, if the claimant denied that the incident occurred, the judge might have been faced with a difficult credibility decision to make when faced with conflicting testimony. The showing of the video resolved any doubt as to what happened.
Not all video surveillance evidence can be used. It’s actually difficult to catch someone in the act if they’re not positioned in an area where the camera can capture them on screen. Furthermore, most video surveillance does not have audio so if the case involves hearing what is said on the video, the video may not resolve the matter. If the video clearly supports the allegations against the employee (such as showing that the employee left the premises, was in an unauthorized area, arrived late, etc), then it’s most likely going to help win the hearing. Prepare any witnesses for the hearing who can help explain what is demonstrated in the video and why it is grounds for termination.
It’s wise to bring copies of the video surveillance evidence to court to play the footage. Be sure to also have multiple copies of the video to leave with the judge and the claimant, as well. If it is a telephone hearing, you must forward a copy of the video to the judge and the claimant prior to the hearing date.
If there is indeed video surveillance evidence of the final incident, it should be reviewed internally before the UI hearing to ensure the employer’s position on the case is valid.
Industrial U.I has the expertise to help employers navigate throughout the entire unemployment insurance process. We can provide support and guidance at any stage of the process. Contact us today to learn more about our services.