Unemployment Insurance at Cornell

Cornell, through its office of Workforce Policy and Labor Relations (“WPLR”) works with an outside vendor, Corporate Cost Control (“CCC”) to administer its unemployment insurance program. 

Currently, Bob Wakeman (rdw2@cornell.edu; 607-255-4652) is the WPLR representative working with CCC.

General Information about Unemployment Insurance

When an employee leaves employment at Cornell, by resignation, layoff or termination, he or she may be eligible for unemployment insurance. The eligibility standards are set by the state where the employee is located.  While most Cornell employees are employed in New York State, Cornell employees located in other states are subject to the laws of those states.  Generally, the standards for unemployment insurance are more lenient than the standards for employment at Cornell.  So, it is not uncommon for an employee whose employment is terminated at Cornell to be found eligible for unemployment insurance.   An employee will not be eligible for unemployment if he or she resigns from employment (not when an employee is given the opportunity to resign instead of termination) or if he or she is terminated for “willful misconduct.”  As mentioned above, this can often be a very high standard, difficult to prove and up to Cornell to demonstrate to the state unemployment insurance agency, usually the New York Department of Labor.

►CCC (Corporate Cost Control) and WPLR

Cornell uses an outside vendor, Corporate Cost Control (“CCC”) to manage its unemployment insurance claims.  CCC works with Bob Wakeman in Cornell’s office of Workforce Policy and Labor Relations (“WPLR.”)  In the event CCC requires additional information from Cornell with respect to a claim for unemployment insurance, CCC will contact Bob and WPLR for information about the claim.  Bob and WPLR will then be in touch with the department where the employee was last employed for more information.

►Documents for Claim

For instance, in the case of a layoff, the department may be asked to provide a copy of the notice of layoff.  If the employee was terminated, the department will be asked to provide the termination letter.  In termination cases, it is not unusual for CCC to ask WPLR for additional information about the termination, such as employee statements, statements from supervisors, and information about the Cornell rules, standards or policies violated.  WPLR will keep the department notified of the status of the claim and will discuss with the department the options for challenging or appealing the decisions made by the state unemployment insurance agency.

►Preparation for Appeal, if any:

In the event, an employee who was terminated under Cornell’s standard of “cause” or “serious misconduct” is determined to be eligible for unemployment insurance.  WPLR and CCC will discuss with the department the process of appealing the decision, usually by a telephone hearing.  If CCC believes an appeal may be successful or if the department feels strongly about opposing the unemployment insurance claims, CCC will file an appeal.  Generally, a representative of CCC will prepare witnesses from the department about a week before the hearing. WPLR is also available to provide additional guidance and support to departments in either preparing the initial information for the Department of Labor or in preparation for the appeal.

 


Summary

►CCC

  • Manages Cornell’s Unemployment Insurance claims
  • Receive notice of unemployment claim from state unemployment insurance agency
  • Notify WPLR when additional information is required
  • Upon determination by state unemployment insurance agency, work with WPLR and department to determine if an appeal can be supported
  • File an appeal on behalf of Cornell University
  • Prep department witnesses for unemployment hearings as appropriate
  • Represent Cornell in hearing process (usually by telephone)

 

►WPLR

  • Liaison with CCC
  • Contact department for more information regarding termination, if needed
  • Keep department informed of status of claim
  • Discuss with department options for appealing decisions made by state unemployment insurance agency
  • Serve as a resource for departments throughout the process

 

►Supervisor/Local HR

  • Provide information, including copies of letters, if needed, to WPLR/CCC regarding termination
  • Participate in discussions regarding appeal of state unemployment insurance agency decisions
  • Prepare for hearings
  • Serve as witness for hearing as appropriate

 

Questions

If you have questions about unemployment insurance at Cornell, feel free to contact to Bob Wakeman at WPLR (rdw2; 255-4652) for additional information.