Updated Colorado Unemployment Form Raises Questions

Recently, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) updated the form it sends to employers when a former employee files for unemployment benefits, titled Requests for Facts about a Former Employee’s Employment or UIB-290. We have received several questions from our members about it.  

The CDLE changed the back of the form to simplify the employer’s response in an effort to improve the accuracy and timeliness of the initial unemployment determination made at the deputy level. The CDLE has also provided an online option for employers to respond to unemployment claims. Click here for more information.

The form includes check boxes for employers to identify the reason for the separation. These boxes can be linked to provisions of the Colorado Employment Security Act calling for either awards or denials of benefits. Employers should be aware that simply checking the applicable box is not sufficient to contest benefits. For example, an employer checking the box under section 18 that states the employee was terminated because of “Inadequate Job Skills” may intend to show that the employee was terminated for poor performance after multiple warnings, but might imply that the employee deserves an award of benefits due to not having the physical or mental capability to perform the job. 

We recommend that employers explain the circumstances that led to the employee’s separation. The form, however, lacks adequate space for this. We suggest attaching any supporting documentation and a cover letter briefly explaining the circumstances that led to separation and the applicability of the supporting documents. For example: “Sally Sleepsalot was terminated for excessive tardiness. She was late to work 10 times in three months. Sally said she had car trouble, slept late, and was taking care of personal affairs as excuses for her tardiness. These were all circumstances under her control. Attached at page 1 is her attendance record, page 2 is her schedule, page 3 contains her written excuses for each tardiness.” 

Employers should provide a complete response to increase the chances of receiving a disqualification at the deputy level. Winning at this level may prevent an unnecessary appeal hearing.