Posts Tagged ‘childhood wholesale fragrance oils’

Granulated Wax Candles

Monday, January 20th, 2014

rainbow candleGranulated Wax Candles

Although most candle makers melt down wax to make their candles, it is possible to create wax art candles if you have granulated wax at your disposal.  Since no heating is involved in the candle making process, this can be a fun project that you can do with your kids.  The sky is the limit as to how creative you can be.  You can used multiple colors, layer the wax, and even create artwork pictures on the inside of your candle jars.  How about scenting each layer a different scent?  You can do that too.  How fun is that!

Natures Garden offers two different kinds of granulated waxes that you can use to make granulated wax candles:  Pillar of Bliss wax and Palm Container wax.  The kind of colorant that you want to use is Spectrum Candle Dyes (you never want to use water soluble dyes or any types of pigments when making these candles).  hydrangea candle

How to Make Wax Art Candles

1.  Obtain a 16 oz. apothecary jar or any other candle safe glass jar that you desire to use.

2.  Using a hot glue gun, place a small amount of hot glue on the wick tabs of  (2)  CD-12 wicks and adhere wicks to the bottom of your jar (equally spaced apart).  Set aside.

3.  Decide how many colors you want to use in your candle.  Scoop about 1/2 cup of granulated wax of your choice into a zip lock bag.  Add a drop of spectrum candle dye to the bag and mix wax well.  Typically, a 16 oz. apothecary jar will hold a total of (6) 1/2 cups of granulated wax, so it is possible to use 6 different colors in your jar.

4.  Move on to your next color.  Do the same as mentioned above until you have a total of 3 cups of colored granulated wax.

5.  A 16 oz. apothecary jar can handle a total of 1.5oz. of fragrance.  Going above this amount will likely create a fire hazard.  So, at this point, add a little fragrance to each bag of colored wax and mix until you have added a total of 1 to 1.5 oz. of fragrance total.

6.  Add your colored and scented wax to your candle jars.  You can layer the wax any way that you desire.  Fill the jar with your granulated wax.

7.  Once you are done, trim your wicks to 1/2″ for your first burn.  Keep wicks at 1/4″ for future burns.  Enjoy!!

For more candle recipes, visit this page on our website. 

Fragrance Trends Fall 2013

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

300x300-trends-reportFragrance Trends Fall 2013

In order to help our customers create marketing promotions for upcoming seasons, the staff at Natures Garden has completed a 2013 Fragrance Trend Report.  In this trend report, we also mention the color trends and fashion trends that will be hot for Fall/Winter 2013/2014.  Both research and intuition went into this report; allowing us to report how the moods of society will shape the upcoming trends.

Once we realized what the upcoming trends would be, we worked diligently with our perfumist to design fragrances that reflected those up-coming trends.  We would like to thank our perfumist for creating these scents multiple times for us to get exactly what we were looking for.  Once these new fragrances were created, tested, and approved, our graphic artist designed the trends report and fragrance graphics to make these trends “come alive”.   We expect delivery of these new Trend Scents the week of July 8th.  

Without further adieu….Our Fragrance Trends Report for Fall 2013.  Go to the fragrance trends report to print out this entire report.

Trends are developed from socio-economic stimuli  and world events that we as a society encounter.  Colors, fashion, design, and fragrance are all influenced by how we see the world around us.  While there are several trends that we will highlight in this report, the driving trend behind all of them is what we call “Free Spirited vs. Deeply Rooted”.  This trend represents a division that is taking place between those in society who are embracing fast change, and those who are reverting back to a grass-roots mentality that would like to change things back to how they were many years ago.  Change is the key word here.

Fall & Winter are seasons which embrace more intense, full-bodied, heavier fragrances that provide a sense of serenity and warmth during cold months.  The key for 2013/14 is the combination of fragrance ingredients used to create new and intriguing experiences rooted in the familiar; or use of unexpected varietals not often used.

trend colors fall 2013In addition to fragrance trends, color trends are also influenced by socio-economic factors and world events.  The colors on this page are the color trends for fall & winter 2013/2014.  Interestingly enough, 4 of the 13 color trends are colors found in camouflage; leading us to believe that there is a down-home country trend on the horizon.  Pantone has stated that Emerald Green is the main color of Fall 2013.

Hot fashion trends are turtlenecks,  clutch purses, slouchy pants that are narrowed at the ankle and sit high on the waist, rounded shoulders, and gold/copper begin to replace silver as the metallic of choice.

 

 

 

Trend #1-  Lighthearted Fun & Folly:  A new spin on positive emotions and whimsy. The idea of lighthearted fun, madness and total enjoyment of life and all it has to offer.  Fragrance notes associated with this trend are red berries and plums with rich, warm, heavy notes; peppermint swirls with marshmallow fluff, and multi-colored ribbon candy.

peppermint-fluff1Peppermint Fluff Fragrance Oil (awaiting delivery):  A fun, fluffy aroma that embraces lightheartedness and femininity all in one!  A fabulous blend of fresh essential oil of peppermint and huckleberries, hints of violet and white florals, with creamy base notes of vanilla marshmallow.

Top:  Peppermint, Huckleberries, Apricot, Strawberries
Mid: Peach, Violet, White Lily
Base:  Vanilla, Sandalwood, Marshmallow

dance-of-the-sugar-plum-fairy1Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy Fragrance Oil (available for sale on site):  A charming fragrance filled with surprises to delight all of the senses with plums, dark cherries and sweet oranges enhanced with peppery woody undertones.

Top:  Plum, Black Cherries, Strawberries, Mandarin, Orange
Mid:  Black Pepper, Clove, Cinnamon
Base:  Sandalwood, Eucalyptus

Kringleberry1Kringle Berry Fragrance Oil (awaiting delivery):  An NG Original!  A very-merry-festive fragrance with the aroma of fresh cut evergreens, and juicy apples,  delicate white winter florals, sprigs of bright-and-cheery hollyberry, and fruity cranberries and red currants.

Top: Hollyberry, Tart cranberries, Red Currant, Spiced Orange
Mid: Christmas Lily, White Amaryllis, Apple
Base: Pine, Evergreen, Fern

Jammin-rock-candy1Jammin’ Rock Candy Fragrance Oil (awaiting delivery):  An explosive blend of the sweet jammin’ berry trio of juicy ripe cherries, strawberries, and raspberries harmonized with hints of tangy citrus brought together by icy peppermint and sugary hard rock candy.  This fragrance truly “Rocks the House”.

Top:  Cherry, Raspberry, Strawberry, Grape
Mid:  Orange Blossom
Base: Peppermint, Vanilla

Trend #2- Down Home Country:  What people are watching on TV influences trends, and one cannot ignore the ratings that Duck Dynasty is receiving.  Back woods, family values, southern cooking, and an endless pitcher of tea; these are some of the things that influence fragrance notes this season.  Fragrance notes associated with this trend are rich, woodsy, outdoors notes, tea with a zany twist, and southern sweet potatoes with hints of spice.

Rosewood-&-Musk1Rosewood & Musk Fragrance Oil (available for sale on site): Fresh cut rosewood, green tea, and musk come together making this a clean woodsy scent with hints of black pepper.

Top:  Bergamot, Tea, Orange, Lemon
Mid:  Black Pepper, Ginger
Base:  Guicawood, Vetiver, Rosewood, Cedarwood

Sweet-Tea-Zing1Sweet Tea Zing Fragrance Oil (awaiting delivery): The perfect summer afternoon starts with the relaxing indulgence of sipping sweet tea with a zest of lemon, drops of honey nectar with the extra zing of cardamom.

Top: Earl Grey Tea, Lemon, Bergamot
Mid: Honey, Cardamom
Base: Mint Leaves, Green Tea Leaves

apple-pecan-sage-1Apple Pecan Sage Fragrance Oil (available for sale on site): Sweet fresh picked apples with middle notes of cinnamon, sage, clove and Asian cardamom spice; sitting on base notes of toasted pecans and vanilla.

Top:  Apple, Pear, Banana
Mid:  Cinnamon, Sage, Clove, Cardamom
Base:  Pecan, Vanilla

down-home-country2Down Home Country Fragrance Oil (available for sale on site):  A fragrance that evokes the feeling of getting away to a cedar log cabin in the woods, surrounded by nature; serenity, comfort.  This powerhouse of a fragrance is a woodsy blend of fresh cedar, true patchouli, natural lavender, effervescent clove, and aromatic eucalyptus.

Top: Licorice, eucalyptus
Mid: Clove, Rose, lavender
Base: Cedarwood, Pine, Patchouli

sweet-potato-brown-sugar1Sweet Potato and Brown Sugar Fragrance Oil (available for sale on site): Yummy!  Who doesn’t love delicious sweet potatoes and brown sugar drizzled with honey.

Top:  Orange
Mid:  Maple, Honey, Rum
Base:  Vanilla, Brown Sugar, Yams

 

autumn-woods2Autumn Woods Fragrance Oil (available for sale on site):  A walk in the woods with the smell of crisp leaves under foot and fresh pine with berries falling off the trees.

Top:  Lemon, Orange, Lime, Blackberries
Mid:  Carnation, Rose, Muguet
Base:  Pine, Cedarwood, Patchouli, Eucalyptus leaves

 

Trend #3-  Simple Indulgences:   Simple Indulgence is the collection of combining simple and sophisticated notes to bring a fresh and refined, favorite familiar scent with an unexpected, robust and diffusive twist; fragrances that invite family and friends to gather and relax together. Fragrance ideas: Caramelized Crimson Pear, Sangria Spice,  Mandarin Thyme,  Pumpkin Roll.

banana pudding fragrance oilOld Fashioned Banana Pudding Fragrance Oil (currently available on site):  A fragrance that is truly reminiscent of homemade vanilla custard combined with ripened bananas and the famous manilla wafer sugar cookies.   Yummy!

Top: Ripened bananas
Mid: Butter, Sugar Cookies
Base: Vanilla, Sweetened Cream

Carmelized-Crimson-Pear1Caramelized Crimson Pear Fragrance Oil  (waiting delivery):  Juicy, ripe crimson pears sprinkled in caramelized brown sugar with fresh churned maple butter, drizzled with honey and vanilla creates the recipe for this decadent blend.

Top: Crimson Pear, Apple, Banana
Mid: Maple, Brown Sugar, Caramel
Base: Vanilla

country-home1Country Home Fragrance Oil  (currently available on site): The aroma of a country home at Christmas time.  Citrus and spices filling the air, providing an uplifting mood and reducing the dreaded feeling of cabin fever.

Top:  Orange, Mandarin
Mid:  Peach, Apple
Base:  Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg

Pumpkin-roll1Pumpkin Roll Fragrance Oil (waiting delivery): Comfort food at its best.  Sweet sugar pumpkin puree spiced with hints of cinnamon, and nutmeg layered onto a warm, sweet-butter crust, drizzled with maple and honey. Yummy.

Top: Sugar Pumpkin, Orange, Sweet Butter
Mid: Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Maple
Base: Vanilla

Thank you for your patronage and support over the years!  Due to this support, Natures Garden has become the largest distributor of fragrance oils in the USA; serving more than 100,000 customers!  We could not do any of this without YOU!

Monkey Farts Fragrance Oil

Saturday, July 6th, 2013
monkey farts fragrance oil

Monkey Farts fragrance oil is a best-selling fragrance oil at Natures Garden.

Monkey Farts Fragrance Oil-Fragrance Oil Spotlight

It is summertime, and what tried-and-true fragrance oil screams “Summer fun” better than Monkey Farts Fragrance Oil? At first glance, you may feel like uttering the phrase, ” YUCK, SICK, GROSS”. But let me assure you, Monkey Farts fragrance oil is far from a nauseating aroma. In fact, Monkey Farts has been a best-selling fragrance oil at Natures Garden for many many years. Not only do adults love it, it happens to be a super popular fragrance oil with little kids.

What does Monkey Farts Fragrance Oil smell like?

This unique fragrance begins with top notes of fresh bananas and juicy grapefruit, middle notes of kiwi, juicy bubblegum, and strawberries; and a hint of vanilla as a base note. Let’s put it this way: The name attracts new customers, and the scent makes it a best seller.

How do our customers use our Monkey Farts Fragrance Oil?

Most of our clientele are candle makers, so many of our customers use this scent to make container candles, pillar candles, and candle tarts. A growing number of soap makers are using Natures Garden fragrance oils in their melt and pour soaps, cold process soaps, and hot process soaps. How does Monkey Farts Fragrance Oil perform in CP soap? The results reported back to us by our soap tester: Slight ricing, stick blend, no acceleration, discolors to beige. However, some customers (who likely used a different soap recipe) report that they have no ricing in their CP soap. Regardless, it is still one of our best-selling scents for soap making.

Monkey Farts fragrance oil is used by many customers to make lotions, creams, body butters, bath bombs. Our staff even used this fragrance to make Monkey Farts scented markers and scented glitterized high heel shoes. We seriously have too much fun at Natures Garden; it should be a sin to have this much fun!

In closing, I might add that the name Monkey Farts is not for everyone. Many of our customers rename it to things like: Monkey Toots, Funky Monkey, Chunky Monkey. Whether you place the name Monkey Farts on your product labels, that is your call. One things is for certain: Your customers will love the smell!

Favorite Fragrance Notes

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

fragrance-oilsWhat is your favorite fragrance note?

This is the question we posted on facebook,  paid to have it blasted to over 84,000 people, and boy did we get a huge response!  In order to answer the question correctly, you need to know what a “fragrance note” is.  So, what is a fragrance note?  A fragrance note is a single aroma found in a fragrance.   Examples of single fragrance notes are: vanilla, lime, orange, grapefruit, rose, cedar, musk, hyacinth; you get the picture.  A fragrance is a combination of top, middle, and base notes.  The top notes of a fragrance oil are what you smell first, middle notes are smelled next, and finally base notes are smelled last.

What were the most popular, favorite fragrance notes of the people polled on our facebook page?

Before we blogged about the results of the favorite fragrance notes poll, we had to remove the “fragrances” from the polled list since those are not single fragrance notes.  Hope everyone understands why we had to do that.  Like mentioned before, a fragrance is a combination of fragrant notes, not a single note.

Here are the results of this question asked on our facebook page:  What is your personal favorite fragrance “note”?  If you don’t see your favorite note listed, please add to the list.

The most popular fragrance note with 730 votes was ROSE.

Vanilla came in second with 288 votes

Lime came in third place with 190 votes

The other fragrance notes that received votes are listed below:

Lavender- 97 votes
Gardenia – 92 votes
Strawberry- 49 votes
Jasmine- 38 votes
Sandalwood- 37 votes
Apple- 36 votes
Lemon- 32 votes
Coconut- 30 votes
Mango- 27 votes
Coffee- 21 votes
Brown Sugar- 20 votes
Cucumber- 18 votes
Lilac- 15 votes
Peach- 14 votes
Chocolate- 13 votes
Cotton Candy- 13 votes
Pineapple- 13 votes
Sweet pea- 12 votes
Peppermint- 12 votes
Cinnamon- 12 votes
Patchouli- 11 votes
Eucalyptus- 11 votes
Lily of the Valley- 11 votes

Fragrance notes that received votes of 10 votes or less are:  grapefruit, amber, cranberry, orange, caramel, cherry, buttercream, clove, ginger, bergamot, carnation, anise, lemongrass, oakmoss, chocolate, melon, almond, tulip, honeysuckle, honey, powder, maple, hazelnut, musk, tea tree, ylang ylang, fresh cut grass, bubblegum, pine, clover, fig, tea, pecan, hyacinth, cedar, fresh baked, jack fruit, peony, tuberose, neroli, sage, hydrangea, ivy, ozone, vetiver, heather, wine, yuzu, and Tonka bean.

natures garden fragrance oils

 

Coconut Vanilla Fragrance Oil

Saturday, June 29th, 2013

Coconut Vanilla Fragrance Oil

 

Eyes Open

 This particular polyvore set features Nature Garden’s Coconut Vanilla Fragrance Oil.  One of my favorite polyvore sets this week!  I love the use of pink and yellow together in this set; very summery (is that a word)?    Natures Garden Fragrance Oils are frequently used on Polyvore to create masterpiece sets like this one!  If you are not aware of the Polyvore Set contest Natures Garden is currently having, please visit the Contest Page on our website for more information.

natures gardennatures gardennatures gardennatures gardennatures gardennatures gardencoconut vanilla fragrancecarnation fragrance

Buttered Popcorn Fragrance Oil

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013
I Love Food!

One of Deborah’s (that’s me) favorite polyvores this week.  As some of you may know, I am on a diet once again.  I have lost a total of 12.5 pounds as of today!   Dieting (a word that I actually can’t stand) needs to be a life changing experience, not just something you do for a short period of time to lose weight.  Making the decision to become healthier should be your goal; although looking like a HOT MOMMA doesn’t sound bad either.  LOL!   That brings me to this polyvore I found.  When I saw this polyvore, I seriously drooled on my keyboard.  Tip for dieting success:  If you don’t bring high-sugar junk foods into your house, you will be more likely to succeed at losing weight.

 If you are interested in purchasing any of the items used in this polyvore, you will find links to them below.   Natures Garden Fragrance Oils  are frequently used by designers on Polyvore to create their “sets”.  Come join us on Polyvore and design your own!

Natures Garden Buttered Popcorn Fragrance Oil is shown in this polyvore.

 

Watermelon Fragrance Oil Featured

Friday, June 7th, 2013
Everything sweet!

Everything sweet! by janaa97 featuring lip makeup

Everything sweet is the name of this fun polyvore!     If you are interested in purchasing any of the products featured in this polyvore set, you will find links to them below.   Natures Garden Fragrance Oils are frequently used by designers on Polyvore to create their “sets”.  Come join us on Polyvore and design your own!

Natures Garden Watermelon Fragrance Oil is shown in this polyvore.

Sunflower Oil on Polyvore

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013
Untitled #788

Each day Deborah will choose her favorite Polyvore Design and post it to our blog.  All of the products used in this polyvore are listed below; in case you would like to do some shopping!  Natures Garden Soap Making Supplies are frequently used by designers on Polyvore to create their “sets”.  Come join us on Polyvore and design your own!

Natures Garden Sunflower Oil is shown in this polyvore.

 

Skincare Products for Sensitive Skin

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

fragrance oils NG

1.  What’s your name & Your Company Name – Marcy Moorhead, owner of Willow Bay Naturals

2.  Why did you decide to go into business?  What was your motivation?  How long have you been in business?  I had been buying handmade soap from other people and decided to research how to make it myself. I have really sensitive skin and always had problems finding skin care products that worked for me that didn’t irritate my skin. I had an online sales business previously, that I had just recently sold and I was looking for my next project. So, I decided to put my time and efforts into learning how to make handmade soap and other natural skincare products. I started the business in 2009.

3.  What products do you make and sell?  I make cold process soap, lotion, lip balm, soy candles, air freshener, and essential oil aromatherapy products.

4.  What are your business goals?  I would like to make a decent living at doing what I love. It is still a work in progress, trying to streamline my product line into what I enjoy making and what is most popular.

5.  What are some products you use from Natures Garden?  Many of my favorite and most popular fragrance oils are from Natures Garden – Australian Bamboo Grass, Bite Me, Lily of the Valley fragrance oil, Loving Spell, Green Clover & Aloe, and Clean Cotton are all top sellers in Soap, Candles, and Room & Linen Spray.

Your Website:  www.WillowBayNaturals.com

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/WillowBayNaturals

Twitter: www.twitter.com/WBNaturals

Blog:  http://www.willowbaynaturals.com/blog.asp

Business Advice Unemployment Claims

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

business woman

How Am I Supposed to Keep Unemployment Insurance Costs Down When the State Awards Benefits to People Who Can’t Even Show Up For Work? Argh!

One of the most frustrating aspects of managing a small business that seems to happen to the best of bosses is when that one former employee who was terminated for excessive absences or tardiness is granted unemployment benefits. We all know how chronic absenteeism can increase labor costs, hurt morale and lower productivity. Many small businesses have adopted a “No Fault Points System” as an effective way to deal with attendance problems. A well-crafted point system can be used to both reward workers for positive attendance habits, and to identify negative attendance trends and guide progressive disciplinary action for problem employees.

A “No Fault Points System” like this is intended to eliminate the uncomfortable questioning of the reason for the absence and/or tardiness. You don’t want to invade anyone’s privacy. It also serves to eliminate accusations of subjectivity and favoritism. Under a “No Fault” system, the employee receives a certain number of points for their absences as outlined in the policy, regardless of the reason for the absence. As employees accrue more points, they receive increasingly severe levels of discipline. And after a certain period of time of improvement, the points are expunged from an employee’s attendance record for disciplinary purposes.

In some cases employers have crafted the policy to be that once an employee accumulates the maximum number of points allowed as outlined in the policy the employee is terminated.

Unemployment Insurance is For Employees Who Lose Their Job Through No Fault of Their Own

Since unemployment insurance is intended to provide workers whose jobs have been terminated through no fault of their own, an employee who was terminated under the “No Fault” points system who knew about the policy should be disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits, right?

You would think so, but not necessarily. When you terminate an employee for excessive absenteeism and/or tardiness, the employee is not automatically disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits. This is the frustrating part. Although a violation may be grounds for termination, it may not be a reason for a denial of unemployment benefits. No-fault attendance policies by their definition do not require showing that a violation was in an employee’s control; you may have to convince an unemployment hearing judge that each violation leading up to the termination was an intentional act of misconduct before unemployment benefits will be denied.

There is a minimum amount of proof you must provide to the state unemployment office. You must prove the employee’s absences and/or tardiness were willful misconduct and this can sometimes be very difficult to do because what YOU consider to be willful misconduct and what the state considers to be willful misconduct are often two different things.

You must show that the employee willfully disregarded your business interests and you must present specific information on the final incident, the straw that broke the camel’s back so to speak. It needs to be focused and identify how that incident was willful and most importantly how the employee knew his or her actions would result in termination.

A common employer’s mistake is to state that the company has a no-fault attendance policy and believes that an attendance points’ violation is enough to result in a denial of unemployment benefits when it is not. The legal standard of willful or intentional misconduct is tougher than a policy violation.

The Difference Between Being Sick and Willful Misconduct

“Misconduct” under the law of unemployment compensation is basically something that the claimant did or failed to do that

  1. Caused a problem for the company, (certainly not showing up for work causes your company problems)
  2. Was in violation of a rule, a policy, or a law, (assuming all small businesses have an attendance policy, this is a slam dunk too ) and
  3. Was within the claimant’s power to control or avoid. (This is where it gets sticky.) Being sick isn’t their own fault. Since unemployment insurance is for employees who lose their job through no fault of their own, being sick isn’t misconduct and they may be awarded benefits. However, when the employee fails to follow policies that indicate the steps they must take when they are going to be absent, (most of the time this is in their control) they could be denied benefits. Make more sense now?

Good Reasons To Miss Work?

The law of unemployment compensation says you are guilty of misconduct if you are absent or tardy from work, only when you both FAIL TO GIVE ADEQUATE NOTICE for the absence AND you did NOT HAVE A GOOD REASON for the absence or tardiness.

Some examples of such good reasons include:

  • Illness
  • Accident
  • Lack of child care
  • Serious illness
  • Death of Close relative

So as you can see, the above would result in points but under the law of unemployment compensation, they would not be considered “misconduct.” Those aren’t incidents where you can assign fault to the employee.

However, incidents of absenteeism or tardiness could involve misconduct if the employee violated a part of the policy within his/her control, and you can show documentation of progressive discipline proving the employee knew that if they did it again, they would be terminated. For example, if the employee claims he was ill, but fails to call in advance as instructed but COULD have, AND fails to furnish required medical documentation as outlined in your policy, that’s misconduct. You’d still need to show that you gave the employee a final warning that knew the employee knew his or her failure to do what he could control would result in termination.

Having a Well-crafted “No Fault Points System” for Managing Attendance Can Be a Wonderful Tool But

You still need to do the hard work, the face-to-face progressive discipline for misconduct if you want to avoid paying unemployment claims when discharging someone for poor attendance. Simply assigning points until they hit a magic number may not count as progressive discipline that can justify termination in the eyes of the state unemployment office. Just make sure you outline in your policy what is considered willful or intentional misconduct. The difference is in what the employee could control. Absent due to illness, they can’t control. Failing to call (providing they’re physically able) and provide medical documentation IS within their control and is misconduct.

Make sure you give a final written warning for misconduct prior to discharge and don’t let time lapse between final incident of misconduct and the termination.

There are some additional risks. If you have 15 or more employees, you must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) If you have 50+ you must comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA),

The American with Disabilities Act (ADA), was amended effective Jan. 1, 2009, under which most absences due to any type of physical or mental impairment are now covered by the ADA. In the past they were not serious enough to constitute a “disability” under the ADA. Thus, many more plaintiffs than previously can now claim that they were terminated because of their “disability,” because of absences due to their disability. They will argue that a no-fault attendance policy does not meet employers’ obligations to reasonably accommodate their disability.

Pitfalls to Avoid:

The most common mistakes employers make that cause difficulty in unemployment claims based upon a discharge are:

  • Failing to give a final warning prior to discharge;
  • Inconsistent discipline between two similarly-situated employees;
  • Failing to follow the stated disciplinary policy;
  • Telling the Unemployment Office official that the employee was terminated for an “accumulation” of incidents, instead of a specific final incident;
  • Letting too much time pass between the final incident and the discharge;
  • Telling the Unemployment Office that the claimant was “unable” to satisfy performance standards
  • Allowing the impression that the termination was really based upon a personality dispute; and
  • Failing to present firsthand witnesses and proper documentation when needed.

Keeping the number of unemployment insurance claims filed by former employees to a minimum can produce significant payroll tax savings.

Also, you should monitor all unemployment insurance claims made against your account and should be prepared to contest any claims you believe to be improper. While contesting an unfavorable claim against your business requires more of your time, particularity if you have to drive some distance to appear, don’t hesitate to ask the hearing judge if you can appear by telephone. Make sure you have your witnesses with you. Any employer who participates in the claims process has a better chance of keeping unwarranted claims and charges against the account at bay.

Last but not least be picky when hiring. Your employees count on you to be picky so they don’t have to pick up the slack of someone who just really doesn’t want to work. And they also count on you to be understanding and fair when something happens that’s not within their control. And your customers count on you to be picky when you hire too!

The better the employee you hire, the better your customer service, the better your employee morale, the greater likelihood your workplace is safe, and the lower the chance is that you will have to let someone go and ultimately wind up paying unemployment insurance. The liability process begins from the day you hire. If an employee starts having attendance problems early, in the introductory or probationary period, address the problem immediately.

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About the Author:  Beryl Coder, of Eco Musings,  has over twenty years human resources executive experience in large multi-state corporations with over 5k employees as well as small family owned businesses with less than 15. She now owns her own small business. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be relied on as legal advice.