An Employer’s Guide To Unemployment Insurance Benefits
The states provide Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits to those who lost their jobs through no fault of their own. Though this financial relief measure is a federal-state program, the amount is collected from employers in the form of state unemployment insurance taxes.
Since the taxes collected from employers are used to pay benefits, it becomes necessary for employers to know more about Unemployment Insurance benefits.
Here, let’s look at UI benefits and employers’ responsibilities when a former employee files a claim for unemployment.
About Unemployment Insurance
Individuals who are sacked through no fault of their own can file for unemployment benefits and meet their financial needs for a certain period of time. It must be noted that all not unemployed qualify for unemployment benefits. One must meet several eligibility requirements to be eligible for benefits. Some of them include, but not limited to:
- Should be able, available, or actively seek employment
- Should submit work search reports that include details about interviews attended, address of employers, etc.
- Should work for a minimum number of hours under an employee and earn minimum wage as required by the respective state
However, the amount and duration for which an unemployed person can receive benefits varies depending on the state.
Responsibilities Of An Employer Prior And Post Employee Layoff
An employer requires to carry out certain responsibilities when he/she fires a worker. They include:
1. Notifying Employee About UI benefits
When a worker is fired, regardless of the circumstances, the employer must issue the copy of how to file for UI benefits form and other related information. As per the law, the information must be provided to the employee within 30 days of the lay off. Note that the form must be given to both temporarily and permanently fired employees.
2. Responding To Department Of Labor on time
If an employee has worked for 15 months under an employer, then he/she is considered a base period employer. He/she will be required to provide accurate information of the employee to the Department Of Labor (DOL) timely.
Despite providing the information timely, if the employer’s account gets charged for the benefits paid, then he/she can right to object to the benefits, provided the employee was fired under disqualifying circumstances.
If an employee has worked for 8 weeks under an employee before filing unemployment, the employer is considered as an interested party to the claim. Such employers will have the right to object an employee’s eligibility for UI benefits.
If an employee’s claim gets approved, the objecting interested party employers will receive a copy of the approved claim, and he/she will be allowed to request a hearing within 10 working days. But if the employer hasn’t submitted wage and separation details to DOL timely, he/she cannot request a hearing.
3. Reporting To The DOL
If an employee fails to report to work after being recalled, the employer must notify DOL in writing within 5 business days. Some of the details that must be included in the notice are:
- Employee name
- Job position
- Social Security number
- Recall date
- The approach used to recall the employee
If the DOL determines that there was no good cause for failing to return to work, it will disapprove the claim.
What Happens When An Employee Reopens The Claim?
When a former employee tries to reopen the claim, the DOL will contact the employer, provided he/she is an interested party to the claim. The employer should provide necessary details that are required to determine the eligibility of the employee.
The employer can also provide additional information to determine if the claimant has the right to receive benefits.
Employers play a key role in UI benefits program by contributing to its funds. However, under any circumstance, the employer cannot withhold or deduct the amount that is to be paid as a state UI tax from employees’ wages.
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