Unemployment compensation is typically awarded to individuals who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. It is designed to provide temporary income to those people while they search for a new job. However, as an employer, it is your right to protest unemployment claims. If you believe your former employee is not a candidate for unemployment, this guide will help you contest it.
- If one of your former employees is filing a claim, and you believe they don’t meet the criteria for benefits, it is in your best interest to protest it as soon as possible.
- If you fail to protest the claim, you will have to pay the employee unemployment compensation. Unemployment claims will also raise your tax rates.
- Filing a protest does not mean you are off the hook, but it initiates the legal process of contesting the claim.
- After filing a protest, it is crucial that you gather the proper documentation needed to effectively combat the unemployment claim.
- Employees who quit of their own volition or were fired due to wilful misconduct are not eligible to receive unemployment benefits.
- The more unemployment claims you have, the more opportunities for errors there are. This can be especially difficult for larger employers.
- Unemployment Tracker can help you manage your claims and effectively protest them!
The Initial Process of Protesting an Unemployment Claim
If you receive a notice that a former employee has filed for unemployment benefits and you think the claimant should be disqualified from receiving benefits, you can file a protest. The deadline for you to file the protest will be present on the notice.
If you file a late or incomplete response, you will forgo your right to protest the claim. You may also be fined, as well. It is crucial that you file the protest correctly and in a timely fashion. The process of the unemployment claim can be broken down into the following steps:
1. Receiving Notification of the Claim
When one of your former employees files an unemployment benefits claim, you will receive a notification. The information will include a questionnaire asking for additional details from the employer.
This will help the state and employment commission determine the eligibility of unemployment income benefits. This questionnaire is sometimes referred to as a separation report.
2. Verifying the Claim Details
You will need to check if the individual was actually employed by your business. However, this does not include temporary staff or independent contractors. You will need to verify all information on the report, such as dates of employment and wages. You will also need to provide the details surrounding the event that resulted in the claim. Make sure that you report all of this information to the unemployment officer.
Deciding to Protest the Unemployment Claim
If you determine that the person filing the unemployment claim should not be eligible to receive benefits, then it is in your best interest to file a protest. If you decide not to protest the claim, you will have to pay the employee compensation, and it will also raise your tax rates.
Keep in mind that the unemployment commission will likely rule in the employee’s favor if their work hours were restricted or they were fired through no fault of their own.
An employee does not have a right to unemployment assistance if any of the following circumstances apply.
The Employee Left Their Job Voluntarily
If the employee indicated an intention to quit or did not show up when they were scheduled to work, these aspects need to be documented. In addition, if they gave a formal notice, this disqualifies them from receiving unemployment benefits.
The Employee Engaged in Wilful Misconduct
Wilful misconduct means that the employee failed to meet the normal standards of behavior. This includes being intoxicated, falsifying information, sleeping on the job, or stealing. There are also other examples, such as failure to follow instructions, excessive absences, or an intentional violation of the company’s rules and policies.
What to Do if You Decide to Protest
The most important part of the process is gathering the appropriate documentation. This will be used as evidence to substantiate your case. This documentation should include the following.
- Proof of attendance.
- A letter from the employee if they requested a reduction in work hours.
- A resignation letter from the employee.
- Documents relating to any disciplinary actions that resulted in a termination.
- Additional documentation with regards to the event leading to termination.
Upon gathering all the relevant documentation, copies should be sent to the unemployment officer that is conducting the investigation. It is vital to respond on time to the state agency’s requests for information and provide this separation documentation.
What Happens Next?
Once the proper documentation has been submitted to the unemployment commission, it is up to them to make a decision. This is known as the determination, and it could take a while for the commission to respond back with their determination.
If the commission rules in your favor, then the unemployment claim is rendered invalid, and you will not have to suffer the consequences. However, if the determination has sided in favor of the claimant, you will be given instructions on how to appeal this.
The information will explain clearly how and why they came to this determination, and it is up to you to decide if it is relevant enough to appeal the process once again. The number of times you can appeal varies from state to state.
If you decide to appeal the determination, a hearing may need to be held where the case will be reviewed again. Upon the conclusion of this hearing, the commission will make a determination once again.
Manage Your Unemployment Claims with Help from Unemployment Tracker
As you can see, dealing with all of the steps to protest and keep track of unemployment claim can be a headache for any organization. It can be frustrating and time-consuming to gather the information needed to protest an unemployment claim. It is always in your best interest to appeal any unwarranted claims, as you may have to pay a higher tax rate.
If you are looking for a solution that can help you manage your unemployment insurance claims and make sure you meet deadlines, Unemployment Tracker can help you.
From our easy to use software solution for internal teams to Unemployment Tracker Complete that provides you with a dedicated team of experts who will take the whole process off your plate, we are here to help. If you are overwhelmed by unemployment claims and aren’t sure where to turn, reach out to us today or click below to take our free assessment.