“Managing Unemployment Claims for Holiday Seasonal Workers”

The holiday season is almost here: Retailers and other holiday related industries will be ramping up and adding seasonal workers to supplement the extra workload.

The term ‘holiday seasonal worker’ is synonymous with ‘temporary worker,’ which of course refers to employees with a short, but defined period of employment. After the work period is done, have you considered the fact that any holiday seasonal worker who has earned the minimum level of compensation during the base period is eligible to file an unemployment claim?

Business owners and human resource practitioners should ensure their companies are prepared for holiday seasonal workers, not just during their period of employment, but for what happens after the workers’ employment has ended.

Some thoughts to consider in regard to seasonal workers:

Minimum Qualification Requirements – Is the employee earning enough during their holiday season employment for the company to be liable for part of their unemployment claim. The earnings requirements vary significantly by state.

Disqualifications – The burden of proof is on the party that initiated the end of the work relationship. Claimants must prove a good cause connected with quitting if they are the one who left the position. If the claimant was fired or laid off, the responsibility lies with the employer to prove that it was a result of misconduct that related to the claimant’s work.

Some common separation reasons include

  • Willingly quit for personal reasons
  • Fired for misconduct or wrongdoing related to their work
  • Receipt of wages in lieu of notice, (i.e. no obligation payment plus no advance termination notice)

Be sure that the employee understands the planned timeframe of their employment period. Not only could this communication prevent misunderstandings, but also enables them to financially plan for the future after their seasonal source of income ends.

Please keep in mind that unemployment management differs from state-to-state. Each state has its own set of regulations and guidelines. Visitlink to the US Department of Labor’s Comparison of State UI Laws – a great resource for checking states’ restrictions on seasonal unemployment eligibility.

Have questions about all of this? Let us help you make sense of it. Visit us on the web at unemploymenttracker.com.

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