Unemployment Insurance Webinar


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Unemployment Insurance is the only employer tax that can be controlled. Successful UI cost control efforts begins with professional claims administration.

Discover first-hand from a former UI Deputy exactly the thought process a State Agency considers when issuing entitlement decisions. Learn how your efforts can help prevail in UI decisions at both the initial claims and appeals stage.

Join G&A Partners and Jeffrey Martin, a former UI Deputy and UI Specialist for the "Controlling Unemployment Insurance (UI) Costs can be Painless" webinar.

Published in: Business, Economy & Finance
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Unemployment Insurance Webinar

  1. 1. Unemployment Insurance Basics for Employers Webinar
  2. 2. Overview •  How UI works •  Why you should take strong actions against frivolous UI charging •  How to protest those claims •  Appeals
  3. 3. UI Basics •  System based on fault, not need. •  UI benefits are for those who are unemployed through no fault of their own. •  System is financed entirely by employers. •  More UI claims than all other employment- related claims and lawsuits combined. •  All 50 states have similar systems under federal guidelines from DOL.
  4. 4. POLL QUESTION •  What is your role in your organization?
  5. 5. •  To support and reinforce the US economy. •  To provide temporary, partial wage replacement. •  To encourage greater participation into the labor market. Purpose of UI
  6. 6. Coverage •  Almost all employees. •  Independent contractors are not covered. •  Some other minor exceptions for certain industries.
  7. 7. Wage Base •  All States have limitation on amounts for taxing purpose. •  Example: Texas, only the first $9000 ("taxable wage base") of an employee's earnings is subject to the state UI. In Utah its $30,300. •  Only $7000 of that will be subject to the federal UI tax (FUTA).
  8. 8. Unemployment Insurance laws are different for each State Entitlement decisions are based on laws for that specific State
  9. 9. Federal control •  Federal-State program. •  Federally funded. •  Federal government regulates all UI programs.
  10. 10. Employer Responsibility •  Provide accurate and timely information on separations. •  Submit all requested forms, documentation to State Agency. •  Participate in the appeals process.
  11. 11. Claimant Requirements Eligibility to UI Benefits Able and Available to work. Monetarily Eligible Entitlement to UI Benefits Separation from employment. Other remuneration.
  12. 12. Eligibility for President Be a natural born citizen of the United States. Be at least thirty-five years old. Have been a permanent resident in the United States for at least fourteen years. Entitlement to become President Receive 270 electoral votes. Take the oath of office. Eligibility – Entitlement example
  13. 13. Eligibility Conditions •  Medically able to work. •  Actively searching for full-time work. •  Authorized to work in the U.S. (claimant has to be able to fulfill I-9 requirements). •  File claim forms on time. •  Engage in reemployment activities as directed.
  14. 14. Entitlement •  Separation of employment through no fault of your own. •  Weeks of “other pay” can impact the claimants UI claim. –  Vacation, severance, wages-in-lieu of notice, accrued sick time.
  15. 15. Base Period •  “Base period” is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to the date of the initial claim •  Specific period of time preceding the filing of the UI claim in which the reported wages determine how much benefits the claimant receives and which employers are charged the benefits.
  16. 16. Base Period
  17. 17. Why Protest Claims •  UI claims activities influences the employers rates. (UI is an experience rated system) •  Circumvents making future expenditures related to the UI program (e.g. Voluntary Tax Payments)
  18. 18. Types of Separation §  Most common type of employment separation §  Burden of proof is always on the claimant. §  Most common type of separation that is most challenging for employers. §  Requires greater client participation in processing responses to State Agency. Types of Separations that a UI deputy considers. Quit/Resignation Discharge/ Termination §  The type of separation that the UI program was designed to help. §  Requires that is aware of requests for reassignment rule. §  Can result in an award of benefits if he/she believes that it was a forced retirement. Layoff/Lack of Work Retirement
  19. 19. What UI claims should Employer protest? Any separation in which the conduct, behavior, or actions of the employee was the catalyst for the employment separation. •  Voluntary quit/resignation –  Without good cause. •  Discharged for willful misconduct –  Undermine the employers interests/violation/safety. •  Failure to adhere to policy –  Attendance/tardiness/job abandonment.
  20. 20. What Does An Employer Need to Show? •  Voluntary work separation –  Show how a reasonable employee would not have quit for such a reason. •  Involuntary work separation –  Show that the discharge resulted from a specific act of misconduct connected with the work that happened close in time to the discharge, and –  That the claimant either knew or should have known that discharge could occur for such a reason.
  21. 21. QUIT - Burden of Proof of claimant To be successful in a UI proceeding, a former employee/claimant must satisfy: 1.  The reason for leaving was attributed to the employer. 2.  The employer was given a reasonable opportunity to address the issue (s) alleged to be the employer fault. 3.  That the claimant took all reasonable steps to preserve their employment prior to initiating the separation.
  22. 22. QUIT: Essential to winning claims Employer needs information that includes direct testimony and/or documentation to identify the specific reason (s) given by the former employee for leaving his/her employment: •  Always request from separated employee to submit resignations in writing which states the reason for separation. •  First hand witness to the reasons for leaving, to refute the claimants allegation. No hearsay testimony or statements.
  23. 23. Discharge: The Burden of Proof Whenever a company has discharged (terminated) an employee, they must establish that there was a deliberate misconduct and/or willful disregard of the employer’s interest.
  24. 24. DISCHARGE: What is misconduct? •  An act of wanton or willful disregard of the employer’s interest. •  A deliberate violation of the employer’s rules. •  Intentional and substantial disregard of employer’s interest. •  Negligence in such a degree or recurrence as to manifest culpability, wrongful intent, or malevolent design.
  25. 25. DISCHARGE: The essentials for a favorable decision Misconduct •  What happened that, had it not happened, the employee would still be employed. •  Must be behavioral conduct. Awareness •  Company must have made employee aware of intolerable behavioral conduct.
  26. 26. Job in Jeopardy •  Employer must prove that employee was put on notice that the conduct, if continued, could jeopardize his/her employment. Final Incident/Action Taken •  When did behavioral misconduct reoccur? •  How close to that time did the termination take place? DISCHARGE: The essentials for a favorable decision continued
  27. 27. Most challenging UI claims: ATTENDENCE and TARDINESS Discharges attributed to excessive absenteeism or tardiness are the most common and challenging UI claims to win. What employers need to help with these type of claims: •  Have an attendance policy. •  Enforce the attendance policy. •  Have employees sign an acknowledgment of attendance policy. •  Retain attendance records. •  Document both verbal and written warnings. •  Enforce policy universally among all employees.
  28. 28. POLL QUESTION •  Do you currently have an attendance policy?
  29. 29. Misuse of Company Computers •  Harassment •  Threats •  Theft of confidential information •  Pornography •  Gambling •  Sabotage of files •  Locking your computers
  30. 30. Gross Misconduct •  Violence •  Threats •  Theft •  Engaging in a felony on the job
  31. 31. Poor Performance Cases •  Major challenge for employers •  Inability and incompetence are not misconduct •  Best strategy for employer: offer documentation, first hand testimony; discuss past satisfactory performance. •  Be sure to explain that the claimant had previously demonstrated an ability to perform the duties beforehand.
  32. 32. Easiest Ways to Lose a UI Case •  Late claim response or appeal. •  Lack of firsthand witnesses. •  Lack of documentation – warnings, policies, attendance logs, e-mails. •  Imprecise terminology, such as “inability” or “insubordination”. •  Not enforcing the policy universally. •  Making the case personal.
  33. 33. Development of Policies When drafting a policy: •  Be sure to clearly outline your expectations from an employee. •  Consider including a Social Media policy. •  Outline what the consequences will be for an employee who does violate the policy. •  Have employees sign a form acknowledging receipt of the policy. •  Be sure that the employee receives a copy of the policy and be sure to let them know that they are always welcomed to receive a copy of the policies if they request it.
  34. 34. Identifying First Hand Witness •  Claimant’s immediate supervisor or member of management who discharged the claimant. •  Member of management who was involved in the progressive discipline of the claimant. •  Claimant’s co-worker or any other individual who witnessed the incident resulting in the claimant’s termination.
  35. 35. Appeals •  Be prepared to testify to a chronological order of the events leading up to the separation. •  Be positive, don’t be argumentative with the claimant or the hearing officer. •  Listen carefully to questions being asked and answer these question briefly and specifically. •  Be respectful to the Hearing Officer.
  36. 36. Questions? Please send all questions to: info@gnapartners.com