Unemployment Insurance Appeals – Information for Employers
When confronted with a claim for unemployment compensation benefits by a former employee, or current employee, you are likely to have many questions such as:
- What are the eligibility requirements for a former employee to receive benefits?
- Why did I receive a Notice of Unemployment Insurance Claim when the person is still working for me part-time?
- Why is a short-term employee eligible for UI benefits?
- Why did I receive a Notice of Unemployment Insurance Claim when this person only worked for me for a week?
- Why is there only a ten-day response time to the Notice of Unemployment Insurance
- Claim Filed?
- Where should I send my response to the Notice of Unemployment Insurance Claim Filed?
- Can individuals who are not U.S. citizens collect UI benefits?
- What should I do if my former employee has turned down job opportunities?
- How much is this going to cost us?
However, not every employee who has lost a job is entitled to unemployment benefits. Employees are eligible for unemployment benefits only if they are out of work through no fault of their own. Employees who voluntarily quit, or were terminated for misconduct, generally will not be eligible to receive benefits. But not all actions that result in termination are serious enough to qualify as misconduct and may not be enough to justify a denial of benefits to a terminated worker.
To disqualify an employee from receiving unemployment benefits, the misconduct generally must be something that substantially injures the company’s business interests. For example, revealing trade secrets, sexually harassment of coworkers, chronic tardiness, repeated absences, extreme insubordination, intoxication on the job, and dishonesty are typical forms of misconduct sufficient to justify a denial of benefits. Attorney Evan A. Gould can help you to defend baseless claims for benefits by reviewing, collecting and communicating evidence to the claim investigators and if necessary, can represent you and your company in an appeal of an erroneous decision to award benefits.
There are many valid reasons an employer may choose to contest an unemployment claim. One common and understandable reason is where the employer is concerned that their unemployment insurance rates will go up. It is true that the amount the employer pays toward unemployment insurance is based in part on the number of claims made against the employer by former employees. Defeating an unwarranted claim will likely help to keep those costs down.
Another situation that may warrant an employer’s decision to contest a claim for unemployment benefits is where there is a likelihood that the former employee may also file a wrongful termination claim against the employer. Through the unemployment application process an employer can discover the employee’s version of events and this allows the employer the opportunity to begin gathering evidence from both the employee and, from potential witnesses. This may prove very helpful later in defending against the wrongful termination claim.
Should you receive a Notice of Claim or have questions concerning whether to contest the employee’s claim, you should seek assistance from an attorney who is knowledgeable in this area and who has your best interests in mind.