NOT Responding to Unemployment Claims Can Be Very Costly
Many states are beginning to impose penalties on employers who do not respond to an unemployment claim. One of the penalties is that the state revokes the employer’s appeal rights. The appeal is crucial because it gives the employer the opportunity to refuse or fight the unemployment claim. If employers do not fight a claim, and the claim is paid, it can result in unemployment rates rising, restrictions at the hearings and additional monetary penalties.
States that currently have penalties are Washington, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, Vermont, Wisconsin, Tennessee, North Carolina, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Arkansas and Georgia.
The unemployment claims process begins with a notice that is sent by the state. Some state laws mandate the claim be mailed to the location where the employee last worked. These states are California, Delaware, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee and Washington D.C.
The process continues with requiring firsthand knowledge and documentation from the employer. The employer is expected to provide a detailed description of the reason for separation, dates of employment, a copy of the resignation letter (if the employee resigned), a copy of the final incident (if the employee was discharged), previous warnings and the company policy.
The best ways to avoid losing claims are:
- Investigate and document all incidents of policy violation
- Follow consistent progressive discipline practices
- Process a “No Call/No Show” as a voluntary quit Obtain written letters of resignation when possible
- Attend and participate in all unemployment claims hearings
- DOCUMENT! DOCUMENT! DOCUMENT!