If you receive an unemployment claim from an employee who was fired, what should you do? Each unemployment case is unique and there are many variables that can impact their eligibility. Employees that commit “misconduct” or “voluntary quit” may be disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits. State Unemployment Tax Act or SUTA is the only employer tax that is variable and the number of employees collecting unemployment benefits under your account will affect what your company pays. Keeping a low SUTA rate can save a considerable amount of money. Clearly documented HR policies can protect your company.
DID YOU KNOW? When an employer loses an unemployment claim, their taxes increase. The claim will impact taxes negatively for not only one year, but for the following three years!
Your company handbook is the best way to establish expectations. It can define corporate culture and foster a sense of belonging while also outlining policies regarding tardiness, attendance, drugs, company property, confidentiality, expected behavior and more. Employees must read and understand the handbook policies by signing an acknowledgement form that is kept in their personnel file. While some of the policies might seem obvious to most, it protects against employees saying they were “unaware” and then securing unemployment benefits at your expense.
If an employee violates a company policy, you need to follow company disciplinary actions. Depending on the violation that could mean a verbal warning, written warning, suspension, or immediate termination. Be very specific about the inappropriate behavior/action. Follow up with written documentation of your conversation and ask for your employee’s signature, date and time.
With warnings, employees need to understand expectations moving forward. Provide a detailed performance plan outlining exactly what is expected of them and by when. You could include regular one-on-one meetings that are part of the performance plan. Continue to document any other violations such as negligence or intentional disregard of duties. If the performance plan is not met or they violate a company policy again, you must provide written notice explaining reasons for dismissal. Keep a copy of this dated document with both employee and employer signatures.
DID YOU KNOW? Illinois’ SUTA rates vary based on your success in protesting unwarranted unemployment claims. The range is between .55 – 7.35% of each employee’s first $12,960 of wages in 2016. This equates to $881.28 of possible savings per employee per year!
MidwestHR, a Chicago PEO (Professional Employer Organization), is a top HR outsourcing firm with a team of experts ready to fight unemployment claims. Whether you’re a local or multi-state employer, we handle cases from any state. We will also provide advice on HR policies to guard against future risk. Instead of pulling senior talent away from daily responsibilities to figure out how to protest a claim, we can help you get ahead of the problem and put policies in place to protect you. Give us a call 630-836-3000 to get started!