What Happens When an Employee Files for Unemployment?

Letting employees go is never easy. But if you’re dealing with staggering profits or unproductive workers, you might not have a choice.

When your employees become unemployed, they may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits. More employers are receiving unemployment claims, causing their experience ratings to be re-evaluated and their tax rates to rise.

There are two main reasons why employers should care about whether their ex-workers are collecting unemployment, and why they should try to prevent an improper claim from being paid:

  • You want to keep your tax rates as low as possible. Your state unemployment tax rate is directly affected by the number of ex-employees who collected unemployment after leaving your business.
  • Your actions may discourage a lawsuit if there’s a chance that the worker is going to sue you for discrimination or wrongful discharge. And, if a lawsuit is filed, you may increase your chances of winning. If you win an unemployment compensation hearing, you’re more likely to win in a later suit for wrongful termination, where the stakes may be much higher. On the other hand, if you lose in the unemployment matter, you may opt to reduce your risks of a large judgment and settle with the worker rather than going to trial.

What happens if you receive an unemployment claim?

When a former employee makes a claim through a state unemployment agency, you’ll be contacted to verify their reason for not being employed through something called a “Notice of Unemployment Insurance Claim Filed”. On this form, you’ll be prompted for a number of details like:

  • Basic information on your former employee, including the reason for separation. These reasons may indicate that it was voluntary, that they quit, were laid off (for lack of work), or that it was due to a trade dispute.
  • Information about any compensation that you have or will pay.

When can an employee file for unemployment?

An employee that quits a job is typically ineligible for unemployment compensation unless it was for “good cause”. Most states define good cause as a condition that would have resulted in harm or injury if the employee did not quit. Good cause usually includes the following:

The health or life of the employee was endangered;

The employee was subject to intolerable working conditions, such as sexual harassment or discrimination and the employer refused to remedy the problem;

  • The job was relocated to a location that substantially increased an employee’s commute time or the job was relocated to another state;
  • The employee’s spouse relocated to another state for a new job; and
  • The employee had a compelling personal reason, such as taking care of a sick spouse.
  • In most states, good cause for quitting a job excludes such reasons as career advancement or job dissatisfaction.

On the other hand, if an employer fires an employee for misconduct that was deliberate and repeated, it will disqualify the employee in most states. Common types of misconduct include:

  • Frequent tardiness;
  • Unexcused absences;
  • Violation of the rules of the workplace;
  • Intoxication on the job;
  • Sleeping on the job;
  • Dishonesty;
  • Extreme insubordination;
  • Sexual harassment; and
  • Actions that cause substantial injury to the employer’s business.

Misconduct does not include behavior that amounts only to poor performance like carelessness, lack of skill, or errors made in good faith.

How to qualify for unemployment benefits in Nevada

There are many stipulations as to qualifying for unemployment benefits in Nevada. Although we could list them here in this newsletter, we thought it would be best to send you directly to the best sites that contain the information needed.

Please visit the following websites for more information:

Collecting Benefits in Nevada – https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/collecting-unemployment-benefits-nevada.html?fbclid=IwAR0Am3-U8s9zjITJ6pBcQIR7nwk4IpNA99VUyhaMQJJjJbLPn38CZJ8LVww

Nevada Unemployment Insurance https://www.benefits.gov/benefit/1767?fbclid=IwAR0CSM5pLNqfgTamQq5ARv_9NSfK47yheUPmc9uX6WgEBfcTteAGqD_pM6E

Length of Employment Needed https://www.aboutunemployment.org/eligibility-length/nevada/?fbclid=IwAR1p-b1TVm8g4FnoXUT7wHc0KAavnGLc7mcWxGFRfIl8ixLGb9G-XDPJAuo

How long would an employee have to be at a job to receive unemployment?

To be eligible for unemployment benefits, a person must have at least some minimum amount of work experience within the last 12 to 18 months before filing for benefits.

Each state has a different formula for determining the minimum amount of work needed to obtain benefits in that state. Most states require that the employee worked at least some part of two different calendar quarters within the past 12 to 18 months. A large percentage of states also have a specific dollar amount of wages that must have been earned.

Your local unemployment office should be able to tell you what the minimum is in your state.

You should know what your state’s minimum is and think about setting up a probationary period for new hires that is less than the minimum time that would qualify a worker for benefits.

To learn more on how to calculate these amounts, please feel free to reach-out to us here at SW HR Consultingat 702-979-2119 as we would be glad to partner with you through these important steps.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at info@swhrconsulting.com or 702-979-2119.

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