Posts Tagged ‘Unemployment Law’

18 Tips for NC Employers to Reduce Unemployment Costs

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

Employees in North Carolina who lose their jobs through no fault of their own are eligible for unemployment insurance benefits if they worked and reduce_unemployment_costs had sufficient earnings in the base period, and are actively looking for work.  Employees who are terminated for misconduct are disqualified for the duration of the unemployment period.  While it may appear that employers have little control over unemployment decisions and costs, there are steps that you can take to manage the cost of your unemployment insurance and the outcomes of your hearings.

  1. Hire the right people.   Many unemployment problems stem from hiring the wrong people. Screen job applicants for skills, experience and training required for the job.  Present candidates with a realistic picture of the job and company culture.  Conduct assessments to assist in determining job fit. Do background checks.
  2. Provide onboarding, training, and a work “buddy” to help mentor the new employee for a successful start.
  3. Ensure that employees acknowledge in writing receipt of the Employee Handbook that outlines policies that will guide their employment.
  4. If you make a hiring mistake (everyone does at some time), you are an experience-rated employer, and the employee lacks the skills to perform the job, terminate within 100 days of hire and request non-charging.
  5. Request non-charging if the reason the employee left was because of domestic violence or military spouse relocations.
  6. Train managers on providing and documenting performance feedback to employees.
  7. Train managers on documenting policy violations and disciplinary actions in a timely manner when necessary, and how this can impact unemployment claims.  For the employer to prevail on a claim for discharge for failure to perform work duties, there must be at least three performance warnings in the 12 months prior to termination.
  8. Conduct employee opinion surveys to identify and resolve workplace issues, engage employees, and increase retention.
  9. Respond promptly (within 14 days of receipt of NCUI 500AB) to DES with detailed documentation to avoid penalties for failure to respond timely and/or providing inadequate information.
  10. If the employee was terminated for misconduct and/or failing to follow established company policies or procedures and the initial DES decision is for the employee, appeal. (See other reasons that disqualify the individual for misconduct).
  11. Review charges to your account.
  12. Advise the DES if a former employee refuses a job offer.  (Even if you are not the base period employer, some company is).
  13. Upon receipt, review the NCUI 551 form that is sent to each base period employer.  Verify that the employee worked for you (check name and social security number), and that dates of employment and earnings are correct.
  14. When work is slow, offer employees the opportunity to volunteer for unpaid personal time off, consider temporary pay reductions, and other measures to postpone or avoid a layoff.
  15. When permanent layoffs are unavoidable, consider what assistance you can afford to help employees with locating other jobs (resume writing, outplacement assistance, calling other employers regarding former employee availability and skills).  The sooner former employees find employment, the lower your unemployment costs.
  16. Report and pay unemployment taxes promptly to avoid penalties.
  17. Report unemployment fraud. NC Department of Commerce – Division of Employment Services
  18. Support the Employers Coalition of North Carolina (ECNC) in efforts toward unemployment reform.

    If you have questions about reducing your company’s costs associated with unemployment, let us help.  Visit CAI to learn more about how we partner with NC employers to grow and manage their HR departments.

NC Unemployment Law—What You Need to Know About Attached Claims

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

In today’s post, George Ports, CAI’s Senior Executive in Government Relations and Senior Advisor on CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team, shares pertinent information about North Carolina’s new unemployment law that deals with attached claims. Check out part 1 of the article below.

George PortsNorth Carolina’s new unemployment law was passed in the 2013 Session of the North Carolina General Assembly.  The new law (H4) was necessary to repay the $2.8 billion dollar unemployment debt owed to the federal government.  The interest alone on this debt for 2012 was $84 million.  Although necessary, the new law created pain points for employers and employees.  One of the primary pain points is the restrictive provisions placed on the use of “attached claims”. “Attached claims” are filed by employers for employees during periods of short work weeks (less than 60% of employees’ regularly scheduled work week) and temporary reductions in force. These restrictions coupled with the new requirement that each unemployment claim requires a one week waiting period have caused employers to review their “attached claims” strategies for future down turns in work.

The following information includes highlights of the new regulation:

New “Attached Claims” Regulations

Effective June 30th, 2013

Attached claims may be filed by an employer for employees if the employer has a positive credit balance.  If the employer does not have a positive credit balance the employer must make payment to the DES (Division of Employment Security) to bring the balance up to zero.  Other attached claims provisions are as follows:

  • Attached claims are limited to one time per employee per benefit year.
  • The duration of attached claims is limited to six consecutive weeks.
  • The employer must submit payment to the DES in an amount that will cover the cost for attached claims when claims are filed.
  • Claims filed prior to June 30th establish a WBA (weekly benefit amount) subject to the maximum WBA of $535.  If the WBA is established and subsequent claims are filed after June 30th, claims will be paid subject to that maximum, however, all other provisions of the new law are in effect including a one week waiting period for each claim filed (even though a week’s waiting period was satisfied prior to June 30th) and the six week limited duration.
  • Claims filed on or after June 30th are subject to all provisions of the new law including the new maximum WBA of $350.

Come back for part 2 of the article this Thursday, September 12. George will give procedures for filing attached claims and recommendations/options regarding how to manage them. The information is intended to assist employers as they revisit their “attached claims” strategies.