Handling Unemployment Claims

Under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) and state laws, employers are obligated to pay payroll taxes to provide unemployment compensation to employees who lose their jobs.

FUTA sets the federal tax rate,while the state tax rate varies by state. By understanding how the system works, employers may be able to cut their rate through efficient claims control.

Here are some things to remember when assessing how to lower your unemployment tax rate:

• Document unsatisfactory work performance. If you contest an unemployment claim, you need proof of the employee’s misconduct or unsatisfactory work.
• Keep accurate, complete records. You may protest the awarding of benefits, your share of liability, or your tax rate. You must have specific facts and documentation to support your case.
• Challenge an Unemployment Claim. Promptly answer requests for information to avoid unnecessary benefit charges. Follow up to make sure that corrections are made and penalties are not assessed.
• Appeal claims decisions promptly.
• Separate seasonal workers. Organize a separate corporation to employ seasonal workers so your seasonal unemployment tax rate won’t be applied to your regular staff.
• Consistency counts. Consistently and uniformly applying workplace rules will help an employer in an unemployment compensation case.
• Ignorance of a workplace rule is not always a defense. Deliberateness and intentionality are critical components in establishing willful misconduct.

Need help answering and tracking your unemployment claims? Call TEL’s HR team today at (866) 476-9008 for a free consultation.

You've Been Served! Now What?

All subpoenas are court orders which require a person or company to do something.? ?Dealing with subpoenas can be time-consuming and sometimes difficult to understand. Here are some things to consider when receiving a subpoena:

• Deal with it immediately! Required response time is typically given in the subpoena. Don’t ignore it. Paperwork must be filed with the court and addressed by the court prior to the time of the court date, deposition, or date set for production.
• Read it completely. Make sure the subpoena does not require information which cannot be disclosed or may be considered confidential.
• Review the records requested and determine if your company has them. If not, send a letter to the attorney confirming a diligent search of company records has been made and you are unable to locate any records responsive to the subpoena. Be careful--certain laws require that records be kept for specific time periods.

Hours Worked, Overtime & Travel Pay

Are you paying your employees correctly? Failure to understand federal and state labor laws can cost an employer significantly. Consider the following when determining an employees pay:

Employee Classification
The Department of Labor has announced its proposal to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) “white collar” exemptions for executive, administrative and professional employees. Your employees could be affected by this change.

Establish Clear Policies
• How should employees report their time?
• What time will they be paid for? (i.e. overtime, meals, travel, training, etc.)
• How should employees request overtime?

When & What to Pay
• Does your employees’ pay meet minimum federal & state regulations?
• What happens when an employee works unauthorized overtime?
• When can you legally deduct from your employees’ pay?
• What is considered compensable travel time?

Need more help with FLSA regulations? Call TEL’s HR team today at (866) 476-9008 for a free consultation.