UI Forum ADP Unemployment Group

UI Forum (ADP Unemployment Group)

Third Quarter 2016



Best Practices for Handing Offers of Suitable Employment

When making offers of suitable employment to qualified former employees who are receiving unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, how these offers are handled can often be an effective tool in helping mitigate certain UI benefit charges to your account.

For example:

  • If the offer is accepted, you rehire a qualified employee and stop additional claim filings.
  • If the offer is refused, the claimant may be subject to a temporary disqualification from receiving further UI benefits. This is provided the refusal is deemed to be without good cause, as meant by the applicable state’s statutes and regulations.

Offering other suitable employment is a method widely used in the temporary staffing industry, but it can also be used by other types of employers.

Guidelines for Making An Offer of Suitable Employment

  • Offer work only to claimants who are eligible for rehire.
  • If work is available, contact claimants directly regarding the offer.
  • Thoroughly document details of the job offer, including the hours, pay, title, job duties, date of offer and reason(s) for refusal, if any.
    • Messages (electronic or via a third party) do not constitute a valid job offer. This also applies to an individual who does not return a telephone call.
    • To be considered valid, most states require that a live conversation occur between the worker and employer.  Some employers document that this conversation took place by sending the worker an email afterwards asking them to acknowledge the conversation.
  • Failure of the worker to appear for an interview should be documented and reported, since this action may constitute a refusal of employment.
  • Timely reporting a refusal to the UI agency is critical.
    • Refusals of suitable work should be reported to your ADP Customer Service Representative immediately. ADP will then communicate work refusals, as warranted, to the state UI agency.
    • For the refusal to be considered by the UI agency, it must be reported within a specified period of time. These deadlines vary by state, and range anywhere from 2 to 30 days from the date of the offer. If not reported within the required timeframe, the refusal will not be considered.

Job offers outside a claimant’s skillset or recent experience are generally not considered disqualifying. In addition, job offers may be refused with good cause in some cases (e.g., if excessive travel is required or pay is significantly less than the prevailing wage for similar work in your locality).

State Unemployment Law Updates

Several states have enacted recent law changes that you should understand:

Idaho

Idaho Governor Butch Otter recently signed HB 485, which became effective July 1, 2016.

The HB 485 sets the maximum benefit amount at 55% of the state average weekly wage paid by covered employers. The most recently published seasonally-adjusted UI rate from the Idaho DOL is 3.7%, from May 2016.

In addition, the HB 485 changes the duration of Idaho’s UI regular benefit from a set 26-week maximum to a sliding scale. This new maximum duration period can range from 20 to 26 weeks, based on the state’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in effect for the months of February, May, August and November.

For UI benefits commencing in…
The maximum benefit duration is based on the unemployment rate for the preceding month of…
January-March
November
April-June
February
July-September
May
October-December
August


Additional factors impact how the maximum benefit duration is determined. You can view the full language of HB 485 at http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2016/H0485.pdf.

Illinois

In late June, the Illinois Department of Employment Security announced that, effective for claims filed on or after July 17, 2016, claimants must register with Employment Services. Failure to do so will result in the non-payment of UI benefits until this registration is complete.

More information on this announcement and an FAQ section can be found at http://www.ides.illinois.gov/SitePages/NewsArticleDisplay.aspx?NewsID=326.

Louisiana

HB 1142/act 463

On June 9, 2016, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed HB 1142 (now known as Act 463). The Act modifies current statutes and provides for payment of UI benefits to the spouse of an active military member who is permanently transferred.

Effective August 1, 2016, UI benefits will now be awarded to an individual who voluntarily resigns from employment to relocate with his or her spouse following a permanent military transfer. In addition, those benefits will not be charged directly to the experience rating of the affected base period employer from whom the individual (claimant) resigns. 

Amounts that are not charged will be recouped as a social charge to all employers. However, this is provided that the following conditions of Revised Statute 23:1601(1)(d) are met:

  • He or she is the spouse of an active-duty military service person.
  • His or her spouse has received an order of permanent transfer (also known as a change of station).
  • The employee has resigned in order to relocate with his or her spouse pursuant to an order of permanent transfer/change of station.

You can view the full language of HB 1142 at https://legiscan.com/LA/bill/HB1142/2016.

Workforce Commission Separation Notice

The Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) is now enforcing the use of its form LWC-77 “separation notice.”

Existing policy states that employers are required to complete the LWC-77 online within 72 hours of a worker’s separation. Failure to comply will result in a charge to the employer’s UI account. This is in addition to the fact that a disqualification for UI benefits may still be issued by the UI agency based on the timeliness and adequacy of a claim response.

Employers can access the LWC-77 form through HiRE, the LWC’s online resource, at https://www.louisianaworks.net/hire/vosnet/EmployerSeparationNoticeRedirector.aspx. Please note that HiRE does not require user-specific credentials to complete this form. Employers are only required to enter their UI account number to initiate the process.

Copies of the completed LWC-77 should be provided to the separated employee and retained in the employee’s personnel file in case it is later requested by LWC or ADP.

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