UI Forum (ADP Unemployment Group)
First Quarter 2016
Best Practices: Tips for Handling Employee Resignations
Just because an employee voluntarily resigns does not mean you will not receive an unemployment claim. How you handle the resignation can therefore be critical. With different facts surrounding each resignation, the decisions your company makes can impact when claims start, stop or even if the claimant qualifies for unemployment insurance (UI) at all.
Factors that can impact UI payments include whether:
- The employee provided you with written or verbal notice
- You choose to pay the employee in lieu of completing a resignation period
- The employee leaves the company before the tendered resignation date
- The employee rescinds his or her resignation but the company decides not to accept that rescission
- Your company offers a resignation package in lieu of layoff
What’s Your Best Approach?
Following are a number of HR best practice recommendations for handling an employee resignation.
- Notify your ADP Customer Service Representative immediately. When an employee separates voluntarily, contact ADP and provide your Customer Service Representative with full details surrounding the resignation. This will help us better understand the nature of the separation and identify the state unemployment law that applies.
- Gather your documentation. When it comes to UI, you’ll need to prove that the employee’s resignation was voluntary and not due to reasons attributable to the company. The quality and timeliness of this information has a direct impact on the final UI decision.
- Plan your approach to the resignation period. Based on HR best practices, ADP recommends that you allow employees to complete their full resignation period, or at least pay them through that period. If you do not, some states grant UI to the employee but allow them to collect beyond the time period covered by the resignation. Others allow the employee to collect only through the resignation period.
- Help ADP help you. We work directly with the state on your behalf, and can enhance your UI case if you can demonstrate that the employee chose to resign despite the fact that continuing work was still available. If you can document this, it puts a burden on the employee to prove their resignation was for causes attributable to the company—for example, that there was a change in working conditions, pay, hours and/or job duties.
State Unemployment Law Updates
Several states have enacted recent law changes that you should be aware of.
Effective October 1, 2015, Connecticut amended its unemployment compensation law for discharges or suspensions relating to the loss of an operator license. The amended language reads as follows:
No base period employer's account will be charged with respect to benefits paid to a claimant who has been discharged or suspended because he or she was disqualified from performing work due to the loss of an operator license as a result of a drug or alcohol test or testing program conducted in accordance with state motor vehicle law while the claimant was off duty.
For additional information, visit http://intelliconnect.cch.com/scion/secure/ctx_317999/index.jsp?cpid=WKUS-BC-IC#page.
In 2016, the maximum weekly benefit amount in Hawaii will be $569. For additional information, visit http://labor.hawaii.gov/ui/tax-rates-and-weekly-benefit-amount/.
Legislation to improve the integrity and solvency of the current Illinois UI fund was passed into law late last year. The changes take effect for claims filed on or after January 3, 2016.
Highlights include removing the disqualification of Social Security old age, survivors and disability benefits from UI benefits. In addition, the measure provides clarification around potential UI disqualifications, including:
- Falsifying information on an employment application or related documentation
- Failure to maintain required licenses, registrations or certifications, unless that failure is outside the individual’s control
- Known, repeated violations of an employer’s attendance policies following a written warning, unless those violations are outside the individual’s control
- Damaging an employer’s property through grossly negligent conduct
- Refusing to obey an employer’s reasonable and lawful instruction, unless that refusal is due to an employee’s lack of ability, skills, or training to obey that instruction, or the instruction would result in an unsafe act
- Consuming alcohol or using illegal or non-prescribed prescription drugs (including an impairing substance used in an off-label manner) on the employer’s premises during working hours
- Reporting to work under the influence of alcohol or an illegal or non-prescribed prescription drugs (including an impairing substance used in an off-label manner) on the employer’s premises, except under narrow circumstances
- Grossly negligent conduct that endangers the safety of the employee and/or co-workers
For additional information, visit http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=09900HB1285lv&SessionID=88&GA=99&DocTypeID=HB&DocNum=1285&print=true.
Several recent changes have been made to Missouri unemployment compensation laws, as outlined in the following sections. For additional information, visit http://www.house.mo.gov/billtracking/bills151/billpdf/truly/HB0150T.PDF.
Maximum Benefit Period
For UI claims filed on or after January 1, 2016, the maximum number of weeks a claimant can collect benefits has been reduced. Formerly 26 weeks, the new maximum will be a sliding range of 13 to 20 weeks, and will be tied to Missouri’s state unemployment rate at the time the claim is made.
Determination of Wages
When making a full or partial determination on UI benefits, an employee’s wages will now include both termination and severance pay. If some or all of these amounts are based on a lump-sum payment, these funds will be prorated on a weekly basis at the same rate of pay the employee was receiving at the time of his or her termination.
Benefits to Deceased Individuals
If benefits are due to a deceased person and no petition has been filed for probate or for the administration of the estate within 30 days of death, the UI agency may provide payment to any person (or persons) it determines is entitled. Any such payments will be considered valid to the same extent as if they were made to the legal representatives of the deceased.
In 2016, the minimum and maximum weekly benefit amounts in Rhode Island will be $49 and $566 respectively. For additional information, visit http://intelliconnect.cch.com/scion/secure/ctx_317999/index.jsp?cpid=WKUS-BC-IC#page.
We appreciate your business and value our relationship with you. If you have any questions about unemployment insurance and how it applies to your company, please contact your ADP Service Representative.
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