You Got An Unemployment Claim In The Mail – What Are You Supposed To Do?
Updated: Mar 24, 2019
You just received a notice from your State’s Department of Labor (DOL) regarding an unemployment claim on an employee you just let go.
If you have not seen one of these before, don’t worry. You haven’t done anything wrong. This starts the process for the DOL to determine whether or not the employee is eligible for unemployment benefits. This is what you have been paying Unemployment Insurance for these many quarters/years.
As with all forms from the government, you are going to want to respond. Even if you do not wish to protest the claim, you need to answer a couple of questions, check the box that says you do not wish to protest it or provide the information and return it by the deadline on the notice.
If you do want to “fight it”, make sure you have all of your documentation gathered showing all of the times you addressed issues with this employee. Hopefully all of your documents will have dates and actions taken, e.g. notes to the file, disciplinary action, etc. You complete the DOL’s form, providing them the factual data you have on what led to the decision to terminate the employee.
You will want to provide the DOL copies of all of those documents. Be sure to return this form by the deadline they show on the form. A late response is the same as a “no response”, which means they will make a decision based upon the employee’s statement of “facts”.
Once the DOL makes a determination, either party can appeal the decision. That starts another round of forms that needs to be completed and in many states, you attend a telephone hearing for the referee to hear from both sides at the same time. The Notice you receive will explain all the specifics of what can and cannot occur. The referee will make a determination after the hearing is competed.
This decision can also be appealed to potentially a state board and then further through the courts systems up to your state’s Supreme Court, if necessary. There typically are costs associated with these additional appeals.
One reason employers respond to the initial unemployment claim is, depending on how long the employee has worked for you, this claim can increase your experience rating for your unemployment insurance and it may increase your rates.