Naperville Employment Attorney Discusses How to Contest an Unemployment Claim
When you hire a staff to help your company meet your customers’ needs, you are primarily focused on the ability of your employees to get the job done. You expect them to be punctual, efficient, and productive while contributing to your company’s continued success. From time to time, you will likely see employees leave to pursue other opportunities. You will also probably need to terminate a member of your staff on occasion for non-compliance with company policies or poor production. In such a situation, your former employee may seek to collect unemployment benefits, but, as I remind all of my commercial clients, you may not be required to do so.
Unemployment Trust Fund
As you probably realize, all employers are required to pay unemployment taxes to both the state and federal government. These funds are maintained in the Unemployment Trust Fund, from which valid claims for unemployment benefits are paid. An employer’s tax rate is based upon the past valid claims for which benefit have been or are being paid. Employers with high turnover and larger numbers of former employees collecting unemployment will pay more in unemployment taxes. Thus, business owners have a vested interest in ensuring that unemployment benefit claims are paid correctly, and only when they are justified.
Notice of an Unemployment Claim
In today’s uncertain economic landscape, it is hardly surprising that a majority of former employees file for unemployment benefits. In most cases, they have nothing to lose and if you, as an employer, fail to respond or contest a claim, it will probably be approved. Once a claim has been filed with the Illinois Department of Employment Security, you will receive notice from the Department. This is your chance to respond and, if necessary, contest your ex-employee’s assertion that compensation is appropriate. A qualified business attorney can help you review your options.
Circumstances of the Employee’s Departure
Your dispute of an unemployment benefits claim will hinge primarily on why the individual is no longer working for your company. An employee who voluntarily resigned, absent adverse or hostile working conditions, is unlikely to receive benefits. A claimant who was laid off due to lack of available work, on the other hand, is much more likely to be approved. One who was involuntarily discharged may or may not collect benefits, depending on the situation.
You should consider contesting any unemployment claim made by a former employee who was fired for a serious violation of company policy. This includes habitual tardiness, excessive missed work, drug use on the job, or stealing. Be sure, however, to have a written record of the event(s) and any follow-up action that was taken in the event proof becomes necessary.
Protect Yourself and Your Business
If you have questions about unemployment taxes, compensation, or contesting a claim, contact a knowledgeable Naperville business law attorney. Attorney Denice Gierach has been helping family-owned business and private companies for more than 30 years. She and her team are ready to put that experience to work for your company. Call 630-756-1160 to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled legal advocates today.