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Avoiding Unwanted Scrutiny Against Unemployment Insurance Laws

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Avoiding Unwanted Scrutiny Against Unemployment Insurance Laws

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New conditions by the Federal government require all states to pass legislation to punish employers (or their agent’s) for demonstrating a pattern of failure to adequately respond to state UI information requests.
Employer responses to unemployment insurance claims is no longer a situation in which they can choose not to respond, but rather a requirement that must be performed by employers in order to be in compliance with these changes.
This webinar serves to educate the participants in explaining how and why this action by the federal government occurred and how to respond to these new changes.

New conditions by the Federal government require all states to pass legislation to punish employers (or their agent’s) for demonstrating a pattern of failure to adequately respond to state UI information requests.
Employer responses to unemployment insurance claims is no longer a situation in which they can choose not to respond, but rather a requirement that must be performed by employers in order to be in compliance with these changes.
This webinar serves to educate the participants in explaining how and why this action by the federal government occurred and how to respond to these new changes.

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Avoiding Unwanted Scrutiny Against Unemployment Insurance Laws

  1. 1. Avoiding Unwarranted Scrutiny Against Unemployment Insurance Integrity Laws January 22, 2015
  2. 2. Outline:   •  Purpose of the Act •  Challenge for Employers •  Options for Employers
  3. 3. Poll  Ques.on     Have  you  ever  had  to  process  and  respond  to   an  Unemployment  Insurance  Claim?  
  4. 4. What’s  going  on   •  US Department of Labor’s Unemployment Compensation Integrity Act •  Signed by President Obama in 2010 •  Was intended to address the issue of employer indifference to the program
  5. 5. What  to  expect   •  States were required to pass laws to punish employers who did not respond to UI claims “adequately” •  States are requiring more information to be provided and the initial stage of the UI claims process
  6. 6. Non  relief  of  non-­‐charging   Benefits  already  paid  to  the   claimant  has  received  prior  to  a  UI   hearing   The  UI  Hearing  officers   reverse  a  previous   decision  by  the  deputy   which  earlier  allowed   benefits   Claimant ceases to receive benefits for future weeks, however the employer’s SUTA account does not receive an abatement of charging for benefits of prior weeks.
  7. 7. Request  for   separa@on   informa@on  by   State  Agency   Adjudica@on  by   State  Deputy   Considera@on  by  a  UI  Hearing   Officer     Non-­‐relief  of  benefit  charges   Weeks   Paid  to   claimant   Future benefits from the employer Claimant does not need to payback benefits $
  8. 8. What  triggered  this  law   •  Unscrupulous  Third-­‐party-­‐Administrators   (TPA)   •  State  Agencies  looking  for  a  scapegoat  for   shoddy  UI  decisions   •  Circumvent  having  to  collect  overpayment    
  9. 9. Areas  of  focus   Timeliness   Adequacy     PaNern  
  10. 10. What  is  .mely?   Was  the  employer  late  in  responding  to  the   request  for  separa.on  informa.on  at  the   ini.al  stage?  
  11. 11. What  is  adequate?   •  Assortment  of  HR  documents   •  Write-­‐ups,  warnings   •  Copy  of  policies   •  Responding  to  state  agency  calls  
  12. 12. What  is  adequate  (cont.)   •  Claimants are always provided the benefit of the doubt •  If it isn’t written down, it didn’t happen •  Don’t over engineer it •  Focus on the direct-and-proximate cause •  Make it very clear that termination is the likely next step •  Get witness statements •  Give the employee an opportunity to offer comments on write ups .  
  13. 13. What  is  a  paNern   •  States have different definition of a “pattern of failure” •  Calendar year period •  In most states it is 2 or more instances •  In some states it is only once (ie: Hawaii)
  14. 14. Poll  Ques.on   Have  you  ever  responded  to  an   unemployment  insurance  claim  that  you  did   NOT  want  to  protest  the  claim?  
  15. 15. Compliance   •  The emphasis that employers need to consider when approaching UI claims management •  Cost-control is secondary
  16. 16. How  is  it  being  enforced?   •  Currently, Texas has been the first to develop enforcement procedures •  An issue of adequacy is automatically set by the Texas Workforce Commission when employer files an appeal
  17. 17. Why?   By preventing the employer from filing an appeal to an unfavorable decision, a state agency does not have to engage in collection efforts on claimants who are on the losing side of a UI appeal
  18. 18. •  Employers  must  adopt  quality  HR  procedures   •  Inconvenience  on  employers   •  Documenta.on  will  be  required   •  Uncompromising  deadlines   Challenges  for  employers  
  19. 19. •  Employers may no longer have the option to “opt out” of the UI process •  It is the “gotcha” game Challenges  for  employers  (cont)  
  20. 20. Op.ons  for  employers   •  Employers  will  now  have  to  be  much  more  selec.ve   when  considering  filing  an  appeal   •  Only  appeal  unfavorable  decisions  in  which  the   employer  knows  that  they  have  provided  adequate   informa.on  
  21. 21. •  Cannot  include  addi.onal  documenta.on  for  the  UI   hearing  that  was  not  previously  included  in  the  ini.al   claim  response     •  Ques.oning  the  appealing  of  decisions  that  were   awarded  to  the  claimant  and  the  employers  ini.al   response  was  shoddy   How  it  impacts  UI  claims  management  
  22. 22. IMPORTANT!   We have to adopt a proactive approach to UI claims management: •  Hiring and interviewing (bad hiring decision = another UI claim) •  Performance evaluations •  Documentation •  Terminations
  23. 23. What  all  this  means?   •  UI claims management is shifting away from a primary concern of cost control to compliance •  If in compliance, than the rate will reflect that change
  24. 24. HRCI  Cer@fica@on  Credits:     "This  webinar  has  been  pre-­‐cer.fied  for  1  hour  of  general  recer.fica.on  credit   toward  PHR,  SPHR  and  GPHR  recer.fica.on  through  the  HR  Cer.fica.on  Ins.tute.       We  will  send  out  a  confirma@on  e-­‐mail  with  the  Program  ID  code  to  note  on  your   HRCI  recer@fica@on  applica@on  form  to  everyone  who  is  confirmed  as  aKended   and  watched  the  live  version  of  this  webinar.   The  use  of  this  seal  is  not  an  endorsement  by  the  HR  Cer.fica.on  Ins.tute  of  the  quality  of  the   program.    It  means  that  this  program  has  met  the  HR  Cer.fica.on  Ins.tute's  criteria  to  be  pre-­‐ approved  for  recer.fica.on  credit."   QUESTIONS?   G&A  Partners   info@gnapartners.com   (800)  253-­‐8562   *This webinar has been recorded and will be posted on the G&A website by Friday

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