General FAQ for employers

  
Q: How can I read and reply to requests for information about my employees who have applied for benefits?
A: You can access letters and notices we’ve mailed to you and respond to requests for information online using eServices. Find more information about creating your eServices account.  You can also respond by mail.


Q. 
Can someone refuse a job and continue to collect unemployment benefits?
A. Claimants need to actively pursue suitable work to continue collecting unemployment benefits and must report any job refusal while collecting benefits. Suitable work is defined as work that is consistent with an individual's prior experience, education and training, along with other considerations such as distance of travel to available work. If the refusal was for a suitable job, then benefits may be denied.


Q. Can my employees collect unemployment benefits if I cut back their hours?
A. Possibly. Workers whose hours are cut may qualify for partial unemployment benefits. The more money the employee earns at work, the greater the reduction from an employee’s weekly benefit amount. Employment Security uses an earning deduction chart to determine a part-time worker’s benefit amount.

Employment Security also offers a program called Shared Work to eligible employers. This program provides an alternative to layoffs by allowing employers to reduce the work hours of their full-time employees, while the workers collect partial unemployment benefits to replace a portion of their lost wages. Particpating in the Shared Work Program is a voluntary decision made by the employer.


Q. Can a worker quit and still collect unemployment benefits?
A. In most cases, no.  However, there are 12 limited exceptions to this general rule that constitute “good cause” to quit a job.  They are listed on page 9 of the Handbook for Unemployed Workers (PDF, 2.9MB). In some cases, the benefits paid to the worker will not be charged directly to the former employer. Rather, the benefits charges will be spread out among all taxable employers.


Q. 
Why am I being charged benefits for an individual who has not worked for me for almost a year?
A. A claimant's benefits are usually based on work history during the first four of the previous five completed quarters. For example, a claim filed in February 2011 would be based on wages earned from October 2009, through September 2010. All employers for which the claimant worked during that period are charged a proportionate share of benefits paid to the worker. See if you are eligible for relief of benefit charges.


Q. Does Employment Security have staff dedicated to helping business owners?
A. Yes. To find out who to contact, visit our Contact information for businesses page.


Q. How long can a former worker collect benefits?
A. During normal times, claimants can receive benefits of up to 26 weeks of benefits. However, when unemployment is high, there are federal and state programs that may provide additional weeks of benefits. For example, during the last recession, up to 99 weeks of benefits were available to claimants because the emergency unemployment compensation and extended benefits programs were activated. Extended benefits are paid entirely by the federal government and do not affect employers' tax rates.