How Long Does An Employer Have To Contest Unemployment Benefits?

Last Updated on May 11, 2022 by Fair Punishment Team

Unemployment compensation is meant to provide a temporary source of income to workers who have lost their jobs. People who have lost their jobs owing to no fault of their own are frequently eligible for unemployment benefits.

The federal government and the states collaborate on the unemployment compensation system. States use employer taxes to provide monthly unemployment benefits. Because these taxes are experience-rated, employers with a higher percentage of former employees seeking unemployment benefits pay a higher tax rate. All taxes are paid quarterly, with a few exceptions. Because the experience rating of unemployment claims has a direct impact on an employer’s taxes, it is in the employer’s best interest to oppose any unwarranted claims. These are claims that emerge when an employee voluntarily resigns or is fired involuntarily for breaking a workplace rule (also known as “willful misconduct”).

Even though there is a reason for an employer to contest unemployment claims, that does not mean that they can just simply ignore aunty that they believe not to be true or valid. If an employer does not respond, they can face some serious consequences.

Here is everything both employers and employees should know about unemployment benefits.

How Long Does An Employer Have To Contest Unemployment Benefits?

An employer has 10 working days to either grant the unemployment claim or contest it. There will then be some back and forth between the employer’s lawyers and the ex-employee’s attorneys until either a settlement is reached, the claim is thrown out, or you are taken to court. For both the employer and ex-employee, it is vital that both do not try to slow down the process, as this can cost both valuable time and money. Also, by responding quicker, there is less chance of a lawsuit happening.

Why Should An Employer Be Sure That They Respond Promptly To These Claims?

There are a few beneficial reasons for an employer to respond quickly to an ex-employee’s unemployment benefits claims. They are:

  • If a claim is not responded to within a reasonable amount of time, the employer may not be entitled to a credit for any benefits that are later judged to have been improperly paid.
  • The number of ex-employees who have collected unemployment benefits after leaving their company has a direct impact on the employer’s state unemployment tax rate.
  • Responding quickly to unemployment insurance claims may eventually deter the filing of a lawsuit. If an employer is threatened with a discrimination or wrongful discharge litigation, responding to the claim may improve the employer’s prospects of winning the UI compensation hearing.

Are There Any Consequences For Not Responding To The Claim?

Unemployment insurance claims that are not addressed promptly may have a direct influence on the tax rate of a company.

Employers are responsible for paying both federal and state unemployment taxes, which are used to pay all UI payments. The amount of benefits granted to former employees determines the employer’s tax rate, which varies by state.

Businesses can lower their unemployment tax rate by only firing or laying off employees when absolutely necessary, adhering to proper procedures, and contesting unemployment benefit applications on a regular basis.

If an employer ignores these claims, though, unemployment taxes may begin to eat into their profits. In most states, if an employer does not respond or responds late, the employee may be eligible for unemployment benefits.

When Can An Employer Deny An Unemployment Claim?

There are a few reasons that employers may deny an ex-employee’s unemployment claim. Here are the most common ones.

The Employee Voluntarily Resigned

This does not apply in cases when the employee is given the option of resigning or being fired by the company. A forced resignation is not the same as a dismissal that is done voluntarily. It may also exclude situations in which an employee resigns as a result of an employer’s illegal activities, such as discrimination, but this is dependent on the facts. When an employee leaves for a variety of reasons, such as a disability or relocation, they are deemed to have “quit with good cause.”

They Were Fired For Workplace Misconduct

Also known as willful misconduct, this can mean a variety of different situations.

  • Failure to do as told or follow instructions – The employer must show that it issued instructions to the employee and that the employee ignored those instructions. It is not considered willful misconduct if the unemployment commission determines that the employer’s instructions were unreasonable or that the employee’s failure to execute orders was justified.
  • Excessively late or absent – Willful misconduct occurs when an employee misses work without sufficient reason or fails to record absences or tardiness in accordance with company rules. Absences due to illness or disability are an example of a legitimate reason to miss work.
  • Violation of company policy – Regardless of whether or not the employee was aware of the policy or rule, the employer must be able to establish that it exists and that the employee deliberately broke it.
  • The employee does not meet standards of “normal” behavior – These are criteria that any workplace should have but that isn’t always specified directly in corporate policies. These include stealing from the workplace; sleeping on the job; being intoxicated; failing a drug test; fighting; falsifying information; being offensive or inappropriate to other employees.

If an unemployment claim is denied for any reason, then it is within the ex-employee’s right to bring a lawsuit against the company to try and get their benefits approved. At the hearing, both the employer and employee will be asked to supply evidence for and against the case, with each side only getting a few minutes to state their argument.

Once the hearing is over, both parties will either get the result then and there, or it will be told to them by the unemployment office in the following days.