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An Employer's Guide To Unemployment Compensation
Unemployment Claim Procedures and Their Affect On Employers' Experience Accounts
 

Unemployment Notice 

All employers, whether or not liable under the law, must prepare an Unemployment Notice (Form Connecticut UC‑61) for the worker upon termination of employment whatever the cause of such termination. The Unemployment Notice is attached to a separation packet (UC-62T/UC-61).  

The packet provides the worker with telephone claims filing information.  When it is either impossible or impracticable to give the packet and form to the separated employee, it must be mailed to the worker's last known address.  Instructions for its preparation are shown on the form.

Careful preparation of this notice by the employer is most important.  Unless every item, including the employer's correct employer number and the employee's Social Security number, is completed accurately, the employer may have to contend with inquiries regarding the separation at a later date. Misinformation or lack of information can result in unwarranted charges to the employer's experience account.

When the employer provides the claimant with an unemployment notice with employer certification that the claimant's unemployment is due to lack of work, further investigation of the separation normally is not made.  If, however the local Unemployment Compensation Job Center determines that a fact finding hearing is required to determine if an individual's separation from work entitles him/her to benefits, a notice of such hearing will be mailed to the employer.  THIS HEARING NOTICE WILL BE MAILED TO THE EMPLOYER'S ADDRESS WHICH APPEARS ON THE NOTICE OF  SEPARATION (FORM UC-61).  Where no Notice of  Separation is provided to the examiner, the Administrator will mail the hearing notice to the most recent address of record provided by the employer to the Administrator's Employer Status Unit.

ISSUANCE OF UNEMPLOYMENT NOTICES SHOULD BE LIMITED TO CAREFULLY CHOSEN PERSONNEL. THE EMPLOYER WHO ISSUES A "LACK OF WORK" UNEMPLOYMENT NOTICE ALLOWING AN INELIGIBLE CLAIMANT TO RECEIVE BENEFITS MAY PAY FOR IT WITH A HIGHER CONTRIBUTION RATE. 

Benefit Charging - Taxable Employer 

Each employer is potentially chargeable for benefit payments in the proportion of his base period wages to the total wages paid by all base period employers.

The processing of each claimant's new claim will result in the issuance to each base period employer of  Form UC‑280 showing the wages paid by the employer during each quarter of the base period.  This form will also reflect the chargeable weekly amount and the maximum benefits chargeable to the employer during the benefit year.

The employer will not be charged if the claimant was separated under disqualifying conditions, provided the employer protests in a timely manner. The employer will also be granted relief from being charged following a disqualification for the refusal of an offer of rehire.

The employer's appeal right is limited to the first notice given in connection with a claim which sets forth his appeal rights. No issue may be appealed if notice of the right to appeal such issue has previously been given.

For example, if the employer has been issued a notification following an approval of a separation issue, an appeal on that same separation may not be taken on the basis of a subsequently issued Form UC‑280.

Inquiries concerning benefit charges or Merit Rating may be directed to the Merit Rating Unit, State of Connecticut Labor Department, Employment Security Division, 200 Folly Brook Boulevard, Wethersfield, Connecticut 06109‑1114. Telephone (860) 263-6705.  

Non-Charging Separation Provisions - Voluntary Quits

The employer's account can be relieved of charges if the claimant quits his job under conditions which would result in disqualification.  Under present law a disqualification is imposed..."if, in the opinion of the Administrator, the claimant has left suitable work voluntarily and without good cause attributable to the employer,... provided  further, no individual shall be ineligible for benefits if he leaves suitable work (i) for good cause attributable to the employer, including leaving as a result of changes in conditions created by  his employer, or (ii) to care for a seriously ill spouse or child, or parent domiciled with the individual, provided such illness is documented by a licensed physician or (iii) due to the discontinuance of transportation other than his personally‑owned vehicle, used to get to and from work, provided no reasonable alternative transportation is available..."

A disqualification is not imposed and the employer's account is chargeable if the claimant leaves work for good cause attributable to the employer, including changes in conditions created by the employer. If the reason for the quit is as provided by subsections (ii) or (iii) a disqualification is not imposed, but the employer's account will not be charged.  

Discharges 

The employer's account can be relieved of charges..."if, in the opinion of the Administrator, the claimant has been discharged or suspended for felonious conduct, conduct constituting larceny of property or service whose value exceeds $25.00,  or larceny of currency regardless of the value of such currency, willful misconduct in the course of his employment, or participation in an illegal strike as determined by state or federal laws or regulations..." Additionally, the employer's account can be relieved of charges "if it is found by the administrator that [the claimant] has been discharged or suspended because he has been disqualified under state or federal law from performing the work for which he was hired as a result of a drug or alcohol testing program mandated by and conducted in accordance with such law" or "having  been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of thirty days or longer and having commenced serving such sentence, he has been discharged or suspended during such period of imprisonment."

If a discharge resulted for reasons other than willful misconduct, such as inability to perform the work to the employer's satisfaction, a disqualification will not be imposed, and the employer's account will be charged. 

Willful misconduct means deliberate misconduct in willful disregard of the employer's interest, or a single knowing violation of a reasonable and uniformly enforced policy of the employer, when reasonably applied, provided such violation is not the result of the employee's incompetence and provided further, in the case of absence from work, Awillful misconduct@ means an employee must be absent without either good cause for the absence or notice to the employer which the employee could reasonably have provided under the circumstances for three separate instances within an eighteen month period. 

Refusals of Work

The Law provides that the account of the employer who offers reemployment shall not thereafter be charged if a disqualification has been imposed under Sec. 31‑236 (PDF, 84KB). This section provides for a disqualification if the claimant fails, without sufficient cause, to accept suitable work, including a temporary employee's refusal to accept suitable employment when it is offered to him upon completion of an assignment by a temporary help service.  It further specifies that  "Suitable work shall mean employment in his usual occupation, or field or other work for which he is reasonably fitted, provided such work is within a reasonable distance of his residence. In determining whether or not any work is suitable for an individual, the Administrator may consider the degree of risk involving his health, safety, morals, physical fitness, prior training and experience, skills, previous wage level and length of employment."  A temporary employee of a temporary help service who refuses to accept suitable employment when it is offered to him upon completion of an assignment can be disqualified until he has earned at least six (6) times his weekly benefit rate. 

Refusal by a Claimant of an Offer of Rehire by the Charged Employer 

If a claimant refuses to accept reemployment, it is the employer's responsibility to inform this Department by means of the appeal form attached to the charge notification, or by a letter providing essential details, including the date of the offer.  Should the claimant be disqualified after an investigation of the circumstances, no further benefits will be chargeable; however, benefits preceding the week in which the refusal took place will remain charged to the employer's account. Similarly, if the claimant is rehired and subsequently separates from employment under disqualifying circumstances, benefit payments prior to the disqualifying separation will not be affected.  If the claimant refuses to accept reemployment with sufficient cause (he might have found another job, for example) no disqualification would be attached to the refusal. 

Dismissal/Severance Payments - Allocation 

An individual is ineligible for benefits any week the individual has received or is about to receive remuneration in the form of wages in lieu of notice, dismissal payments, including severance or separation payment by an employer to an employee beyond the employee's wages upon termination of the employment relationship unless the employee was required to waive or forfeit a right or claim independently established by statute or common law, against the employer as a condition of receiving the payment.  For example, a severance payment would not be allocable against unemployment benefits if, as a condition of receiving the payment, the worker had to sign a waiver of his right to sue his employer under a discrimination statute or a waiver of his right to bring a wrongful discharge suit. 

Other Non-charging Provisions

The employer will also be granted relief from charges if it is determined that the claimant:

  1. While on layoff from his regular work, accepted other  employment  with the employer which he left after recall by  his former  employer; OR

  2. Left work with the employer which is outside his regular apprenticeable  trade to  return to work in his regular apprenticeable  trade; OR

  3. Left work solely by reason of government regulation or statute; OR

  4. Left part‑time work with the employer to accept other full‑timework; OR

  5. Left the employer on or after October 1, 1985 to care for a seriously ill spouse, parent or child; OR

  6. Left the employer on  or after October 1, 1985 due to the discontinuance of transportation other than his personally‑owned  vehicle provided no reasonable alternative transportation is available; OR

  7. Continued to be employed to the same extent by that employer at the time he establishes his claim as he had been during his base period provided  such employer notifies the Administrator in a timely fashion.  Effective October 1, 1985, this also applies to reimbursable employers; OR

  8. Had earnings of $500 or less from such employer during his base period.

Benefit Charging - Reimbursement Method Employer 

Employers using the Reimbursement option must reimburse the Unemployment Compensation Fund monthly for benefits attributable to wages paid by them plus the dependency allowance. The non‑charging provisions of the law do not apply to reimbursing employers who will be charged even if the claimant separated under disqualifying conditions and subsequently earns 10 times his/her weekly benefit rate to re-qualify for benefits except as previously noted in item 7, "Other Non‑Charging Provisions" effective October 1, 1985.

Notices to Employers and Appeal Provisions

If the reason for the claimant's separation is a voluntary quit or a discharge for misconduct, the employer will be mailed our Form UC‑840, Notice of Hearing and Unemployment Compensation Claim. The employer may attend the predetermination Fact Finding interview, request participation by telephone, or submit the separation information in writing on our Form UC-790, Fact Finding Supplement.

All pertinent details, including dates, relating to a separation or work refusal, should be furnished.

The validity of the Adjudication Specialist's decision is necessarily determined by the adequacy of the facts provided by the employer and the claimant.

It will prove to the employer's advantage to provide full and accurate information at the outset. This minimizes the likelihood of further inquiries and the necessity of appealing a decision which may have been based on inaccurate or incomplete information.

If benefits are approved, the employer whose account is to be charged will receive a notification form which includes information concerning the employer's right of appeal of the benefit award and of the charging of benefits to his account.

An appeal of the benefit award may be made on a form provided with the notification, or  by letter  furnishing a detailed statement of  the basis of the appeal.  An appeal filed by mail must be postmarked (by the United States Postal Service; private postage meters are not acceptable.  If you use a private delivery service, it must be one approved by the IRS: Airborne Express, DHL Worldwide Express, Federal Express, or United Parcel Service) or received within twenty-one (21) calendar days of the date the first notice of potential liability was mailed to you.  If the offices of the Unemployment Compensation Department are closed on the twenty-first day, you have until the next business day to file an appeal.  If you file by fax or by Internet, your appeal must be received by the Department of Labor by 11:59 p.m. on the twenty-first day.  Any such appeal which is filed after the twenty‑one day period may be considered to be timely filed if the filing party shows good cause for the late filing. Within the prescribed limits, an employer may protest the charging of benefit payments to his account.  Such a protest would normally be predicated upon the circumstances surrounding the claimant's termination from employment.

To be relieved of charges, the employer must show felonious conduct, conduct constituting larceny in the third degree, participation in an illegal  strike, or willful misconduct in the course of employment in the case of a discharge, and in the event of a voluntary separation that the quit was without good cause attributable to the employer.  Benefits will be approved if the claimant was terminated because of inability to perform work properly, unless the claimant persisted in an attitude demonstrating a willful disregard of, or willful indifference to, the employer's interest. 

Employer Participation in Unemployment Compensation Fact Finding Hearings

Effective July 1, 1992, Connecticut General  Statutes Section 31-241, as amended  by Public Act 91-107, imposes liability whenever an employer, after receiving notice of a fact finding hearing in a local Job Center, fails to appear at an Unemployment Compensation Fact Finding hearing scheduled in the Job Center or the Job Center Adjudications Specialist does not receive a timely adequate written response from the employer by the time the hearing is scheduled to commence on the day the hearing was scheduled.  Written responses may be faxed to the Job Center.  An employer who does not participate in the fact finding process after receiving notice could be liable for unemployment compensation charges for up to six (6) weeks after the week in which the employer's appeal to the referee is filed, even if the employer ultimately wins his appeal before the Referee. 

Other Forms Related to Charges 

At the end of each quarter, unless there are no charges for the period, employers receive a Quarterly Statement of Charges (UC‑54Q). This is a detailed record of charges (benefits paid to former employees) to the employer's account for the most recently completed calendar quarter.  It should be checked carefully against payroll records for the same period to insure the validity of benefit payments.  You may appeal a determination finding you chargeable for a portion of a former employee's benefits due to your non‑participation in a fact‑finding hearing when you receive a Quarterly Statement of Charges which includes the weeks in question if this is your first notification of the approval.

During the first quarter of each year, employers receive a statement of Experience Account and New Contribution Rate for the Calendar Year (UC‑54A). For employers qualified for experience rating, this form shows the data and calculations used to arrive at the employer's contribution rate.

All notices and forms relating to charges, as well as contributions returns, are mailed only to the employer's address of record with the Department. In the case of appeals, if an employer refers the notification for processing to a location other than the address of record, it is the responsibility of the employer to insure that appeals reach the Department within 21 days of the date of notification.

Inquiries concerning benefit charges or any other aspect of experience rating may be directed to the Merit Rating Unit, State of Connecticut Labor Department, Employment Security Division, 200 Folly Brook Boulevard, Wethersfield, Conn. 06109-1114.

Appeals Referees and the Board of Review 

The Unemployment Compensation Law provides for an Appeals Division consisting of the Referee Section and the Board of Review. The appeal filed by the employer or the claimant must furnish a detailed statement of the basis of the appeal.  An appeal filed by mail must be postmarked (by the United States Postal Service; private postage meters are not acceptable.  If you use a private delivery service, it must be one approved by the IRS: Airborne Express, DHL Worldwide Express, Federal Express, or United Parcel Service) or received within twenty-one (21) calendar days after the notification of the decision is mailed.  If the offices of the Unemployment Compensation Department are closed on the twenty-first day, you have until the next business day to file an appeal.  Any such appeal which is filed after the twenty‑one day  period may be considered timely filed if the filing party shows good cause  for the late filing. The employer's appeal rights shall be limited to the first notice he is given in connection with a claim which sets forth appeal rights.   The appeals may involve claims for benefits, benefit charges to the employer's account, the interpretation of employment, the establishment of liability and the contribution rates assigned to an employer.

The employer, the employee and the Administrator have the right to further appeal a Referee's decision to the Board of Review, which provides administrative direction, supervision and control for the Referee Section. An appeal to the Board of Review must furnish a detailed statement of the basis of the appeal.  An appeal filed by mail must be postmarked (by the United States Postal Service; private meters are not acceptable.  If you use a private delivery service, it must be one approved by the IRS: Airborne Express, DHL Worldwide Express, Federal Express, or United Parcel Service) or received within twenty-one (21) calendar days from the date on which a copy of the decision is mailed to the party.  Any such appeal which is filed after the twenty‑one (21) day period may be considered to be timely filed if the filing party shows good cause for the late filing.

Any party may appeal a Board of Review's decision to the Superior  Court if the appeal is filed within 31 days from the date the decision was  mailed.  The petition must state the grounds on which a review is sought  and must be filed in the office of the Board of Review.

The above - described appeals may also be submitted, within the same  time periods, by faxing an appeal to the number provided on the decision,  or by Internet at the Connecticut Labor Department Web site:

http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/appeals/apfrmnt.htm

An appeal may be taken from the decision of the Superior Court to the  Supreme Court in the same manner as is provided in civil actions.

(Rev. 7/04)

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