Future Consequences of Challenging an Unemployment Claim

Employers everywhere are tightening their budgets, and unfortunately, laying off employees is a consideration and action many employers have had to take to survive.  This has raised awareness of the unemployment compensation and the payroll tax every employer pays to provide this compensation.  But, this compensation is only provided for employees who have been laid off.  If an employee has been fired for their misconduct or quits voluntarily, the employer may establish that it should not be charged for additional unemployment compensation tax.

If a disqualified former employee files for unemployment benefits, the employer is allowed to challenge this, and must do so within 10 days of receiving notice.  The employer must consider several things before challenging this.  First, they must have a basis for challenging the claim, such as the employee leaving voluntarily.  But a more hidden consideration is how your challenge could be used against you in later, higher-stakes lawsuits.

It is best to first contact a lawyer in the field to review any possible discrimination or termination claims.  If you are not careful, a quick statement about why the employee was fired will bind you to that in later litigation.  For example, if you make a statement about your company’s actions during an unemployment hearing, the former employee’s lawyer now may have easily obtained information for a later discrimination suit.  Or there are cases where the evidence you produce, such as multiple absences, then provides the employee with an FMLA claim.  These are delicate subjects and an opposition should be made only after consulting with an attorney that handles these matters regularly.

If you would like any further information or have questions relating to this matter, feel free to contact Lynam & Associates.

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