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Unemployment Insurance Payments

Henry Dahut

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That depends on the law in your state. Usually, an employee who wasn't at fault for losing the job is eligible for unemployment insurance payments. For example, it isn't the employee's “fault" if the job was lost in a layoff. It might not be considered the employee's fault even if he or she decides to quit the job - if there was a good reason for quitting. But if an employee quits without a good reason or was fired for “misconduct, " he or she probably won't receive unemployment benefits.

  • What is “misconduct"?
  • What is a “good reason" for quitting?
  • Agency procedures
What is “misconduct"? “Misconduct" generally occurs only when an employee violates an important workplace rule - such as stealing, getting into a fight with another worker, or sleeping on the job. Misconduct probably has not occurred when you fire a worker for working too slow or being inefficient. You can prove that the employee was fired for misconduct by the testimony of the employee's supervisor or even co-workers.

What is a “good reason" for quitting? Good reasons for quitting include being the victim of illegal workplace harassment (like sex harassment) or having a family emergency that leaves the employee with no choice but to quit.

Agency procedures After the employee files the application, the state's unemployment agency usually contacts you to see if you disagree with the employee's stated reason for leaving the job. If you do not dispute that the employee is entitled to unemployment insurance, the state usually will start the employee's unemployment insurance payments almost immediately. But if you dispute the information the employee puts in an application, the agency will likely set a date for a hearing at the unemployment office to resolve the dispute. It is a good idea to contact a lawyer who specializes in employment law to see if you need help with the hearing.

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Copyright 2008

Henry Dahut is an attorney and marketing strategist who works with some of the largest law firms in the world. He is the author of the best selling practice development book, “Marketing The Legal Mind" and offers consulting services in the area of strategic branding and law firm marketing. Henry is also the founder of the legal online help-portal - the award winning site that helps people through serious legal and financial trouble.


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