Employment Law

Unemployment Benefits – Protest — Disqualification

By December 10, 2017 No Comments

The most frequent reasons for protest are those involving a protest against the payment of unemployment benefits chargeable against the employer because the claimant either voluntarily quit his employment or he was discharged for misconduct connected with his work. In regard to these bases of protests, the employer is in a unique position to know the facts because the employer was involved in the circumstances surrounding the discharge at the time it occurred and also because the facts will have occurred prior to the separation from the employer’s employment of the claimant. Several other bases of protest (such as available to work and actively seeking work) are all items which may transpire subsequent to the date of separation from the employment and the circumstances of them may not even be within the knowledge of the employer.

A disqualification from benefits may include one or a combination of the following: (1) a postponement of benefits for some period of time meaning that the claimant will be required to sit out his unemployment for a certain number of weeks before he is eligible to draw unemployment benefits; (2) an outright cancellation of benefit rights meaning that the claimant may not be able to draw all or a part of the benefits he would otherwise be entitled to, based on his base-period wages; or, (3) a reduction in the amount of weekly benefits otherwise payable to the claimant according to his base-period wages.

If a postponement is assessed against the claimant, it means that he must suffer a delay for a period of time before he can start drawing his benefits and it will be for a specified number of consecutive calendar weeks. This disqualification period varies from one to 26 weeks depending on the reason for the disqualification such as whether or not it was a voluntary quit or a discharge for misconduct and depending upon the grievousness of the misconduct that is involved.

The principle behind the specified period of disqualification is that, after a period of time, the reason for a worker’s continued unemployment is not so much his own doing through his voluntary quit or having been discharged for misconduct, but is more related to the general conditions of the labor market than attributable to his disqualifying act.

Many states do not disqualify for a specified number of weeks but disqualify for the duration of the claimant’s unemployment, or sometimes even longer, by requiring that the claimant remain ineligible until he becomes re-employed and earns a specified amount of wages to requalify, or in cases of grievous misconduct, by canceling all or part of the base-period wage credits that the employee had earned in his previous employment meaning that he may have to start all over again, when new employment is subsequently obtained, by building up a new base period upon which to later draw if he should subsequently against become unemployed. This would mean, of course, that a worker who had all of his base-period wage credits cancelled would have to wait for his benefit year to expire so he could begin drawing on a new base period.

Copyright 2011 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.