Unemployment Tip: Voluntary Quit for Medical Reasons

Unemployment Tip: Voluntary Quit for Medical Reasons

DecisionHR’s unemployment vendor, Employers Edge, has laid out some detailed information regarding voluntary employee quit for medical reasons. Read on to learn about the ins and outs of medical quits.

Health and medical reasons account for a significant number of voluntary separations from employment. Most states consider certain medical reasons to be “good cause” for quitting employment, and a claimant may be entitled to benefits if they quit under these circumstances. In addition, while usually related to the health of the employee themselves, medical reasons resulting in a quit for “good cause” can also be related to the health condition of a spouse or dependent child (in certain states).

As with all unemployment regulations, the specific rules vary by state. However, below is a list of the most common issues states will consider for medical quits:

If the employer requires it in their written policies, the worker should inform the employer of the adverse health condition preventing them from performing their job.
The medical reason should be substantiated by a written notice from a medical doctor. The notice should specifically state whether work is disallowed, or if work can be performed with specific restrictions, and for how long those restrictions apply.
The worker generally must give the employer the opportunity to make reasonable accommodations to meet the restrictions specified by the doctor. If work is disallowed for a certain period, most states will ask if a medical leave was available and, if so, if the worker requested one prior to quitting.

If any of these conditions were not met, there may be good grounds for protesting this type of claim as these are the most common criteria that must be met in order for the quit to be considered for good cause. For that reason, it is very important that you provide answers to each of the questions asked by your Claims Specialist with regard to the circumstances involved in a quit for health or medical reasons. They will help you determine if the state is likely to grant or deny benefits to the claimant based on the above criteria.

If all of the above conditions were met by the claimant, they will likely be considered eligible to collect unemployment. However, some states will still grant relief of charges to the employer.

The following states have provisions in their laws to allow for relief of charges to the employer when a claimant quits for legitimate health or medical reasons:

AL AK AZ AR CO
DE FL HI ID IL
IN IA KS KY ME
MA MN MS NE NV
NH NJ NM OK OR
PA SC SD TX UT
VA WA WV WI WY

*Note: These provisions do not apply to reimbursing employers

In the states that do not allow for relief of charges to the employer in the case of a medical quit, there still may be reason to protest the unemployment claim. All claimants filing for unemployment must meet multiple eligibility criteria before they can actually collect benefits. In the case of voluntary quits for health or medical reasons, the claimant must first be found to have quit for substantiated good cause. Next, they must demonstrate that they are able, available and actively seeking work. This second criteria is where many employers may still get (at least partial) relief of charges in the states not listed above.

In many cases, if a former employee quits because their health or medical condition prevented them from being able to perform their job, they will likely not be able to accept or perform other work either. When that is the case, they are not meeting all of the state’s requirements in order to collect unemployment benefits, and they will be denied benefits until they are able to meet all of those requirements. Your Claims Specialist will help you determine whether this is a likely scenario on a case by case basis.

Remember the guidelines listed above represent the most common considerations with regard to voluntary quits for health or medial reasons. However, each state has its own specific guidelines for determining both claimant eligibility and employer chargeability on these types of claims.

If you have any questions, please call DecisionHR at 1-888-828-5511 and ask to speak with your assigned Human Resources Business Partner.

 

Combating Employee Turnover

Combating Employee Turnover

Have you ever had a job where every week someone would leave the company, resulting in another open position? Not only does this create a stressful work environment but it is expensive to the business’ bottom line.  It costs a company twice as much money to go through the hiring process and train a new person than it does to retain good employees.

Sir Richard Branson sums it up nicely:

“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”

In order to combat employee turnover, you need to nurture your employees just like you would any paying customer. Make them feel successful by offering positive feedback, listening to their concerns, and providing them with perks that ultimately enhance their desire to come to work.

Here are some ways to lower turnover in your workplace:

  1. Hire Right the First Time: You should pay specific attention to the factors in your hiring process, assessing what works and what doesn’t. Try not to hire based on gut instinct, but rather look at patterns of employee behavior that the candidate possesses. Hire someone who will be a good long-term fit with the line of business, and demonstrates the drive and skill to do a good job.
  1. Invest in Career Development: Once you have the right team in place, don’t let them become dissatisfied or burned-out in their roles. Offer the ability to enhance their knowledge about your business (cross-training), future roles (step-training), and their interests. Investing in career development will be much less expensive than hiring new employees when vacancies occur.
  1. Offer Benefits & Perks:  Evaluate your compensation package, especially the benefits. Are you competitive in the market? Do you offer your employees something that your competition doesn’t? This applies to particular perks of working for your business. Maybe you offer the ability to earn additional time off, or paid to attend team building meetings to nearby amusement parks/game days, such as the zoo, an aquarium, a waterpark or sports days. These types of benefits are what keep employees interested in working for your company.
  1. Create a Culture of Trust: Most importantly, you want your employees to trust the company and its leaders. Managers should not micromanage or impose restrictions. They should engage employees, coworkers and other managers to submit feedback about both the job and the company. Encourage solutions to problems/issues and provide recognition when such solutions are presented. Hire the correct people and trust them to do their job.

Employee turnover will always be a concern in any business. There will always be people who experience life changes that lead them to move to other positions with other companies, or become a stay-at-home parent. By applying these few tips, you’ll be able to create a better work environment for your employees and help your business’s bottom line. At DecisionHR we want to help you succeed. If you have any questions about employee turnover and other ways to help keep your employees happy, don’t hesitate to contact your HR Business Partner.

888.828.5511

Best Practices for an Unemployment Hearing

Best Practices for an Unemployment Hearing

Have you ever had to deal with an unemployment claims process? It is tricky and not a lot of fun. In this post, we’re going to offer you our insights on the best practices for prevailing at an unemployment hearing.

To start, it is very important to make your best effort to win at the initial level. You should always respond completely and with as much detail as possible to the state’s initial request for separation information. It is harder to overturn an unfavorable decision on an initial level claim than it is to simply earn an affirmation on an already favorable decision. However, no matter how hard you try to retrieve that favorable decision, the unemployment hearing will still take place. Knowing what you are about to face and the most important elements to focus on will help you prevail.

First, when a hearing notice is received, it is important to read the notice thoroughly to make sure you fully understand the participation instructions provided by the state. This will include the date, time, whether it is held over the phone or in person, how to submit documentation for the hearing, and how to provide your contact information as well as the contact information for your witnesses. This is very important to help make the process easier.

Second, decide who should attend the hearing. This should be the individual(s) with first-hand knowledge concerning the claimant’s separation, such as the claimant’s manager or supervisor. The lack of participation by your first-hand witness is one of the most common reasons for an unfavorable outcome.

Third, Don’t skip the pre-hearing conference with your Hearing Representative. This is an important appointment to prepare your and your witness’s testimony, and review all relevant documentation that will be discussed during the hearing. Even if you don’t attend the hearing, it is still important to meet with all the parties involved, so everyone knows exactly what their role is, and what will be said during the hearing.

Finally, when preparing for a hearing, make sure to have all necessary documents pertaining to the separation. For instance, disciplinary records, policy statements, handbooks, witness statements, attendance records, etc. Ideally these should be submitted at the initial protest level. If not, it is imperative to have them for the hearing, with copies in hand, ready to hand out to the Hearing Officer and all other parties. Failure to have these ready in advance could result in the Hearing Officer disallowing the documents from being considered as evidence to the separation.

An unemployment hearing is no fun, but knowing the correct elements to focus on can make it easier. Following these steps will ensure you are prepared for the most positive outcome possible. And remember you’re not alone! DecisionHR is here to help you every step of the way.

 

888.828.5511