New Jersey recently changed their unemployment compensation laws, which means businesses will now need to comply with additional reporting requirements to both separated employees and the NJ Department of Labor.
For all separated workers, NJ companies need to supply a Form BC-10 to the former employee, which explains the unemployment claim process.
The business needs to also send a copy of the Form BC-10 to the NJ DOL. Companies must first create an Employer Access account. Information for employers can be found here.
A new form will soon be made available by the NJDOL that businesses will be required to complete, which will include information about the former worker and their separation of employment. Even if the former employee does not intend to file a claim for unemployment, the NJDOL will require all businesses to submit separation information.
According to the NJDOL, businesses will not need to submit separation information until this new form is available. Companies will, however, need to submit the completed Form BC-10 as mentioned above.
Under the new reporting requirements, the NJDOL will have three weeks from the date a claim is received to make an initial benefits determination. If an employer does not provide the separation information within seven days of request, the claim will be decided based on available information.
Claimants may appeal initial benefits determinations within 21 days of the determination notice being mailed, but employers may only appeal within seven days of receipt of notice. The new regulations eliminate an employer’s ability to retroactively contest a benefit determination if the employer is late in providing separation information.
Businesses that do not comply with these new requirements are subject to a $500 fine or 25% of the amount of the unemployment benefits amount.
New Jersey is not the only state focusing more on terminations and unemployment claims. All businesses should ensure that they follow a progressive discipline process for underperforming employees. Firing someone without documentation can lead to a charge of wrongful termination. Additionally, businesses forcing poor performers to resign can be the basis of a constructive discharge claim.
Unemployment claims need to be taken seriously and should be contested if warranted. Information collected as part of a claims examiner’s review, including a recorded hearing, may be discoverable in a court proceeding and could lead to costly litigation.
Marzano Human Resources Consulting does what many HR service providers won’t…we help businesses deal with performance issues and sensitve employee matters with a focus on risk mitigation.
Contact us for a no-cost initial consultation.