The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development has announced few employers are in compliance with a state rule requiring them to issue separation notices to all workers who become separated from their jobs for any reason.
The workers should expect to receive the notices within 24 hours, which are often needed when applying for services like unemployment benefits and food stamps.
“What employers should know is when they don’t document separations with these notices, it invites confusion and unnecessary appeals when someone files for unemployment benefits,” Labor Commissioner Karla Davis said.
During the unemployment application process, the employer is responsible for providing the separation form.
If the document is not available and the employer does not reply to a request for information, the department must rely on information provided by the claimant. If an employer doesn’t agree with the department’s initial decision, the employer must file an appeal or run the risk of higher tax rates.
Davis says the answer is partially in the hands of employers.
“Employers have vocalized with us their frustration when facing appeals, but using separation notices and responding to requests for information can be steps in avoiding that process,” she said.
In April 2012, the department announced an electronic method of responding to unemployment information requests called the Unemployment Insurance State Information Data Exchange System or SIDES, which results in a more accurate claimsfiling process. For more information on SIDES visit http://info.uisides.org/.