Employers who are subject to unemployment taxes1 should be aware of the fact that their tax rate is based in part on how many former employees successfully claim unemployment benefits. For this reason, employers should do their best to retain employees whenever possible and not terminate employees except in cases in which they have violated company policy or engaged in some other form of misconduct.
In some cases, employees who quit may also affect your unemployment tax liability
Many employers are under the mistaken impression that employees who quit are never eligible for unemployment benefits. In reality, if employees who can establish that they quit for “good cause” can often file a successful claim, potentially affecting their previous employer’s unemployment tax liability. While there are several scenarios that could constitute good cause, one of the most common is when a work environment has become hostile. Each state defines a hostile work environment differently, but it is generally an environment that a reasonable person would find hostile and abuse. Some examples of the kinds of issues that may make a work environment hostile include the following:
- Sexual harassment2
- Racial discrimination
- Adverse employment action taken in retaliation for engaging in a protected activity
- Unwelcome conduct or comments
Fortunately for employers, consulting with an attorney that is familiar with unemployment law in your state can reduce the risk of successful hostile work environment claims. In many instances, implementing policies and procedures that are designed to educate employees regarding standards of workplace conduct and diffuse conflict can avoid the need to protest an unemployment claim at a later date. Importantly, the cost associated with retaining legal counsel prior to a conflict arising is often significantly less than the legal fees that employers can incur if they are required to appear before a state agency or in court.
Contact an Unemployment attorney today to discuss your case
Employers can minimize their unemployment tax liability by taking steps to ensure that employees are not subjected to conditions that may constitute a hostile work environment. To schedule a consultation with attorney Kenneth P. Carp, call our office today at 636-947-3600 or send us am email through our online contact form.