November 11, 2020
New state requirements for employee notices about unemployment insurance added because of COVID-19
Letting employees know about their right to unemployment insurance, and how to claim benefits if eligible, has long been a requirement for employers in most states. Our survey of state workforce agency websites shows that except for Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Ohio and South Carolina, all states require that employers post a notice in the workplace about the availability of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits to eligible workers.
Due to the significant increase in the number of jobless in connection with COVID-19, the US Department of Labor wanted employers to go further in letting employees know about their rights to UI benefits. Accordingly, to be eligible for emergency funds, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) stipulates that states must require employers to provide a notice to separated employees of the availability of UI benefits.
Prior to the COVID-19 emergency just nine states required that a notice concerning the availability of UI benefits be provided to each separated employee (Arizona, California, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Tennessee). Because of the FFCRA funding incentive, the requirement now applies in most states.
States have flexibility in determining the contents of the required employee notice; however, in Unemployment Insurance Program Letter 13-20, the US Department of Labor provides a model notice that states may use. States are also given flexibility in determining the form that employers may use in providing the notice to employees (such as by letter, email, text message or flyers).
Ernst & Young LLP insights
Employers will need to confirm that they are complying with state requirements for workplace posters and notices to separated employees that provide information about unemployment insurance.
To assist you in this process, view the PDF file at the bottom of this Tax Alert for the details of our state workforce agency website survey and helpful links to resources.
New state requirements
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