State Says Using Separation Notices Benefits Tennessee Employers

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development Tuesday 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. These 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,” said Labor Commissioner Karla Davis. 

During the unemployment application process, it’s the employer’s responsibility to provide the separation form. If the document isn’t 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.

Ms. 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.”

Employers can download separation notices online at http://www.tn.gov/labor-wfd/Employers/forms/LB-0489.pdf. 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 claims-filing process. For more information on SIDES visit http://info.uisides.org/

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