eTrends - Unemployment Insurance Reforms Take Effect


Many of the sweeping reforms made by House Bill 4 (HB4) to North Carolina’s employment security laws will become effective on June 30, 2013.  These changes, which will affect both employers and unemployed workers, include:

  • Increased unemployment taxes for employers;
  • Significant restrictions on employer use of “attached” claims;
  • Repeal of “substantial fault” findings;
  • Elimination of several “good cause” provisions for leaving work and multiple bases for non-charging of employer accounts;
  • Penalties for employers’ repeated failures to respond to requests for information from DES;
  • Reduced maximum weekly benefit amount and duration of benefits;
  • Increased waiting week requirements for claimants; and
  • Stronger requirements for claimants to accept “suitable work” during unemployment.

Smith Anderson recently partnered with the NC Chamber to present two webinar sessions designed to prepare employers for the these and other changes made by HB4. 

The first session, A View from the Top: A Primer on NC Unemployment Insurance Reform for the C-Suite, provides business owners and senior management with key information about how HB4 will affect their businesses, both financially and operationally, and highlights areas in which action should be taken now to reduce the adverse effects of the changes on their businesses, including the soon-to-be increasing tax rates. 

The second session, Nuts and Bolts of Unemployment Insurance Law Changes:
A Primer for Managers and Human Resources Professionals, provides an overview of the reforms to the unemployment claims process, and focuses on what human resources officials and line managers and supervisors need to know about changes that can be made now to reduce or avoid charges against the company’s account, including changes to workplace policies and handling of discipline and termination decisions, changes in responding to information requests that companies receive from the Division of Employment Security, and best practices for handling unemployment claims hearings.

The webinar sessions, along with PDF versions of the PowerPoint presentations, are available here. 

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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