Your State’s Unemployment Laws: Illinois

We at Unemployment Solutions for You proudly offer our unemployment claims management services across the United States. We are a leader in our industry not only because we offer an outstanding product, but also because we have a deep knowledge-base in the many differing unemployment laws across the 50 states. Part of our mission is to also educate you about how these laws may differ from state to state because those differences can affect you directly. So, join us on our continuing series, in which we explore the differences in unemployment eligibility, tax rate ranges, base periods, and much more in each state. This month, in Your State’s Unemployment Tax Laws, we’ll be looking at Illinois, the Prairie State. Eligibility for Claimants Claimants are eligible to collect unemployment insurance if they meet the minimum requirements: Earn at least $1,600 during a recent 12-month base period Earned at least $440 outside of this base period quarter in which earnings were highest The employer must be in an applicable designation which excludes certain agricultural, domestic, railroad, and government work, as well as work done for one’s family and on commission Working more than 20 hours Unemployment must be involuntary Must be able, willing, and available to work Actively seeking employment So then, how does this affect your business? Your business’ tax rate will be affected by your business’ Experience Rate (which is calculated from the amount of UI benefits paid to former employees over the past 3 years). The more unemployment caused by the employer – the higher the rate. Here are the tax rates for Illinois Employer UI Contribution Tax...

Your State’s Unemployment Tax Laws: Texas

We at Unemployment Solutions for You proudly offer our unemployment claims management services across the United States. We are a leader in our industry not only because we offer an outstanding product, but also because we have a deep knowledge-base in the many differing unemployment laws across the 50 states. Part of our mission is to also educate you about how these laws may differ from state to state because those differences can affect you directly. So, join us on our continuing series, in which we explore the differences in unemployment eligibility, tax rate ranges, base periods, and much more in each state. This month, in Your State’s Unemployment Tax Laws, we’ll be looking at Texas, the Lone Star State. In Texas, unemployment claimants can be eligible for unemployment benefits if they are either unemployed or working reduced hours through no fault of their own. Examples of this include layoff, reduction of hours or wages, being fired (unrelated to misconduct), or quitting with good cause. In the event that one of your employees has been awarded unemployment benefits, they are calculated based on the taxable wages reported during the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the effective date of the claim. The effective date is considered the Sunday of the week in which the person applied for unemployment. Of course, the question becomes: how does this affect you and your business? As we know, the UI tax is the only tax that you have active control over. Your actions and decisions with regard to your employees’ employment status can affect the severity of your tax...

Your State’s Unemployment Tax Laws: Pennsylvania

We at Unemployment Solutions for You proudly offer our unemployment claims management services across the United States. We are a leader in our industry not only because we offer an outstanding product, but also because we have a deep knowledge-base in the many differing unemployment laws across the 50 states. Part of our mission is to also educate you about how these laws may differ from state to state because they can affect you directly. So, join us on our continuing series, in which we explore the differences in unemployment eligibility, tax rate ranges, base periods, and much more in each state. This month, in Your State’s Unemployment Tax Laws, we’ll be looking at Pennsylvania, the Keystone State. The first step you should take as a new Pennsylvania business is to register with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry within 30 days of an employee performing services for which s/he would earn a wage. By establishing an unemployment insurance (UI) tax account with the state, either online or by paper, you will be on your way to lawfully complying with UI tax law. Unlike many other states, Pennsylvania does not have a minimum wage amount that must be paid before an employer becomes liable for UI taxes. By simply having an employee, your business will need to begin the UI tax process. When you are a new business and have begun to pay wages, there is a basic “new employer” contribution rate that you will be held to for your first two or three years. For non-construction employers, the basic contribution rate is 3.5% and 9.7% for construction...

Your State’s Unemployment Tax Laws: Massachusetts

We at Unemployment Solutions for You proudly offer our unemployment claims management services across the United States. We are a leader in our industry not only because we offer an outstanding product, but also because we have a deep knowledge-base in the many differing unemployment laws across the 50 states. Part of our mission is to also educate you about how these laws may differ from state to state because they can affect you directly. So, join us on our continuing series, in which we explore the differences in unemployment eligibility, tax rate ranges, base periods, and much more in each state. This month, in Your State’s Unemployment Tax Laws, we’ll be looking at Massachusetts. For most employers in the state of Massachusetts, contributions to the unemployment insurance tax must be made if you have any employees working one or more days in each of 13 weeks during a calendar year. Alternatively, if you pay wages in excess of $1,500 in any calendar quarter, you are required to pay the UI tax. However, there are some industries that are held to different standards. Certain industries such as agriculture, domestic workers, and out-of-state employers have different criteria they must meet as outlined below. Agriculture: these employers become liable for UI contributions once total cash wages of $40,000 or more have been paid in a calendar quarter or 10 or more individuals were employed on any day in each of 20 weeks in a year. Domestic Workers: these employers become liable for UI contributions once $1,000 or more in wages has been paid in any calendar quarter. Out-of-State Employers: these employers...

Your State’s Unemployment Tax Laws: Nevada

We at Unemployment Solutions for You proudly offer our unemployment claims management services across the United States. We are a leader in our industry not only because we offer an outstanding product, but also because we have a deep knowledge-base in the many differing unemployment laws across the 50 states. Part of our mission is to also educate you about how these laws may differ from state to state because they can affect you directly. So, join us on our continuing series, in which we explore the differences in unemployment eligibility, tax rate ranges, base periods, and much more in each state. This month, in Your State’s Unemployment Tax Laws, we’ll be looking at Nevada. In the state of Nevada, “employing units,” which are considered to be any individual or organization involved in a partnership, association, trust, estate, joint-stock company, insurance company, corporation, or receiver/trustee in bankruptcy, must register with the Employment Security Division (ESD) and pay taxes on wages paid in excess of $225 during any calendar quarter. If an employing unit falls under these criteria, a Taxable Wage Base amount must be multiplied by an annual unemployment tax rate to determine the amount of an employer’s UI tax liability. Nevada’s Taxable Wage Base is calculated annually to be 2/3 percent of the average annual wage for Nevada employees. These wages must be reported to the ESD each quarter for each employee under an employing unit. However, any wages paid to each employee, which exceed the Taxable Wage Base during the calendar year are not taxed. The following table details the most recent Taxable Wage Base amounts in...

Your State’s Unemployment Tax Laws: Washington

We at Unemployment Solutions for You proudly offer our unemployment claims management services across the United States. We are a leader in our industry not only because we offer an outstanding product, but also because we have a deep knowledge-base in the many differing unemployment laws across the 50 states. Part of our mission is to also educate you about how these laws may differ from state to state because they can affect you directly. So, join us on our continuing series, in which we explore the differences in unemployment eligibility, tax rate ranges, base periods, and much more in each state. This month, in Your State’s Unemployment Tax Laws, we’ll be looking at Washington. Typically, under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA), for-profit employers are liable for both state and federal unemployment insurance taxes if they have paid employees $1,500 or more in total wages in a calendar quarter or had at least one employee during any day of a week during 20 weeks in a calendar year, regardless of whether or not the weeks were consecutive. However, in the state of Washington, there is no minimum amount of wages required for employers to pay unemployment taxes each year. Instead, employers are held liable for unemployment insurance taxes simply for employing a single individual. If a claimant is found to be eligible for unemployment benefits, a Taxable Wage Base amount must be multiplied by an annual unemployment tax rate to determine the amount of an employer’s UI tax liability. First, we’ll discuss the state’s Taxable Wage Base. In Washington, the Taxable Wage Base amount changes annually based on...

Your State’s Unemployment Tax Laws: Ohio

We at Unemployment Solutions for You proudly offer our unemployment claims management services across the United States. We are a leader in our industry not only because we offer an outstanding product, but also because we have a deep knowledge-base in the many differing unemployment laws across the 50 states. Part of our mission is to also educate about how these laws may differ in your state because they affect you directly. So, we have begun a series in which we will explore the differences in unemployment eligibility, tax rate ranges, base periods, and much more in each state. This month, in Your State’s Unemployment Tax Laws, we’ll be looking at Ohio. In Ohio, the maximum amount of earned individual employee income (Taxable Wage Base) upon which an employer is required to pay unemployment taxes each year is $9,000. This amount is calculated based on the first $9,000 that an employee has earned in a calendar year. However, for a claimant to qualify for unemployment benefits, s/he must have worked 20 weeks during the base period, established by the first four calendar quarters of the last five before the benefit account would begin. If the claimant does not qualify for this “regular” base period, s/he may still be eligible under an “alternate” base period for unemployment benefits if s/he has worked 20 weeks in the last four calendar quarters. The following is an example of how both the “regular” and “alternate” base periods are determined. If the claim began between these dates: The regular base period would be: January 1, 2017 – April 1, 2017 October 1, 2015 –...

The Unemployment Insurance System’s Lofty Intentions, Turned Troubles

When the Social Security Act of 1935 was enacted, a variety of provisions were put in place to keep the economy stable in times of hardship. One of those provisions was Unemployment Insurance (UI), of which one of the intentions was to reward employers with lower unemployment tax rates by minimizing workforce turnover. However, since that time, the UI system has grown to be more of a detriment to employers and the economy, becoming ever more complex and costly. It seems that since 1935, the lofty intentions for the Unemployment Insurance System have turned into troubles that are weighing down today’s economy and the everyday business owner. Among the most glaring troubles with the UI system is its lack of payment accuracy. It has been reported by the United States Department of Labor, using the Benefit Accuracy Measurement (BAM), that in one financial quarter, an estimated $3.9 billion is improperly distributed to UI recipients. This number can indicate claims that were either overpaid, underpaid, or improperly denied. According to the data presented for 2016’s fourth quarter, an estimated $2.1 billion was overpaid, out of a total of $33.2 billion in payments. Regardless of the UI system’s intention, that is a lot of money overpaid, and an even greater amount paid in general. Fortunately, there are methods that employers may undertake to counteract these inaccuracies, such as the software offered by Us4U. They offer solutions that help you manage, track, and most importantly audit your UI claims and charges in addition to maintaining the lowest tax rate possible. However, to some extent the level of impact does depend on geography....

Help Reducing Your Unemployment Claim Liability

Terminating or implementing a reduction in force (RIF) is never desirable. However, for a number of reasons this does happen and is an unavoidable necessity. Unemployment Insurance Claims (UI Claims) can have a negative impact on your business if left unmanaged. UI Claims can result in your business experience being reassessed and can cause an increase in your tax rate. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to manage and help reduce your unemployment claim liability. Here are a few tips to help you navigate this aspect of your business: Pay Attention to ‘Notice to Base Year’ Employer Forms Notice to Base Year Employer Forms come across like a courtesy notification requiring no response. It comes with no form to fill out, and no questions to answer. For that reason, many employers miss this opportunity to manage its impact on their business. In essence, the Notice to Base Year Employer is informing you that a former employee has separated from the employer they had after you, and you are being included in the claim as a “base year employer.” What this means, is that your business can be charged a percentage of their unemployment, sometimes this can be as high as 100 percent. This charge will be automatic unless you respond within 30 days. Even though it comes with no questions, what you need to provide is the same information you would on a Separation Statement; when that employee worked for you and their wages. You can then send this as a letter, fax it, or simply write it on the form someplace and send that...

‘Who’s Coming with Me?’ Why Employees Quit in Groups and How to Stop It

Why Employees Quit in Groups It happens in workplaces everywhere. To bosses everywhere. One employee hands in their resignation and before they are out the door one or two, even three or four other employees also hand in their resignations. It can be for lots of reasons, but if it is because of not having a comfortable working environment you can buy your office supplies online. It’s a very “Jerry McGuire” phenomenon. We all remember that moment when McGuire gave an inspiring speech about leaving the company, striking out on his own, out from under the thumb of an oppressive boss whose morals are no longer in line with his, and he turns to all those in the office and asks: “Who’s coming with me?” At Unemployment Solutions For You, we understand it’s expensive to lose employees. And cost rises with position. A low-wage employee ($10/hr) is said to cost a company approximately $3,000. But a $100/hr CEO can cost a company upwards of $200,000. (All according to Christina Merhar’s blog post.) Merhar informs that: “Some studies (such as the Society for Human Resource Management) predict that every time a business replaces a salaried employee, it costs 6 to 9 months’ salary on average.” How to Stop Employees from Quitting in Groups So, how do you stop this from occurring? A good place to start would be to regularly check-in with employees. Weekly personal meetings would key you into any unrest and gives you the opportunity to nip it in the bud before it taints the rest of the staff. “Taint” in the sense that once a complaint is...