Frequently Asked Questions From Employers Concerning Benefits
Unemployment Insurance (UI) is a program designed to provide temporary financial assistance to workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own and who meet the requirements of the Louisiana Employment Security Law. UI benefits are paid as a matter of past employment and legal entitlement and are not based on need.
In Louisiana, employers pay all of the costs of UI through a payroll tax or reimbursable program. Employees do not pay any part of their wages to finance the UI program.
Allowing individuals to draw benefits when they are not entitled to such benefits will have a negative impact on the combined reserve fund. This could lead to higher taxes for all Louisiana employers, including your own account.
An individual becomes eligible for benefits by working for an employer who is "covered" for UI purposes. If that person becomes unemployed or partially unemployed, then he/she may apply for benefits by calling the Louisiana Workforce Commission at 1-866-783-5567.
An unemployed person is eligible to receive UI benefits if that individual:
- Has made a claim for benefits.
- Has registered for work.
- Is able to work, available for work, and actively seeking work.
- Has been unemployed for a waiting period of one week.
- Is monetarily eligible by having earned wages during the base period that are at least $1,200 and equal to at least 1 ½ times the high quarter wages.
- Does not have employment specifically excluded by the Act.
- Has not been disqualified in accordance with provisions of the law, such as misconduct connected with the employment.
When a claim is filed, the employer will be notified in a variety of ways. The Notice of Claim Filed, Form 110, is mailed to the last reported employer and any employers subsequent to the base period. The Notice to Base Period Employer, Form 152, is mailed to all covered employers in the base period of that claim. These forms provide notice of the claim being filed and request separation information and information about severance and vacation payments.
Eligibility for benefits is based on work in covered employment during the base period of a claim. The base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters immediately preceding the first day of the individual's benefit year. If the person worked for you during this time period, you will be a base period employer and may be charged for benefits paid.
No. When there is a separation issue, fact-finding is obtained from both the individual and the employer to determine eligibility for benefits. The decision is made based on unemployment insurance law, which provides the guidelines to decide whether or not the individual should be disqualified. If the individual quit, was it for good cause connected to the work? If the individual was discharged, was it based on misconduct connected to the work?
If an individual voluntarily left employment with your company or if that individual was discharged for misconduct, you may have a valid reason to protest the payment of benefits. Your first opportunity to protest is to submit a Separation Notice Alleging Disqualification, Form 77. This form must be completed and delivered or mailed to the former employee within 72 hours of the separation. Within the same period, a copy of the completed form must be sent to the Louisiana Workforce Commission. Your next opportunity to protest will be when you receive the Notice of Claim Filed, Form 110, and/or the Notice to Base Period Employer, Form 152. You should give exact and factual information regarding the employee's separation. Failure to return the forms within the ten days allowed may jeopardize your right to receive a non-charge on the payment of claimant benefits if applicable to the situation.
The reason for separation is an important eligibility factor. Here are some examples:
Layoff When the workload drops to such a degree that your company cannot afford to retain a worker or if a worker is laid off at the company's convenience and not for misconduct, the worker would be eligible for benefits, if all other qualifications are met. Voluntary Quit When an individual voluntarily leaves employment with your company, that individual will be disqualified for benefits unless it can be shown that the leaving was for good cause attributable to a substantial change made to the employment by the employer. Discharge When an employee is discharged for misconduct connected with the employment, he/she may be disqualified for benefits. If the employee is guilty of willful disregard of your interest, a deliberate violation of your rules, disregard of standards of behavior which you have the right to expect of your employee, negligence in such degree (or recurrence) as to manifest culpability, wrongful intent or evil design, or an intentional and substantial disregard for your interest or of his duties and obligations to you, and if the employee is discharged, the discharge would be considered to be for misconduct connected with the work. and a disqualification for benefits will be assessed.
If the individual has impaired your rights, damaged or misappropriated your property, or has damaged your reputation, not only will the individual be disqualified for benefits, but wage credits earned by the individual with you, as a base period employer, will be canceled, and no benefits will be paid on the basis of wages you have paid to that individual.
Depending upon the circumstances of the separation, we might need and request any or all of the following:
- Copy of the hiring agreement
- Copy of handbook
- Signed statements from any eye witnesses
- Copy of written warnings
- Copy of documentation of verbal warnings
- Copy of payroll records which indicate amounts of severance, vacation, or bonus pay and the period covered by such
If an individual fails, without good cause, either to apply for available suitable work or to accept suitable work when offered, then the individual
may not be eligible for benefits. Certain basic criteria will be considered in determining whether work is suitable for an individual: the degree of risk, the individual's experience and prior training, the length of unemployment, and other criteria specified in the law. Prior earnings are also a factor unless work is offered by a base period employer, in which case the rate of pay and level of skill must be equal to or higher than that which the individual received from that employer during the base period employment. In no case will an individual be expected to accept pay at a rate below 60% of his/her highest rate of pay in the base period. (See R.S. 23: 1601(3) for complete details on suitable work.)
If an individual is disqualified for benefits for voluntarily leaving, a discharge for misconduct, or a failure to apply for available suitable work, the disqualification will continue until the individual can demonstrate that he/she has been paid wages for work in covered employment equivalent to at least ten times his/her weekly benefit amount following the week in which the disqualifying separation (or act) occurred and has not left his/her last work under disqualifying circumstances.
The quickest method is to select the STAMP OUT FRAUD icon on the upper left side of this page. Follow the prompts until you are located within the “Louisiana Stamp Out Fraud” website. Choose the UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE icon, which will lead to the form entitled “Fraud Reporting Form for Unemployment Insurance Benefits.” Complete the form, make a copy for your records, then fax or mail where indicated at the bottom of the form. If you do not choose the above method, you may contact us at the Louisiana Workforce Commission at 1-866-783-5567. You must provide the person's name and place of employment. Also, any of the following additional information about the individual will assist the investigator assigned to the case:
- Social Security Number
- Date hired or how long working
- Location of job site
- Your name and phone number (you may remain anonymous)
Generally, vacation pay, severance pay, holiday pay, bonuses, wages in lieu of notice, and payments from a retirement or pension plan are deductible from weekly unemployment benefits. You should provide information on the amount, the type of payment made to the individual, and the period of time covered by the payment when you complete the Separation Notice Alleging Disqualification, Form 77; the Notice of Claim Filed, Form 110; and the Notice to Base Period Employer, Form 152.
An individual who is unemployed for a portion of a week may file for unemployment benefits. All wages must be reported when the week is claimed. Amounts over 50% of the weekly benefit amount, or $50, whichever is lower, will be deducted from the weekly benefit amount. The Agency uses a cross-match system to detect violators by using the Separation Notice Alleging Disqualification, Form 77 (also known as a pink slip), the New Hire Registry, and Quarterly Wage Reports.
When a claim is filed, the last employer and all lag quarter employers are mailed a Notice of Claim Filed, Form 110. All employers in the base period are mailed the Notice to Base Period Employer, Form 152. Therefore, an employer may receive both notices. If the individual requests a monetary reconsideration of the claim because of missing wages in the base period, and the wages are added or corrected, employers receive another Notice to Base Period Employer. In addition to notifying the employer of a claim filed, the purpose of this notice is to show the correct weekly benefit amount, maximum benefit amount, and percent of benefit charges. Each time the claim is reconsidered, this notice is mailed out to all base period employers.
First, check your records to be sure a decision has not been made on the separation with your company. Secondly, determine what type of notice or request you have received. If the form is a Notice of Claim filed or Notice to Base Period Employers and no decision has been made, attach a copy of your original protest to the new notification and return via fax or mail. If the notice is a Request for Additional Information, respond with more specific information as outlined on the request. If you are not sure what information is needed, contact the Louisiana Workforce Commission at 1-866-783-5567. If the form is a Notice of Claim Determination, Form 385, this is the decision of the claimant's eligibility for benefits. If you disagree with the decision, the next step is to file an appeal, either online (use the Online Services icon) or fax your appeal to the fax number shown on the Notice of Claim Determination. Your appeal must be submitted or postmarked within 15 days of the determination mailing date.
These notices are automatic mailers generated by the computer. Information is extracted from the employer master file, which contains the address listed on the Employer Application for LA Unemployment Account or the initial quarterly report when an Employer Application is not received. It is the responsibility of the employer to route the forms to the person responsible for handling protests. The person who filed the Employer Account Application or quarterly report should be advised to inform you immediately of any notices regarding claims for UI benefits to allow for a timely response within ten days.
Information from the Separation Notice Alleging Disqualification is input to the Agency's computer system upon receipt and is accessible to claims staff. The information is cross-matched against any existing claims for benefits for fraud detection. It is also used to flag files for attention to an issue when a person files a new claim for benefits. The Separation Notice Alleging Disqualification should be mailed to the Louisiana Workforce Commission within 72 hours of the individual's separation or can be completed and submitted via this Web site.
Refer to the Unemployment Insurance Section of the Employer Handbook (PDF) for more information, or contact the Louisiana Workforce Commission at 1-866-783-5567.