Employers terminating and laying off employees need to make sure they are following the laws regarding unemployment insurance under both federal and state laws. Minnesota employers are required to meet certain requirements to be in compliance with Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Law. Minnesota employers should also be aware that even employees fired for poor performance will be entitled to Minnesota unemployment insurance benefits.
First, Minnesota employers must register for an employer account. Minnesota requires any individual or organization that pays covered wages to register with the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Program. Minnesota requires that this registration be done prior to the due date of the first quarterly wage detail report. Additionally, Minnesota employers must maintain their current account information by notifying the Unemployment Insurance Program within 30 days of any mailing address changes, transfers or sales.
Second, all Minnesota employers must display the current version of the “Unemployed?” poster. The poster must be posted in a prominent place within the workplace so that employees may easily see it. A free poster can be printed through the Minnesota Unemployment Program’s website at www.uimn.org. The post is available in several languages and should be posted in an employee break room or wherever employees may easily be able to see it, such as next to a time clock where employees clock in and out.
Third, all Minnesota employers must submit Quarterly Wage Detail Reports by their due date and submit payments by the due date. Minnesota employers are required to electronically submit wage reports each quarter that includes the employee’s name, Social Security number, gross wages, and paid hours worked. Additionally, wage reports must include the number of full-time and part-time employees employed during the payroll period and must be broken down by reporting unit.
Finally, Minnesota employers are required to maintain complete records and keep these records for 8 years. Records are subject to review by the Minnesota Unemployment Program for audit so they should be organized and kept up to date.
With these registration and reporting requirements in mind, Minnesota employers should keep in mind that most employees have the right to file for unemployment compensation when they are out of work due to no fault of their own. Minnesota employers should be mindful that this includes not just employees who are laid off but also those terminated due to poor performance. Even employees who resign due to some action by an employer, such as significantly reducing pay or failing to correct sexual harassment will qualify for unemployment benefits. Only employees who voluntarily resign or are terminated due to disciplinary misconduct are not eligible for unemployment benefits. Employers should be aware of the process for filing and defending claims and respond to any documents sent out by the Minnesota Unemployment Program immediately. Employers have 20 days to appeal a decision by the department for eligibility for unemployment benefits.
Minnesota employers must meet a number of registration and reporting requirements. Additionally, employers should be aware of what employees will qualify for unemployment benefits and how the process works and seek legal advice from an employment law attorney if they have questions regarding the process.