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Meroueh & Hallman

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Meroueh & Hallman

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Unemployment Simplified

In Michigan, the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) handles all claims for unemployment compensation benefits. The requirements for eligibility for unemployment benefits, in Michigan are:

* An employee must have terminated or laid off for a reason other than “misconduct,” or must have been “forced to quit.”

* An employee must have earned at least a minimum amount in wages before that employee became unemployed.

* An employee must be able and available and willing to work, and must be seeking employment actively and keeping MARVIN apprised of his or her searches.

Extent and Amount of Unemployment Compensation Benefits

If an employee is eligible to receive unemployment compensation benefits, that employee’s benefit will be approximately 4.1% of what the employee earned during the highest paid quarter of the base period (explained in further detail below). Michigan residents can also apply for an allowance of $6 per week for each dependent (with a maximum of $30). The maximum an employee can receive each week is $362 and an employee can receive benefits for a maximum of 20 weeks.

Reasons for Unemployment

* Economic – if an employee was laid-off, was “downsized” or lost his or her job in a reduction in force (RIF), then that employee will in all likelihood qualify for unemployment benefits.

* Voluntary Resignation – Essentially, if you quit, you don’t qualify for unemployment benefits unless you can show that you had a compelling and work-related reason that left the employee with no other choice but to resign.

* Termination – an employee who was fired for not meeting the standards of the employer, or not being a good fit, that employee will likely retain unemployment benefits. It is only if an employee is fired for misconduct related reasons that the employee may be disqualified from receiving benefits (for ex. Failed drug test(s), intoxication at the workplace, assaulting someone in the workplace, embezzlement or stealing other property at work or missing three days in a row without notifying the employer.

Base Period

In Michigan, the earliest four of the five complete calendar quarters before an employee files his or her benefit claims are referred to as the “base period.” To qualify for benefits, an employee must have earned wages in at least two quarters of the based period and must meet one of the following two requirements:

* An employee must have earned at least $2,871.00 during at least one quarter of the base period and An employee’s earnings during the entire base period must be at least 1.5 times more than the employee’s wages in the employee’s highest paid quarter;

* An employee must have earned at least 20 times the state’s minimum wage during the entirety of the base period (currently $17,868.00).

How to Appeal a decision made against you

If you as an employee have had your unemployment claim denied, you have only 30 days from the date of the denial to file a protest letter with the State of Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency.

If an employer alleges that an employee was terminated for “misconduct,” and the employee disagrees, then the State of Michigan must make a determination during a hearing before an administrative law judge as to whether the employee committed misconduct or whether the employee qualifies for unemployment benefits.

Meroueh & Hallman specializes in representing both employees and employers in unemployment hearings with a very high success rate. If your claim for unemployment benefits has been denied, you have a certain amount of time to file an appeal to that denial and schedule a hearing. The same applies if a claim for unemployment benefits has been issued against your company and you or your company intends to challenge that employee’s claim.

If you have had a decision go against you in front of an administrative law judge, you can still appeal to the circuit court in which the employment took place, but such appeal must be done timely.

If you have an upcoming hearing in person or over the telephone, or just want to ask a few questions about your claim or about a claim that an employee has made against your business, call us now!