If an employer receives a notice that an employee filed for unemployment benefits and believes that the claimant should be ineligible or disqualified from receiving benefits because they either quit or were discharged, the employer may protest the benefit claim. A protest must be filed within 10 days of the claim notice.
When filing a protest, the employer should provide all available facts in regard to the case, including relevant dates, information on payments such as vacation, holiday, Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) pay, pension, etc. This will assure that all facts are considered by the deputy in making the determination. It will also permit the deputy to make a determination without taking up the employer's time to secure a second statement.
If you submitted a timely protest, you will receive a copy of the determination when a decision is made. If you disagree with the determination, you can file an appeal. The appeal must be filed within 30 days of the date of the determination. For more information, visit How to File an Appeal.
The following summary gives the most common grounds for employer protests and the documentation or other evidence the deputy needs for each:
- If the claimant quit:
- What the claimant said or did to indicate an intention to quit. If an individual simply failed to show up for work, make a statement to that effect giving the date last worked
- Complaints made by the claimant concerning the work, requests for transfer to other work or for leave of absence
- Any statements by the claimant about the reason for leaving and future plans
- The date(s) the claimant failed to report if called back after a temporary layoff
- The date(s) the claimant failed to report if called back after sick leave, vacations, etc.
- The terms of any applicable retirement agreement according to a union contract or employer policy
- If employer is a temporary help firm, did claimant contact the temporary help firm after assignment ended and prior to filing for unemployment benefits for reassignment? Was the claimant informed of the obligation to contact the employer upon completion of the assignment and that failure to do so may result in denial of benefits? If contact was made, give date of contact and result of contact
- Any attempts the employer made to accommodate the claimant’s requests or to address any issues the claimant complained about
- Any requests the employer made for documentation and the responses received from the claimant.
- If the claimant refused work:
- Evidence to show that the work offer was legitimate and was communicated to the claimant, including how the claimant was notified, type of work, rate of pay, hours of work, location of job, date to report, etc.
- Reason given by the claimant for refusing the offer and the date the job was refused
- Any facts about the claimant that would help the claims deputy in deciding whether the individual was justified in refusing
- If you have work available for this claimant, you may offer it at any time during the claimant's benefit year. Contact the Regional Claims Center serving your area or indicate on the claim notice and return to the address on the notice.
- The employer will be an interested party to a refusal of suitable work if a written protest is filed within 10 days of the refusal.
- If the claimant was discharged for drug and alcohol related issues:
Section 288.045 of the Missouri Revised Statutes addresses discharges due to a positive drug and/or alcohol test and what is necessary to find misconduct under this section of the law.
- If the claimant was discharged:
- The date of the discharge and who discharged the claimant.
- All incidents of unsatisfactory conduct that played a part in the disciplinary actions, and whether the unsatisfactory conduct violated a policy
- Details of all warnings and reprimands, written or verbal, and whether the warnings or reprimands led to the discharge.
- Details of the final incident that resulted in the discharge.
- The specific policy regarding the incident that led to discharge and how the claimant would have been aware of this policy. Attach a copy of the policy with the protest. Note that policies prohibiting mistakes, accidents, poor workmanship or bad judgment may not provide a sufficient basis for protest.
Details on how the claimant’s actions or failure to act violated the specific policy.
If the claimant is laid off for lack of work:
You should not protest a claim based on a separation for this reason.
- If the claimant’s ability to work and availability to work is in question:
- Before unemployment benefits will be paid each week, the claims deputy must find that the claimant is able to work, available for work, and actively and earnestly seeking work
- The requirement of making an active and earnest search for work may be waived for those individuals who are unemployed through no fault of his/her own and have a definite recall date within eight weeks of the first day of his/her unemployment. Employers may request in writing to extend the work search waiver for recall dates beyond eight weeks, but not to exceed 16 weeks. These requests will be granted at the discretion of the Director
- Claimants are required to register as job applicants with the Division of Workforce Development and are thereby exposed to job orders that employers file.
If there are payments for vacation, holiday, Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) pay, or pension:
Vacation or holiday pay:
- Number of hours of vacation, holiday, or severance pay and amount of pay
- Period pay will cover, if designated
- Anticipated date vacation or holiday will be paid
- Normal pay dates.
- Period of time pay will cover
- Amount of pay
- Normal weekly or hourly rate of pay
- Normal number of hours worked each week.
- Amount of pension before deductions
- When pension will start
- Percentage of contribution to the pension fund by the employer
- Whether the wages used to establish the unemployment claim (base period wages) also were used in the calculation of the pension.
If the Division of Employment Security finds the claimant was discharged for misconduct connected with work, the disqualification can only be terminated if the claimant earns six times his/her weekly benefit amount (WBA) in insured work after the date of discharge. If a claimant is disqualified on a subsequent discharge, the claimant shall be required to earn wages in an amount equal to or in excess of six times the claimant's WBA for each disqualification.
If the claimant voluntarily left employment without good cause attributable to the employer or to the work, he/she may be disqualified until other employment is secured and at least 10 times the WBA in insured work is earned. This same disqualification may apply if the claimant refused to apply for or accept suitable employment offered through the Division, designated staff of a state or state-controlled public employment office, or a former employer.