August 3, 2021

Volume XI, Number 215

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August 03, 2021

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August 02, 2021

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EMPLOYER ALERT: Wisconsin Mandates UI Notice for Employees at Separation

Beginning Nov. 2, 2020, all employers covered by Wisconsin’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) law must provide employees with written notice regarding the availability of UI benefits upon separation from employment. The notice must include specific information summarized below.

WHERE DOES THIS REQUIREMENT COME FROM?

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) adopted the new requirement in an Emergency Rule published on Sept. 29, 2020, to ensure Wisconsin’s UI program complied with minimum requirements set forth under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFRCA).

Importantly, the new rule does not alter the existing requirement that employers display posters in each workplace regarding the availability of UI. Posters must be placed in a suitable location where all employees will readily see them.

HOW DO EMPLOYERS SATISFY THE NOTICE REQUIREMENT?

Employers can satisfy the new UI notice obligation by simply providing employees with a copy of the DWD’s UI poster, or by including the following DWD suggested language in other written communications to an employee, at the time of separation

APPLYING FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

You may file an unemployment claim in the first week that your employment stops or your work hours are reduced.

See digital poster for when and how to apply for unemployment benefits (En Español Txhais lus Hmoob) (https://dwd.wi.gov/eworkboard)

Other unemployment resources:

For help using online unemployment services or if you are unable to go online call (414) 435-7069 or toll-free (844) 910-3661 during business hours.

The DWD states that employers may provide the above required UI Separation Notice by email, text message, letter, or by providing the printed poster in person or by mail.  The Emergency Rule states that the department may approve other methods of notice.

WHAT ELSE SHOULD EMPLOYERS CONSIDER?

Some employees may understand the notice to mean they are eligible for UI benefits; however, not all employees who receive the notice will meet the requirements of Wisconsin UI eligibility laws. The DWD will make the ultimate decision regarding an employee’s UI eligibility.  Nonetheless, employers must provide the notice to all employees at separation and should direct employees’ eligibility questions to the DWD.

Wisconsin’s passage of this law is consistent with several states that passed UI separation notice requirements since the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic began, as well as those states with preexisting separation notice laws. Employers with employees in multiple jurisdictions should ensure they are complying with applicable notice requirements under applicable state law. 

Copyright © 2021 Godfrey & Kahn S.C.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 281
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About this Author

Rebeca Lopez, Labor & Employment Attorney with Godfrey Kahn
Associate

Rebeca Lόpez is an associate in the Labor, Employment & Immigration Practice Group in the Milwaukee office.

414-287-9634
Aaron McCann, Godfrey Kahn Law Firm, Labor and Employment Attorney
Associate

Aaron McCann is an associate in the firm’s Green Bay office and a member of the Labor, Employment & Immigration Practice Group. Aaron’s practice is focused on counseling and advocating for employers through all aspects of an employment relationship, beginning with issues in recruitment and hiring at the outset and continuing through severance discussions, termination, and, when necessary, post-employment litigation. Aaron has guided many clients through the wide array of legal issues that frequently arise at the end of employment and has represented clients in...

920-436-7671
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