Shutdowns, Layoffs, and Unemployment Benefits
While the federal government has moved beyond its most recent shutdown and Hanford employees avoided getting their furlough notices, Huffington Post has reported that some 70,000 government workers filed for unemployment during the first week of the shutdown. Those who do receive the unemployment benefits will have to pay it back in full, but the money very likely makes a difference until their back pay comes in. While Hanford’s employees got a reprieve from the furlough and needing unemployment benefits, some employees at Boeing and Intel are not as lucky. With Boeing’s recent round of layoffs and Intel moving its operations out of Washington, there will be some who are faced with filing for unemployment.
Some can avoid unemployment claims
In the case of a furlough or of an individual being fired through no fault of his or her own, an unemployment claim is likely to be the only option while waiting for the government to restart or while finding a new job. But for some there may be other options before they need to file a claim. Some employers, particularly those facing mass layoffs or plant closures, offer employees training and assistance in finding new employment prior to the layoffs. This assistance and training is part of the WARN Act which requires employers to give their employees a 60 day notice so that they might be able to find a new job before the layoff or take part in additional training that will make them more employable elsewhere.
Boeing has provided WARN notices to its employees during its recent rounds of layoffs. Washington State also received an emergency grant from the Department of Labor to provide additional assistance to laid-off Boeing employees through the Workforce Development Council of Snohomish County. The grant, the advance notice, and training and placement assistance make a considerable difference for a few of those who are currently facing unemployment and help reduce the number of people who need to file a claim.
Unfortunately, the measures listed above are not available or beneficial to all those who face unemployment. For those who need to file an unemployment claim, there are a few requirements that must be met initially and then on a weekly basis to receive unemployment benefits. The first set of eligibility requirements are: one must have worked at least the state required minimum number of hours during the year and the employee cannot be at fault for the loss of the job. And then on a recurring basis the applicant must show that they are willing, able and actively seeking to work. Clearing the initial hurdle of working the proper number of hours and not being at fault can be a challenge for some and claims can be denied. It is possible to appeal unemployment claims denials, unfortunately, appeals can become complicated and need legal assistance
Unemployment and the prospect impending unemployment can be stressful times. If you have questions about unemployment benefits or need assistance with an unemployment appeal contact HKM employment attorneys for help.