Termination and Employment Benefits Issues

The end of the employee-employer relationship often leads to a claim for unemployment benefits before the Employment Security Commission. Given the current level of unemployment and the economic pressures in the business sector, claims for unemployment benefits have taken on increased importance.

Businesses face the possibility of increased unemployment insurance premiums in the event that a claim for unemployment benefits is granted by the Employment Security Commission. On the other hand, the high level of unemployment and the uncertain job market has forced more individuals to file claims for unemployment benefits.

Generally, to prevail against an employee's claim for unemployment benefits, the company must show one of the following:

  • Just cause for termination
  • Misconduct
  • Insubordination
  • Voluntary Resignation

An employee's failure to perform at an acceptable level is not a complete defense to a claim for unemployment benefits. The employee's unacceptable job performance will only result in a partial disqualification of benefits.

Initially, a claims adjudicator will make a decision regarding the individual's eligibility to receive unemployment benefits. The "losing" party has the right to a de novo review of the initial determination before an Appeals Referee at the Employment Security Commission.

Decisions on contested claims for unemployment benefits usually depend on the documentation provided by the company and the testimony of the witnesses presented by both sides. Initial appeal hearings may be conducted by telephone or in person. There may also be further appeals to the full Commission, and to the court system.

There may be strategic reasons that the company may choose not to contest claims for unemployment benefits. Before making any decisions, companies should consult with their attorney to discuss the unemployment benefits claim and any other employment claims arising from the situation. There may also be times when the company has terminated employment for a legitimate business reason, but with the understanding that there will be a compensable claim for unemployment benefits.

Both individuals and companies can benefit from representation by an attorney. Levy Law Offices is available to represent individuals and businesses in cases before the North Carolina Employment Security Commission.

For a detailed evaluation of your case, please call Levy Law Offices for an initial consultation. There is a $240.00 fee for the initial consultation. Levy Law Offices does not evaluate potential cases over the phone or outside of the consultation.