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New Employer Notification Requirement to Employees of Unemployment Benefit Rights

By: Gini L. Hendrickson

Wisconsin Employers mark your calendar. As of November 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 a change in employment status. The new requirement applies when work hours are reduced, layoff, furlough, or separation – temporary or permanent. This new requirement was adopted by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) to ensure that the state of Wisconsin’s Unemployment Insurance program is in compliance with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

Employers can satisfy the new requirement by providing employees with a copy of the poster (in person or via mail). Alternatively, the new requirement can be satisfied through the employer providing a written communication to the employee regarding the availability of unemployment benefits upon a change in employment status. The written communication may be provided to the employee by email, text, or letter. DWD has provided suggested language an employer may use in the written communication which is on their site here. Along with the required notification, employers may also want to state that eligibility is determined by DWD and not the employer.

This new rule does not change the existing requirement covered employers have to predominately display posters in the workplace regarding the availability of the UI benefits.

If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact your Davis|Kuelthau, s.c. attorney, the author linked above, or the related practice group chair here.

We will continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 and provide information businesses need today to prepare for a continually changing tomorrow via our Navigating Disruption: Business Resilience Resources hub.