By: Samantha J. Wood

Pursuant to a recently issued emergency rule from the Department of Workforce Development (“DWD”), as of November 2, 2020, Wisconsin employers will be required notify workers about the availability of unemployment insurance at the time of their separation from employment.

This rule was enacted pursuant to a provision in the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) that requires promulgation of this rule as a condition of receiving federal emergency funding. Specifically, the Emergency Unemployment Insurance Stabilization and Access Act of 2020 (“EUISAA”) provides that, as a requirement for receiving additional federal funding for state unemployment insurance programs, the state must require employers to provide notification of the availability of unemployment compensation to employees at the time of separation from employment.

This notice can be in the form of a letter, e-mail, text message, or flyer. The DWD has suggested providing employees with the following language along with a link to the unemployment poster that is already required under law:

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 the DWD’s digital poster for when and how to apply for unemployment benefits.

While the DWD recognizes that not all employees will meet the eligibility requirements for unemployment insurance, because the EUISAA does not distinguish between different types of separations, it is recommended that the notice be provided to all employees upon separation, regardless of the reason for or circumstances surrounding the separation.

While there is no monetary penalty for noncompliance with this rule, an employee who does not receive notice and later applies for unemployment benefits may be permitted to backdate their claim. Thus, an employer’s failure to provide this notice could result in an employee having additional time to file an initial claim for benefits.

If you have any questions about this new rule, please contact your Lindner & Marsack attorney or the Firm at (414) 273-3910.


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