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COVID-19: Be Alert To New Unemployment Compensation Notification Requirements For Employers

By Lisanne L. Mikula, Esquire

[email protected]

Pennsylvania law now requires employers to provide to employees a specific notification of the availability of unemployment compensation (UC) benefits at the time an employee is either separated from employment or the employee’s hours are reduced.   

The PA Department of Labor and Industry has created a form, Employer Information, UC-1609, which must be completed by the employer for each impacted employee.  A copy of the form can be found at this link: https://www.uc.pa.gov/Documents/UC_Forms/UC-1609.pdf

The employer must provide a completed Form UC-1609 to each individual employee at the time the employee’s hours are reduced or when the employee is separated from employment.  This completed form must be supplied to each employee irrespective of whether the separation from employment or reduction in hours was unexpected or planned.  The employer may deliver the completed Form UC-1609 to each affected employee in person, by regular mail, by email, or by text message.  

While employers have certain mandatory workplace posting requirements regarding an employee’s rights relating to UC benefits, these mandatory postings do not satisfy this new notification requirement.  An employer who has complied with its mandatory workplace posting obligations must nonetheless provide a completed Form UC-1609 to each individual experiencing job loss or reduced hours.

Form UC-1609 is intended not only to inform employees about their potential eligibility for UC benefits, but it also serves to provide accurate information for use when UC claims are filed.   The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is experiencing an unprecedented volume of claims due to COVID-19-related business disruptions.   Accurate information helps reduce delays and errors in the processing of UC claims. 

This not only paves the way for a more expeditious receipt of benefits by employees, but it also helps to reduce errors in benefit calculations.  Calculation errors can result in an increased UC tax rate for employers due to inaccurate charges to the employer’s account.   It therefore benefits employers to carefully and accurately complete Form UC-1609 to avoid the headache of trying to remove incorrect charges to the employer’s account.  

The Law Firm of DiOrio & Sereni, LLP is a full-service law firm in Media, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. We strive to help people, businesses and institutions throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania solve legal problems – and even prevent legal problems before they occur.  To learn more about the full range of our specific practice areas, please visit www.dioriosereni.com or contact Lisanne L. Mikula, Esquire at 610-565-5700 or at [email protected].

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