For new Michigan employers, the way to go to join up with the state’s unemployment insurance program could be digital. That is, the state of Michigan has taken important strides in making their unemployment system a 21st century system, complete with full online and electronic reporting and file keeping.
For instance, if you are a Michigan employer this could come in especially handy if you usually have mass layoffs at least once a year. Normally, such layoffs could mean huge swaths of paper files that need to be transferred timely and accurately between your human resource department and the state officials. The electronic record system could also come in handy if you typically have at least 100 former employees filing unemployment benefit request in any given year.
You may also want to look further into Michigan’s electronic system if you regularly use Internet to submit claims or to do other aspects of your human resource day to day business. Or here’s another reason—if you’ve had more than 1000 people laid off in the last three years, each year.
The system works in Michigan because it is the employer—not the former employee—filing the claims for unemployment benefits. That makes sense, because it cuts out the “middle man” in a lot of cases, and that middle man (the former employee) can typically cause an issue because you the employer is then required to verify whatever info that former employee provides the Michigan officials.
With Michigan’s system, on the other hand, you can really directly on your accurate personnel files, including all of the forms you have such as the exit interview form, the employee separation form, and any sort of absence reports or records of disciplinary actions you have to prove that a lay off was actually a firing.
The Advocacy Program is designed to offer assistance at no cost to employers who seek assistance at hearings with the Office of Appeals and/or Board of Review of Michigan’s unemployed compensation program. The same services are also available to unemployed workers. Workers learn of both the program and this advocacy service by reading the Michigan Unemployment Insurance posters that employers are required to post in the work area.
The Michigan Unemployment Insurance poster will advise your employers that to be eligible for unemployment benefits, they must be unemployed and able to, available for, and actively seeking suitable full-time work. Unless instructed otherwise by UIA staff, they must also register for work within two to three business days of applying for benefits by filing their resume with the Michigan Talent Bank and by reporting to their local Michigan Works! Agency service center.
If, after reading the Michigan Unemployment Insurance posters, an employee makes a claim that you do not feel is correct, you may select their own Advocate from a statewide network of qualified independent consultants. The Advocates are not required to be attorneys. They are independent contractors not Agency employees. As a result, the Agency does not dictate or control their decisions and/or actions.
An appealing party must file a timely appeal and must call for advocacy assistance immediately after filing the appeal requesting a Referee hearing, but no later than one business day prior to the scheduled Office of Appeals hearing date. Calling for assistance one day prior to the Office of Appeals hearing is allowable, but may result in lack of time to secure an Advocate. The earlier you call, the more assured you will be of securing an Advocate to take your case. Non-appealing parties must call for advocacy assistance immediately, but no later than one business pay prior to the scheduled Office of Appeals hearing date. Failure to secure an Advocate is not sufficient reason to reschedule a hearing.
The Advocacy Program is designed to assist eligible employers, but it is not an entitlement and is limited by the availability of Advocates, time constraints, and funding which is determined by state appropriation. Separate employer and unemployed worker amounts have been earmarked; therefore, unemployed worker and employer funding may not be exhausted simultaneously.
Failure to secure an Advocate due to insufficient funds in the program. unavailability of an Advocate, lack of time necessary to prepare a case, or an error in the program’s notification system are not sufficient reasons to reschedule a hearing.
All of this information is readily available in full detail on the Michigan Unemployment Insurance posters.