In North Carolina, as a new employer, one of the first things you are expected to do is figure out if you are liable to pay unemployment insurance benefit taxes. And once you are determined to be liable for these taxes, the next thing you ought to do is place an unemployment insurance poster on the wall in each and every one of your work sites—English if you have predominantly English speakers at the site and Spanish if you have some Spanish speaking employees at any of your work sites.
Not only does the poster tell you employees that they have unemployment insurance coverage through you. The poster lets them know what their rights and responsibilities are under the North Carolina unemployment insurance system. That means they will understand how and when to ask for such unemployment benefits—in other words, when they lose their job with your company through no fault of their own and are in the process of getting a job somewhere else.
The unemployment insurance coverage poster could also help with preventing fraud in the system as well. But the North Carolina Employment Security Commission also does its part to try to prevent fraud in the unemployment system. The North Carolina Employment Security Commission runs an operation all year long to try to track down those who are receiving unemployment benefits when they shouldn’t be.
You the North Carolina employers can help the North Carolina Employment Security Commission with this task. They send you a Request for Breakdown of Earnings form every quarter that somebody is claiming unemployment benefits but is receiving some sort of salary from you. If you can complete this form accurately and on time and send it back to the Commission, they can better stop any overpayments that may be taking place.
Unemployment Insurance is carried by employers so that workers can receive benefits if they become unemployed. In order to qualify for those benefits, you must have been employed for a period of time called the base period, and you must have earned a minimum amount of earnings over the past year. You must have become unemployed through non fault of your own. You must keep the state unemployment office informed of any work or offers to work that you’ve received, and file additional claims that they require.
Most people know that unemployment insurance exists, but some don’t know about this: If you’re employed in the state of North Carolina and your work load decreases—say for example you were scheduled to work a full week, but there was no work available so you worked less than 3 days—you may be eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits. Your employer has to fill out a certain form, and you send it to the Employment Security Commission.
Your unemployment benefits can vary from $36 per week up to $426 per week. If you have received unemployment benefits in other states, you may find that the amount of your benefits differ from the previous amount. That is because every state creates its own guidelines for determining the amount of your benefits.
Employers have many responsibilities that pertain to the North Carolina Unemployment Insurance law, and I can only touch on them a little here in the blog. Employers must report all payments made; they have to file quarterly reports that tell about each employee’s wages. They are also required by law to notify the North Carolina Employment Security Law and Commission whenever there are changes to the company, like a change in address or business activity, closing the business, or selling it to someone else.
The unemployment insurance program in North Carolina is part of a national system designed to provide temporary economic benefits to eligible workers. Eligible workers, as described on North Carolina Unemployment Insurance posters are individuals who (1) lost their jobs through no fault of their own, (2) worked during a specified time period and received a minimum amount of wages during that time period, (3) are able and available for work, and (4) are actively seeking new employment. All benefits and administrative costs of the unemployment insurance program are paid by employers through State Unemployment Tax Act (SUTA) and the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) payments. By reading North Carolina Unemployment Insurance posters, employees will learn that no money is withheld from workers’ checks to pay for unemployment benefits.
The North Carolina Employment Security Law and Commission Regulations require each employer to submit true and accurate information for determining liability. Each employer in the state of North Carolina must complete Form NCUI 604, Employer Status Report and submit this form for a determination of liable status.
Each employer is also required to notify the Agency when changes in status occur such as changes in ownership, changes of address, when the business closes or ceases to operate, or when a closed or inactive business begins to operate again.
Employers are required to file a quarterly report for each quarter, beginning with the quarter in which employment begins. Tax must be paid on each employee’s wages up to the taxable wage base for each calendar year. Wages, as described on North Carolina Unemployment Insurance posters, includes all pay for services, in cash or any other medium such as food or lodging. Agricultural and domestic employers should report only cash wages paid to employees and not food or lodging. Quarterly wages must be reported for each employee by name and Social Security Number. Correct and complete Social Security numbers are required to properly record wages.
The average unemployment tax rate for North Carolina employers is 0.4%, the lowest among the Southeastern states and among the lowest in the country. North Carolina offers new employers a tax rate of 1.2% for the first two years of operation. Those employers who avoid laying off workers and maintain a positive “experience rating” can see their tax rates decline further, to a minimum rate of 0.0%. Added to each state unemployment insurance tax rate nationwide, there is the federal unemployment insurance tax rate of 6.2% per employee, with an allowable credit of 5.4% if paying into a state unemployment program.
All this information is up to date on the current North Carolina Unemployment Insurance posters.