The unemployment compensation program in the Virgin Islands is administered by the Department of Labor / Employment Security Agency / Unemployment Insurance Service, in accordance with the provisions of the Virgin Islands Unemployment Insurance Act. The primary functions of this Agency are paying unemployment benefits to eligible unemployed workers and collecting taxes from liable employers.
An employer who pays wages to anyone in the Virgin Islands must maintain certain prescribed records, which are to be retained for the current and at least the five preceding calendar years. These and other records relating to the employer’s business must be available for inspection upon request. Failure to produce these records, when requested, is a violation of the law and may result in a penalty. Additionally, all employers of the Virgin Islands must post Virgin Islands Unemployment posters in visible locations for the benefit of their employees.
Service performed for any employing unit in the Virgin Islands is subject to contributions, unless specifically excluded under the law. In general, service is covered if performed for some portion of a day in the current or preceding calendar year. If two or more businesses or establishments are owned or operated by the same employer, they will be treated as a single employing entity for purposes of the law. A summary of covered services is provided on Virgin Island Unemployment posters.
Benefits paid to a claimant are charged to the experience rating or reimbursement accounts of employers who paid wages to the individual during the base period of the claim. An employer should promptly contact the local office if they have work available for the claimant; the claimant has declined an offer of employment or reemployment; or they believe the claimant is currently working or otherwise not entitled to benefits. Each employee should understand the conditions of receiving payments by reading Virgin Island Unemployment Insurance posters. An employer should also contact the Agency if he/she believes the benefits charged are incorrect for any reason.