Ohio Employers who Fail to Respond to Requests for Separation Information may now Pay for It

posted by Michael Fortney  |  Dec 2, 2013 08:55 AM in Employment Law

Ohio recently warned employers that they could be charged for unemployment compensation benefits received by employees who obtained them fraudulently. Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services ("ODJFS") will now charge employers who "establish a pattern of failing to respond" to ODJFS Requests for Separation Information, if they fail to respond to Requests for Separation Information that result in fraudulent claims. Employers establish a pattern of failing to respond after ODJFS pays benefits for a third time due to such failure. 

The charge for failing to respond is the result of an amendment to ORC Section 4141.24, made by Sub. H. B. 37. It took effect on October 21, 2013. It attempts to end a practice whereby employees misrepresent the reason for their separation but receive benefits anyways, since the employer fails to challenge the false reason.

H. B. 37 will probably end the practice of employers ignoring ODJFS Requests for Separation Information, to the extent it exists, and will do so without any real cost to Ohio employers. That is, the "charge" made by H. B. 37 is not actually a charge, but a denial of a credit to an employer's account when ODJFS discovers the fraudulently obtained application. In every case, ODJFS charges employers for their employee's claims in the first instance, including those that result when the employer ignores a Request for Separation Information. If ODJFS later discovers that the employee obtained benefits fraudulently, though, current law requires ODJFS to credit, or not charge, the employer's account for the fraudulent claim. Under H. B. 37, employers who serially fail to respond to Request for Separation Information will lose that credit.



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