• Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

HR Insights from Barbara FreetHuman Resources & Dental Management: Paying Unemployment Insurance

Human resources expert Barbara Freet addresses this dental practice management question: "Doctors don’t like paying unemployment insurance. Is it just one of the costs of doing business?"

"Well, yes, it is a cost of doing business, and it’s cheaper than keeping a poor employee," responds Barbara.

"Let me just review with our listeners about the way that unemployment works in most states. Many states do what California does, namely establish what is called the base period. This is a period that determines the amount of the benefits and which employers will contribute to that person’s unemployment insurance.

"For example, in California, the base period is figured based on quarters. To define the base period, you would go into the past 15 months from the time the person is terminated or leaves and then the base period is the 12 months from that point going forward.

"Sounds confusing, I know. Let me give you an example. Let’s say Mary is fired on April 10th. April is in the second quarter of the year. The base period is January of 2009 through December 31st of 2009. It skips the most recent quarter, namely the first quarter of this year. The quarter in which Mary earned the most money during that 12-month period is the one that will determine her benefits.

"Therefore, if Mary did not work for you during that time period, your unemployment insurance account will not be charged. If she did work for you, then it will be charged based on whether or not she is eligible. Hopefully that helps a little bit about how it works."

Barbara Freet, PHR, is President of Human Resource Advisors, a full-service HR consulting and staffing company she founded in 1988. Consultants serve as the HR department for clients, providing administrative functions (including recruitment, benefits, payroll, etc.) and "guardian" functions in the face of problematic employment issues. Call 800-520-7761 or visit HumanResourceAdvisors.com.

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