Department of Workforce Development: Compliance Update

Effective November 2, 2020, based on an emergency rule issued by Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development (DWD), Wisconsin employers are required to notify employees at separation of the availability of Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits.  DWD issued this rule in response to their interpretation of the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which requires promulgation of this rule to receive federal emergency funding.   

What Do I Need to Do?

Employers can satisfy the requirement by either of the following two options at the time of separation, which can be sent by several different options:

  • Link (send in person or by mail): Send a link to this Unemployment Insurance poster.  This poster is already required to be posted by employers in a place where employees will readily see it (e.g. bulletin boards, near time clocks, work website).  The poster is also available in Spanish, Hmong, and several other languages.
  • Sample Notice (send by email, text, or letter): Provide the following suggested language in a written communication to the employee:

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APPLYING FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

You may file an unemployment claim in the first week that your employment stops or your work hours are reduced.

See digital poster for when and how to apply for unemployment benefits (En Español Txhais lus Hmoob) (https://dwd.wi.gov/eworkboard)

Other unemployment resources:

For help using online unemployment services or if you are unable to go online call (414) 435-7069 or toll-free (844) 910-3661 during business hours.

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When Should I Provide This?

DWD does not define what qualifies as separation of employment, so employers should provide the notification for all employee separations and as soon as feasible.  DWD notes that employees can apply for UI benefits when they are totally unemployed, partially unemployed (weekly earnings reduced), or expected to be laid off within the next 13 weeks and would like to start benefits early.  For employers, there are no specific fines or penalties for failing to comply, but an employee who did not receive the notice and later applies for UI may be able to backdate their claim.  DWD makes the ultimate determination regarding whether the employee is eligible for UI benefits. 

Nate Priestaf

Employee Benefits Compliance Attorney

Port Washington - Corporate Headquarters

nate.priestaf@ansay.com