With the national jobless rate hovering around nine percent, small businesses all over America are having a tough time coming to grips with unemployment insurance.
Unemployment insurance is a joint federal-state program that provides cash benefits to unemployed workers. Businesses pay unemployment insurance tax based on federal and state guidelines.
A business’ state tax rate is based on payroll size, the amount the company has paid into the system, and the amount of unemployment benefits former employees have collected.
The state tax rate for a business increases as more of that company’s ex-workers file unemployment claims. In most states, a single claim against a small business can result in an increase of several thousand dollars a year in unemployment insurance tax.
“In this struggling economy, it’s more important than ever for a small business owner to control unemployment insurance costs,” says attorney Martin Sweet of legal information website THELAW.TV .
Here are some ways to do it:
The other thing a small business owner can do is hire a lawyer who specializes in fighting fraudulent or baseless unemployment claims. A lawyer can help you win claims hearings and save you a lot of money.
“It’s important to hire an attorney immediately upon receipt of the notice of the filing of the claim,” says Covington, Kentucky small business attorney Paul Boggs of Wallace Boggs, PLLC . “You need to protect your company and your rights as an employer.”
Detroit, Michigan small business attorney Bob Sheehan of Sheehan & Associates, P.L.C. adds, “A lawyer can help you win claims hearings and save you a lot of money.”
Many states are also helping small businesses combat unemployment insurance fraud. For example, Ohio recently launched a Web site that allows anyone to report suspected fraud online instantly and anonymously.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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