Practicing for 20+ years Austin Employment Lawyer and Houston Labor Attorney Jack Nichols fights to help you win your unemployment insurance claim.
What Are Unemployment Insurance Benefits?
Unemployment insurance benefits are a temporary, partial income replacement for qualified individuals who are unemployed or partially unemployed (working part-time) through no fault of their own which are intended to help unemployed workers while they are looking for new jobs. Applicants must meet certain requirements concerning their past wages and job separation, register for work search on TWC’s online job resource, WorkInTexas.com, be able and available for work, and actively look for work.
Employers pay unemployment insurance taxes and reimbursements, which could increase the employer’s tax liability if an employee is granted unemployment. Accordingly, employers have an incentive to fight an employee’s unemployment insurance claims, particularly when the employment was ended in a hostile manner.
When are you Entitled to Unemployment Insurance Benefits?**
One of the considerations in determining the eligibility of an employee for unemployment insurance benefits is how the employee became separated from their employment. With regard to the separation, an employee is not eligible for unemployment insurance benefits unless he is either unemployed or working reduced hours through no fault of his own. Examples of this include layoff, reduction in hours or wages not related to misconduct, being fired for reasons other than misconduct, or quitting with good cause related to work. If you paid wages to the individual during the base period, you would be charged if they received benefits.
An employee is not eligible for benefits if they were fired for misconduct connected with the work. Examples of misconduct that could make them ineligible for benefits include violation of company policy, violation of law, neglect or mismanagement of a position, or failure to perform work adequately if capable of doing so. Misconduct may not include a simple inability to do a job well where an employee tried their hardest.
If the individual quits for personal reasons they may generally not be entitled to benefits, except when they quit for a good cause which is not related to work, such as:
- personal medical illness or injury that prevented the person from working
- Caring for a minor child who has a medical illness
- Caring for a terminally ill spouse
- Documented cases of family violence or stalking
- Moving with the person’s military spouse
An individual may still qualify for benefits even if they quit when:
- There was good cause to quit which was connected with the employee’s work. The may be required to show that they tried to correct work-related problems before quitting. Examples include:
- Unsafe working conditions
- Significant changes in hiring agreement
- Not getting paid or difficulty getting paid
There are many other technical requirements and exceptions to being entitled to receive unemployment insurance which are not addressed on this website. Please contact the Texas workforce Commission for more information.
Practically speaking, the TWC unemployment insurance process is where the parties will begin to create a record of evidence to be used in support of or against a claim of discrimination or retaliation at trial. Care should be taken to make sure statements and evidence are presented consistently, otherwise a party’s position may be severely weakened at trial. For this very reason, it is advisable that employees retain an attorney before going through this process to help guide them through it, and to make sure that the record of evidence is developed appropriately for the lawsuit. Further, the law regarding unemployment insurance can be tricky. Often times a TWC officer may not be completely aware of the prior decision which are applicable to your situation, and an attorney is necessary to keep the investigator on the right track to increase an employee’s chances of benefits being granted.
Schedule a Free* Consultation
*A Free Consultation is a short discussion of your legal needs to determine if our firm can be of assistance to you. It does not include free legal advice and nothing discussed during the Free Consultation should be construed as legal advice. Free Consultations are limited to certain practice areas. SENDING A MESSAGE THROUGH THIS WEBSITE, EMAILING OR CALLING AND/OR LEAVING A VOICEMAIL MESSAGE DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY/CLIENT RELATIONSHIP. NO SUCH RELATIONSHIP IS ESTABLISHED UNTIL AN AGREEMENT OF SUCH A RELATIONSHIP IS REDUCED TO WRITING AND SIGNED BY JACK QUENTIN NICHOLS. IF NO RESPONSE TO YOUR MESSAGES ARE RECEIVED BY YOU WITHIN 24 HOURS, YOU SHOULD CONSIDER OUR FIRM TO HAVE DECLINED TO REPRESENT YOU, AND YOU SHOULD SEEK THE ASSISTANCE OF ANOTHER ATTORNEY IMMEDIATELY AS THE LAW LIMITS THE TIME IN WHICH YOUR RIGHTS MAY BE ASSERTED. IF YOU SPEAK WITH AN ATTORNEY AND THEY DECLINE YOUR CASE, YOU SHOULD ALSO IMMEDIATELY SEEK THE ASSISTANCE OF ANOTHER ATTORNEY IMMEDIATELY FOR THE SAME REASONS.
**THE INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE AND ELSEWHERE ON THIS WEBSITE IS ONLY INTENDED TO PROVIDE A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF SOME OF THE LAWS AFFECTING EMPLOYMENT IN THE STATE OF TEXAS AND SOME OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF THOSE LAWS. THIS BRIEF OVERVIEW DOES NOT CONTAIN A FULL DESCRIPTION OF ALL OF THE LAWS AFFECTING EMPLOYMENT IN THE STATE OF TEXAS, NOR DOES IT CONTAIN ALL OF THE REQUIREMENTS TO PURSUE OR DEFEND ANY PARTICULAR TYPE OF EMPLOYMENT LAW CLAIM. THE LAW REGARDING EACH PARTICULAR EMPLOYMENT LAW CLAIM, AND THE INTERPRETATIONS THEREOF, MAY VARY FROM TIME TO TIME, PLACE TO PLACE, JURISDICTION TO JURISDICTION, FROM COURT TO COURT AND FROM EMPLOYER TO EMPLOYER. THE INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE ONLY APPLIED TO PRIVATE EMPLOYERS, NOT PUBLIC AND/OR GOVERNMENT EMPLOYERS FOR WHICH DIFFERENT RULES MAY APPLY. IN ADDITION, THE APPLICATION OF ANY PARTICULAR EMPLOYMENT LAW WILL DEPEND ON THE FACTUAL CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING EACH CASE. EVERY EMPLOYMENT LAW CASE IS FACTUALLY UNIQUE, AND THE APPLICATION OF EACH EMPLOYMENT LAW WILL VARY. ACCORDINGLY, NOTHING WHICH IS WRITTEN ON THIS PAGE IS INTENDED TO CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE WITH REGARD TO ANY PARTICULAR SITUATION. YOU ARE ADVISED TO CONTACT AN ATTORNEY IMMEDIATELY TO DISCUSS THE APPLICATION OF THE EMPLOYMENT LAWS AFFECTING THE STATE OF TEXAS TO YOUR SITUATION.