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July 31, 2014
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FAQ's
This page contains a list of questions frequently asked by employers.  

            Unemployment Insurance Questions
            Employment Services Questions   

 

Employment Services Questions

Q   How do I file a grievance or complaint or appeal a determination regarding a
       Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funded program or service? Click the following
       for information: “Grievance, Complaint and Appeal Procedures for Kentucky’s
       Workforce Investment Act Program.”

Q  How do I file a grievance or complaint if I believe I was subjected to discrimination
      for a program or service administered under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) on
      the basis of age, disability, sex, race, color, national origin, religion, or political affiliation or belief?
      Click the following for information: “
Grievance, Complaint and Appeal Procedures for Kentucky’s
     
Workforce Investment Act Program.”


Q  How does the Office of Employment and Training recruitment process work?

A  When an employer lists a job vacancy with the Office of
      Employment and Training (OET), the minimum requirements for the job
      (regarding education, training, experience, etc.) as established by  
      the employer are entered into the Office of Employment and Training
      computerized data base.  The automated computer system compares
      the requirements of the job to the qualifications of the job seekers who
      are registered with our agency to create a list of qualified applicants. Those
      identified are contacted about the job opening and the job seekers
      who are interested in the job are referred to the employer for an
      interview.  If the employer is not satisfied with those referred, there is
      no obligation to hire them. The job opening can remain open until the
      right individual is referred. Recruitment can be performed locally,
      regionally, statewide or nationally according to the employer’s
      wishes.

Q  How can I list a job opening (job order) with OET?
A  An employer can recruit applicants through the Office of
     Employment and Training (OET) by listing a job opening (job order) with
     one of our 28 field offices or numerous branch offices located across
     the Commonwealth. A job opening can be listed by submitting an 
     on-line job order form via the OET’s Internet web site, or
     sending a job order form by fax, or calling the nearest OET office.
     

Q  Does OET charge a fee for services provided?
A  No. There is no fee to the job seeker or the employer for basic job 
      matching services provided by the Office of Employment and Training.
      These services are funded from a small portion of the
      taxes paid by employers pursuant to the Federal Unemployment Tax
      Act (FUTA).

Q  How does OET screen applicants for jobs?
A  The Office of Employment and Training (OET) screens applicants by
      comparing the minimum requirements of the job opening as established
      by the employer to the qualifications of job seekers who have registered
      for work. OET staff utilize an automated system to assist in the
      screening process to identify qualified individuals to refer to the
      employer. 

Q  Where do job seekers registered with OET come from?
A  The Office of Employment and Training has the largest data base of
      job seekers in the Commonwealth, and through our relationship with
      other state employment service agencies nationwide, we are a part of
      the largest data base of job seekers in the nation. Anyone who is legally
      qualified to work in the United States may use the services of the
      Office of Employment and Training to seek employment. Job seekers
      registered for work with OET come from all walks of life, from the
      highly-skilled professional to the unskilled laborer. Some are veterans
      who are transitioning from the military to the civilian workforce; others
      have been laid off due to plant closures after working many years at
      their previous jobs; others are working full-time but seeking better pay
      or benefits or are interested in a career change; and some may have
      never held a job before.

Q  Are all job seekers registered with OET drawing Unemployment Insurance
      (UI) benefits?
A  No. Generally, only about a quarter of all job seekers registered for
      employment with the Office of Employment and Training (OET) are
      Unemployment Insurance recipients. The number of Unemployment
      Insurance recipients registered for employment with OET has grown in
      recent years as the American economy has changed. Unlike in the past,
      the majority of workers can no longer expect to work for the same
      company throughout their working lives. As a result, more are taking
      advantage of the Unemployment Insurance program to help them make
      the transition from one job to the next. Assisting UI recipients
      to obtain suitable employment as quickly as possible is one of its primary
      objectives of OET. Doing so is in the best interest of the job seeker, the
      employer, and the community.

Q  Are job seekers required to apply with jobs if they are drawing UI?
A  Unemployment Insurance (UI) recipients are required to be able and
      available for and to seek and accept offers of "suitable employment."
      They are not required to accept jobs that are significantly different in
      pay or job duties from that to which they are accustomed. However, the
      definition of "suitable employment" is tenuous and changes as the
      duration of one’s unemployment lengthens. Therefore, UI recipients may
      be required to lower their expectations as the length of their
      unemployment extends. Unemployment Insurance recipients who refuse a
      referral to employment from OET or refuse to report to an interview to
      which they were referred or refuse an offer of employment that results
      from a referral made by OET risk losing their eligibility for UI benefits.

Q  How do job seekers apply with OET?
A  Generally, a job seeker will visit one of our 28 field offices or numerous
      branch offices located across the state to register for work with the
      Office of Employment and Training. Under certain circumstances, for
      example when a new business needs to take mass applications, OET will
      make its application-taking services available off-site. Eventually, it will
      be possible for job seekers to register for employment via the Internet;
      however, this capability does not exist at present.

Q  What is the going rate for the job I’m seeking to fill?
A  The prevailing wage rate for a job varies from one area of the state to
      another. For advice regarding the prevailing wage rate for the job you
      are trying to fill contact the nearest Office of Employment and
      Training field office or utilize the Labor Market Information on our
      website. 

Q  How quickly can I get referrals after I place a job order with OET?
A  It depends on the number of job seekers registered with OET
      who are qualified for and interested in the job. Your job listing is entered
      into a computerized system and made available to all of our offices as
      soon as the information is input. OET staff utilize an automated system
      to identify job seekers who's qualifications match the job opening and
      contact them that day if possible. Thus, the employer may see referrals
      the next day, and sometimes even on the same day.  However, if the job
      is highly skilled and there are no qualified job seekers registered with
      OET, or those who are qualified are not interested in the  job (for
      example, if it pays less than the prevailing wage rate for similar  jobs in
      the local economy), it may take longer.   

      Because OET makes your job opening available on the Kentucky Job Bank
      and America's Job Bank. You will also benefit from the newest trend in
      conducting job searches today, the internet.  This allows OET to recruit
      for your job opening locally, statewide and nationally.

Q  How do I know which OET office to contact?
A  Generally, it is best to contact the OET office nearest you to place a job
      order. To determine which office is nearest you, see the OET Field Office
      Directory. 

Q  Is recruitment for my job opening performed locally, statewide or
       nationally?
A  Generally, recruitment is first performed locally. If no qualified applicants
      are available locally, then your job opening will be placed on America’s
      Job Bank, which makes it available to job seekers statewide and
      nationally. However, OET will recruit locally, statewide or nationally
      according to the employer’s wishes.

Q  Can OET provide me with a place to interview applicants?
A  Yes. Most OET field offices have space that they
      can provide to employers on a temporary or occasional basis for
      interviewing job applicants. Availability may be limited in some offices.

Q  Does OET provide any testing?
A  Yes. OET can administer a test to determine a job seeker’s math, reading 
      and language skill levels, and an array of tests which includes typing,  
      data entry, 10-key, grammar and spelling.  OET can also administer an
      employer's test.

Q  Does OET do drug screening for companies?
A  No. Due to liability issues connected with drug screening most employers
      prefer to handle this internally.

Q  How can I find out about hiring the disabled, minorities, females, etc.?
A  OET does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, national origin,
      religion, disability or age in the referral of job seekers to job openings
      listed by employers. However, an employer who because of a court order
      must use affirmative action in recruiting applicants who belong to certain
      protected groups may list an affirmative action job order with OET. An
      affirmative action job order indicates that the employer is making a
      special effort to recruit applicants from those groups covered in the
      court order.

Q  Where can I get a language interpreter (sign or foreign language) and
       who pays for the service?
A  OET is required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to make
      reasonable accommodations to ensure that all of its services are made
      available to persons with disabilities on a fair and equitable basis. The
      Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing maintains a
      directory of individuals who will interpret for the deaf for a fee.   
      Local OET offices may also have the names of individuals in the 
      local area who will interpret foreign languages for a fee. If the service is  
      provided for the sole benefit of a particular employer, it is the employer’s
      responsibility to pay for the service. Inability to speak the English
      language that is not due to a physical or mental disability, that is
      because one’s native tongue is not English, is not a disability covered by
      the ADA.

Q  I need help in providing reasonable accommodation for a disabled
      employee. Do you provide this service?
A  OET is willing to provide whatever assistance we are able and qualified to
      provide; however, OET staff are not experts in the field of making
      accommodations for persons with disabilities. It may be that the state
      ADA Coordinator, Norb Ryan, or Department for Vocational
      Rehabilitation staff are better able and more qualified to provide the
      assistance you need. Mr. Ryan may be contacted by calling
      (502)564-2304, or by visiting the Department for 
      Vocational Rehabilitation web site.   

Q  What notices/posters are Kentucky employers required by law to post in
      conspicuous places, and where do I get them?
A  Mandatory Federal Posters are:


  Bullet 1 Employee Polygraph Protection Notice
  Bullet 2 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission/Age Discrimination
  Bullet 3 Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993
  Bullet 4 Federal Minimum Wage Notice
  Bullet 5 Occupational Safety and Health Act – OSHA

    Mandatory Kentucky Posters are:
     
  Bullet 6 Child Labor Law
  Bullet 7 Equal Employment Opportunity
  Bullet 8 Safety and Health Protection on the Job
  Bullet 9 Unemployment Insurance Benefits
  Bullet 10 Wage Discrimination Because of Sex
  Bullet 11 Wage and Hour Laws
     
    These posters may be obtained from the various state and federal
agencies that are specifically responsible for each particular area, or at the OET website at http://www.oet.ky.gov/pubs/publications.htm
     

Q  What tax credits programs does OET offer to employers?
A  The Office of Employment and Training administers the federal Work
      Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) and the Welfare-to-Work Tax Credit 
      (WtW) programs and the state Unemployment Tax Credit program  
      (UTC). In addition, OET helps employers take advantage of tax credits   
      available to those who start or expand their businesses in state 
      Enterprise Zones.

Q  Can I get information regarding equal employment opportunity (EEO)
      from OET?
A  General advice regarding equal opportunity in employment may be
      provided by local OET staff or the OET’s EEO Officer, Vivian Bettis
      (phone: (502)564-2918). However, the Equal Employment Opportunity
      Commission (EEOC) is better qualified to provide such information. The
      phone number for the EEOC Office in Louisville is (502)582-6082.

 

Unemployment Insurance Questions

Q  What is the "Waiting Week"?

A  Due to recent changes in the Unemployment Insurance law you must now
    serve a one week waiting period per Benefit Year. Your waiting week will
    always be your first payable week. You will request benefits for a two week
    period. If you are otherwise eligible, the amount of your first check will only
    be for one week. Your maximum benefit amount will not change. For more
    information, please go to www.oet.ky.gov

Q  What is the current UI benefit rate range?
A   $39.00 minimum to $415.00 maximum per week

Q  How is the UI tax rate figured for my company?
A  While there are many variables in tax rate computation, simply put it is
     the amount of taxes paid into a reserve account for each employer, minus
     the amount of benefits paid. However, tax rates are not based solely on
     the reserve account balance. Instead a reserve ratio is computed which
     compares the size of the balance to the size of the total amount of
     taxable wages reported by the employer during the twelve (12) calendar
     quarters preceding the computation date. The rate is determined from a
     rate schedule set forth in statute and available on our web site. Employers
     in the mining and construction industry may have higher rates in spite of 
     the reserve ratio and account balance.

Q  Can a person draw UI if they quit?
A  Assuming the claimant has sufficient wage credits to establish a claim, he
     or she may be qualified to receive benefits if they voluntarily left their 
     employment with good cause attributable to the employment and there  
     are no other eligibility issues present.

Q  Can a person draw UI if they are fired?
A  Assuming the claimant has sufficient wage credits to establish a claim, he
     or she may be qualified to receive benefits if they were discharged for 
     reasons other than misconduct connected with the work and there are 
     no other eligibility issues present.

Q  How can a person draw UI from me when they were fired from another
      employer?
A  If you are the most recent ten (10) week employer on the claim and the
     worker left your employment under non-disqualifying conditions or you
     failed to file a timely protest to the initial claim for benefits, then you
     may be charged for the benefits.

Q  How can this person file for UI when there are help wanted signs
      everywhere?
A  An otherwise eligible claimant is entitled to receive benefits, unless he or
      she is unable to perform suitable work; is unavailable for suitable work or
      has refused suitable work. In part, suitable work is determined by
      examining the degree of risk involved to the worker’s health, safety and
      morals; the worker’s experience and prior earnings; the length of the
      unemployment and prospects of securing local work in the customary
      occupation and the distance of the work from the worker’s residence.
      Simply because there are plenty of available jobs, does not mean that
      they are suitable for each claimant.

Q  How long and how much money can a person draw in UI benefits?
A  The maximum amount of benefits payable to any worker within any benefit year shall be the amount equal to whichever is the lesser of:
(a)  Twenty-six (26) times his weekly benefit rate; or
(b)  One-third (1/3) of his base-period wages, except that no worker's maximum amount shall be less than fifteen (15) times his weekly benefit rate.

Q  If I fire an employee for absenteeism is he or she eligible for UI benefits?
A  If an employee’s absences amount to misconduct connected with the
     work, they will be disqualified. Generally, good cause for missing work, is
     not misconduct. Simple numbers of days or percentages of lost time 
     cannot show a worker is guilty of misconduct.

Q  What do I do if I want to contest a claim?
A  You should file a written protest setting forth the reasons for separation,
     and do so within ten (10) days from the date the claim was filed.

Q  What do I do if I don’t want to contest a claim?
A  You do not have to do anything. A lack of response suggests that you do
     not wish to protest. However, if an employee is separated for reasons
     other than lack of work, the agency still has the responsibility to investigate
     and determine if the separation was for disqualifying or non disqualifying
     reasons.

Q  Where can I get the UI tax ID number?
A  Contact us by clicking here to apply online, by email at des.uit@ky.gov
     or by postal mail at the Division of Unemployment Insurance Status Branch. P. O. Box 
     948, Frankfort KY 40602

Q  Why do you need the tax ID number?
A  So that the Division of Unemployment Insurance can accurately credit tax
     payments to your account and keep track of payments charged to your
     account.

Q  How does the Automated Benefits Exchange System (ABE) work?
A  The ABE System, often referred to as the VRU, uses a touch-tone telephone
     to allow a claimant to claim their weeks or request the status of their last
     week claimed. Week Claiming is available on Sunday from 2:00 PM until 9:00
     PM Eastern time and Monday - Friday from 7:00 AM until 7:00 PM 
     Eastern time.  The Last Week Claimed Inquiry is available Tuesday
     through Friday from 7:00 AM until 7:00 PM Eastern time. This system offers 
     the claimant the availability of a faster payment. In about the same amount 
     of time it takes a claimant to fill out their pay order card, address it, and take
     it to the mailbox, they can enter their weeks for payment over the telephone.
     It’s that simple and that fast! The system is easy to use. It will talk them
     through the step-by-step process. In most cases, a claimant will have 
     three (3) attempts to enter the correct information.

Q  What is the difference in how UI works here and other states?
A  While each state’s laws may differ somewhat, they are usually very
     similar. All states must conform to basic principles set forth in federal
     regulation.

Q  May I participate in a hearing in person (not over phone)?
A  Yes, if the situation warrants an in person hearing. Some of the factors
     used to determine this are the number of witnesses to testify; the
     complexity of the issue; and the distance that the participants have to
     travel.

Q How do I report new hires? 
A  You may mail your new hire report to:
     The Kentucky New Hire Reporting Center
      P.O. Box 1130
      Richmond, VA 23218-1130      
       
      Fax reports to: 1-800-817-0099 or 1-804-771-1908

     You may call the Kentucky New Hire Reporting Center at 1-800-817-2262
     or 1-804-771-9602 for any questions regarding the new hire law.  Help
     Desk staff are available Monday through Friday from 8:00am - 5:00pm.