New Jersey has unemployment compensations law which is designed to provide a safety net for employees who through no fault of their own are terminated from their job. An employee who is terminated from their employment may make an application with their local (county) Department of Labor/Unemployment Compensation Office. These offices are generally located in the capital city of each of New Jersey's counties. For more specific information, or to contact the Department of Unemployment refer to the Department of Labor's web site.
In order to be eligible for unemployment benefits, an employee must have been employed for the past 12 months and have earned a specific amount of money. The specific calculations, time and earnings are modified on a regular basis and any employee seeking unemployment benefits should refer to the Department of Labor for information concerning their eligibility.
In general, any individual seeking unemployment benefits must meet the following criteria.
- File an appropriate claim with the unemployment office.
- Certify they are able to work.
- Be able to demonstrate that they are actively seeking work.
- Be available for work.
- Satisfy the statutory one-week waiting period.
- Satisfy the time and earning requirements as set forth by the Department of Labor.
An employee will not be permitted to collect unemployment benefits if they are not looking for work or otherwise capable of working. If the employee is sick or disabled, they should apply for state or social security disability rather than unemployment compensation. In some situations, part-time employees may be eligible for benefits. If there is any question as to whether you are eligible for unemployment benefits, you should make a timely application with the Department of Labor and thoroughly research their rules, regulations and requirements which are made available on the Department of Labor's web site, and at the specific unemployment offices.
Some of the employees are disqualified for unemployment benefits for a variety of reasons. If an employee quits his employment or is terminated for engaging in serious misconduct, he may be denied unemployment benefits. In many cases, an employer provides information to the Department of Labor that an employee quit or was terminated based on misconduct. In this situation, many times an employee will be denied unemployment benefits and will need to file an appeal. While an employee can file an appeal on their own, it's always best to have the advice of a trained and experienced attorney in filing an appeal and in working your way through the administrative process in securing unemployment benefits.
In many cases, employers state that an employee was fired for misconduct and the facts do not support such a claim. Misconduct is defined as improper and intentional conduct directly connected with one's work. There are a variety of court cases and opinions to specifically define misconduct at work. For example, unexcused absences from work may be misconduct and may result in the denial of an individual's unemployment benefits. Essentially, misconduct is some intentional or deliberate disregard for the rules and regulations that an employer has a right to expect of an employee. Mistakes, negligence or unintentional conduct do not generally support a determination that an employee has been terminated for misconduct.
The denial of unemployment benefits can have serious financial consequences on an employee who has recently lost his job. Whenever, there is denial of unemployment benefits an employee is always well advised to get the advice of an experienced attorney in order to determine all of the rights and remedies available. Additional information regarding unemployment benefits can be found on the Department of Labor's web site.