June 18, 2018
Protecting Your Company from Unemployment Claims
If your business has employees, then you should be aware of unemployment issues. The Georgia Department of Labor has a great little book called “Unemployment Insurance: The Employer’s Handbook.” You can get a copy by calling (404) 232-3395, or better yet, it’s available online at www.dol.state.ga.us. The Handbook provides everything you need or want to know about unemployment compensation and your responsibility as an employer.
When a client calls and tells me that they fired an employee two weeks ago, the first thing I ask is, “Did you give complete Form DOL-800, Separation Notice and give it to the employee?” Unfortunately, the answer is usually, “No, what’s that?” Form DOL-800 is a form that employers are required to complete for each worker separated, regardless of the reason for separation. The Separation Notice should be completed, dated and delivered to the separated employee on the last day of work. Attached is the Form DOL-800 for you to keep and use.
The notice of separation should clearly state the reason for termination. This is another area in which I find that my clients have problems. The information that you give for the termination will play an important part in the decision of whether the separated employee is allowed to qualify for unemployment benefits. I had a client who failed to give a separated employee the Separation Notice and the hearing office for the Department of Labor allowed the separated employee to receive unemployment, even though she had resigned from employment! This is an area that is fraught with traps. Please give me a call if you are considering terminating an employee so that we can do whatever is necessary to protect your company from increased unemployment premiums.
June 18, 2018
Corporate Minute Scam Alert
Your company might have received a solicitation entitled “Annual Minutes Disclosure Statement” in the forms shown. These solicitations offer to complete corporate meeting minutes on behalf of your Georgia corporation for a fee. You might be confused by these solicitations because they are very official looking and in a form similar to forms sent out by the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.
Please be aware that this is a total scam. You are not required by Georgia law to file corporate minutes with the Secretary of State. You are, however, required to prepare and maintain annual minutes of your corporation. Many of my clients ask that I assist them with their first annual meeting and then prepare the minutes on their own in the following years. Please let me know if you would like my assistance.
June 18, 2018
Questions When Interviewing a Potential Employee
Finding and keeping good employees is tough, even when there are many applicants. From my unscientific survey, the hit rate is about 50%. The clients that I talk with hire two employees for every one employee that stays with, and is a good employee for, the Company.
The interview process is key in finding and keeping the best candidate. Questions that you can ask are the basics that could affect an employee’s ability to perform their job:
How do you intend to get to work?
- Are you willing to relocate if necessary?
- Do you have any commitments that would keep you from performing your job tasks such as being at work on time, working overtime, or travelling?
These questions can help you gauge whether a person is committed to pursuing a new career and whether or not they will be an asset or a liability to your company. Next, ask questions that will protect your company from legal action:
Do you have a legal right to work in the U.S.?
- Have you ever been convicted of a crime?
- Are there any other names you have used so that your employment history can be verified?
Questions such as these will eliminate any candidate that can be a risk to your company’s wellbeing. You would then like to find out a little about why the person is job searching and what they are looking for. These questions are more speculative and open to your interpretation:
- Why are you available for hire?
- What did you like most and least about your last job?
- What motivates you?
- What types of people frustrate you?
- What does “success” mean to you?
You want to find out the reasons a person may have chosen to leave or been terminated from a previous job. If you know your company and your employees, you should be able to eliminate any candidates that may cause turmoil in the workplace. Having a detailed job description for the position for which you are hiring will help you rate these responses and choose the person who most closely meets the qualifications for the position.
You may have other areas of interest you’d like to know about, but there are some questions that are off limits in an interview.
- What is the nationality of your parents or spouse?
- What religious holidays do you observe?
- Have you ever been arrested?
- Do you have children?
- When was the last time you used illegal drugs?
- What is your maiden name?
- Did you serve in the military?
Asking questions such as these and using those answers as a reason not to hire someone can justify a lawsuit for discrimination in most states.
If you have any questions about the legality of the interview process, please contact me.