Q. If our company hires seasonal employees for the holidays and then releases them after the Christmas rush, will we be responsible for any unemployment insurance claims as the workers’ last employer?
A. It depends on how many weeks the employees have worked during the “base year,” whether for you or other employers. The fact that an employee worked for you only during the holiday season does not necessarily mean that you will not be responsible for unemployment compensation.
To be eligible for unemployment compensation, an employee must have worked for 16 weeks during the base year. The base year is generally the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to the date that the employee applied for unemployment benefits. According to the law, “The amount of money the employee was paid by all employers covered by the unemployment compensation law during the ‘base year’ determines whether the employee qualifies for benefits and for what amount.”
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