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I have a question lawyer who is conversant on NC

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I have a question for a lawyer who is conversant on NC unemployment benefits
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Employment Law
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9/13/2015
Employment Lawyer: Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney replied 2 years ago
Dimitry K., Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 41,221
Experience: I provide employment and discrimination law advice in my own practice.
Verified

Thank you for your post. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

I am very familiar with NC unemployment benefits and NC laws. How can I assist you?

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I have a small veterinary practice, about 8 employees. In June, my office manager had to suddenly up and leave due to her husband's sudden diagnosis of pancreatic terminal stage 4 pancreatic cancer. They are not well off and she had to become his primary
caretaker. She was NOT fired, she was a good employee. I consulted with my CPA, who consulted with a supervisor in the Western North Carolina office of Unemployment Benefits. We were advised to go ahead and terminate her as we had to replace her with another
employee and we knew she would be out 9-12 months prior to his death. We do not even know if she will seek her job back. My CPA was advised that upon termination, she would be eligible for unemployment benefits. She has been unable to receive any and we are
being told that it is because she should be out seeking a job. She can't seek a job until her husband has passed away as she has to physically take care of him 24 hours/day. Were we misinformed. We absolutely did not fire her, there were no problems with her
job performance and she was a long time employee. Our business is 32 years old. We WANT her to receive benefits if possible. Is there anything we can do to help her or were we misinformed about her eligibility for unemployment benefits? We realize there will
likely be a limit on how long she can collect anything, but ANYTHING would help!!! Thank you for your accurate answer. We are trying to help her as much as possible. We were also advised to terminate her vs laying her off so she would qualify for benefits.
Sincerely, Mickey
Employment Lawyer: Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney replied 2 years ago

Thank you for your post. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

Let me be as honest and direct as I can as far as unemployment benefits. Receipt of those benefits is contingent on these factors:

1. That the person was not fired 'for cause', or that the person resigned, and that you aren't disputing the claim.

2. The person DOES have to be formally laid off or terminated without good cause. A firing or a termination is the same thing if there is no good cause behind it, no matter what you may call it ultimately. Termination or a layoff work the same way as far as benefits-what governs is lack of good cause as the deciding factor for benefits.

3. Once terminated the person must be available to work, and must look for work. If someone is unavailable, such as due to vacation or care of a loved one, they are by definition no longer able and willing to work, so they are not able to receive benefits.

Here, if she is not seeking work, she cannot get benefits. Now, you can choose to pay her yourselves, but you cannot make the state pay her if she is not able to work at this time. I am genuinely sorry and I understand your wish to help--if that is your desire, you can do so yourselves but you cannot make the state do it.

Sincerely

Dimitry, Esq.

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