Employer Responsibilities for Employee Separations
Employers play an important role in helping OESC determine an individual's eligibility for unemployment benefits. When an unemployment claim is filed by an individual, the employer is mailed an OES-617 Notice of Application for Unemployment Compensation. Employers have ten (10) calendar days to respond to this notice to be considered an interested party and protest the claim. Employers may respond with their own formal correspondence, or by using one of the forms listed below. If a form below is used, it must be printed, filled out, and then submitted to OESC via fax at 405-962-7524 or via mail at Unemployment Service Center, PO Box 52006, Oklahoma City, OK 73152.
Employer Discharge Statement Document (OES-921)
Employer Voluntary Quit Statement (OES-922)
When a claimant is separated from employment for any reason other than lack of work, OESC must make a determination of eligibility for benefits based on information obtained from the claimant and the employer. Gathering complete and timely information from the employer is vital to this process. Please note that an employee who quits may still apply for and receive unemployment benefits if the claimant shows good cause to leave work or compelling family circumstances. The employer's unemployment tax rate may or may not be affected depending on the claimant's situation.
If the claimant is separated for any reason other than lack of work, and no protest has been received approximately ten (10) days from the time the claim was filed, OESC will attempt to contact the employer for separation information via phone. If information is obtained during the call, the employer must still respond in writing to be considered an interested party to the claim. If the employer responds in writing but more information is required, OESC will contact the employer by phone or fax. The employer will have two (2) days to respond with the necessary information. If the employer is contacted by mail, the employer will have five (5) days from the postmark date to respond.
Employer Options for Mass Claims of Employee Separations
Mass claims are filed by employers with permanent or temporary layoffs of 25 or more employees. It is done by submitting an Excel file to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC), which then is uploaded into our Unemployment Insurance system, and it establishes the initial claim on behalf of the claimant for temporary layoffs. In some cases, it may be necessary to include the employer’s IT department to produce the specific information required by OESC.
Claimants must always file their weekly claim themselves until the return to work date. OESC does not require individuals on temporary layoffs to register for work or seek work while continuing to file their weekly claim.
For details on the required information and format, please view our Mass Claims Instructions document. Employers with additional questions may contact OESC at 405-557-7244 or MassClaims@oesc.state.ok.us. All mass claims must be submitted to OESC by 3:00pm Wednesday prior to the layoff to allow for problem resolution and processing time.
Temporary layoffs must have a definite return to work date that is within eight (8) weeks or less. The return to work date must not be prior to Thursday of the week they are returning. This type of layoff will involve the employer submitting the initial claim for the affected employees, but each employee will then submit their own weekly claims. Claimants are exempt from registering and searching for work with a temporary layoff.
If the temporary layoff exceeds eight (8) weeks, or no definite return to work date is given, it is considered permanent. Under this circumstance, the individual will no longer be considered job attached and must register in Oklahoma’s labor exchange system, OKJobMatch.com, and perform the required number of work search efforts each week. They must also accept a suitable offer of employment. The claimants must file the initial unemployment claim themselves online the first week they are off work, be responsible for filing the weekly claim, and correct any errors that occur by calling the Unemployment Service Center at 405-525-1500.
Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page for employers.