Tennessee Employer
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TN Department of Labor and Workforce Development - September 2012

State SealPremium table shift lowers employer tax rates
Tax table likely to change again before first quarter

By law, the balance in Tennessee’s Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund on each June 30 and December 31 determines the Premium Table that takes effect for the immediately following six months of the year. The Trust Fund balance on June 30 was more than $568 million. That means, as of July 1 of this year, we officially moved to Premium Table 3, whereon rates for experience-rated, positive reserve employers are lower than those on Premium Table 1, the table we have been on for the past few years now.

While we know Table 3 will be effective for the 3rd and 4th quarters of this year, you may ask which table might be in effect for the 1st and 2nd quarters of 2013. That will depend on the Trust Fund balance on December 31. We can tell you that traditionally the Trust Fund balance slowly declines throughout the latter part of the year; so, while a move to Premium Table 2 – or even back to Premium Table 1 – is possible, we won't know until the December 31 balance is tallied, just after the first of the year.

Greg PatrickYouTubeVideoLink

Marvin Windows, Technology Centers, and TN DOL partner in placing qualified workers
When Quebecor World's plant in Covington announced their shutdown in 2009, hundreds of workers lost their jobs. This video shows how Trade Adjustment Assistance funded training at a Tennessee Technology Center made a difference.

Jeff Hollett
Jeff Hollett
John Deere Factory Manager

John Deere recognized for workplace safety
Greeneville company earns safety award

On July 25, 2012, Commissioner Karla Davis presented John Deere Power Products with the Commissioner’s Award of Excellence for Workplace Safety and Health.

John Deere earned the award by working more than one million hours without a lost-time workplace injury or illness. 

John Deere Power Products is located in Greeneville and manufactures lawn and garden equipment.

John Deere is also a VPP STAR facility, considered the best of the best in the area of safety and health program performance. VPP sites are exempt from TOSHA compliance programmed inspections for three years.

“It is always nice to receive an award like this, but the real reward is knowing that our associates have a safe working environment and can go home each night in the same condition in which they came to work,” said Jeff Hollett, John Deere Power Product’s Factory Manager. “A special thanks to our safety team and all of our associates.  The award would not have been possible without their teamwork.” 

For more information on the Commissioner’s Safety Award and other TOSHA award programs contact TOSHA’s Nashville office at (800) 249-8510.




Work searches now required to receive Tennessee unemployment

Beginning September 1, 2012, the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development is requiring all unemployment claimants in Tennessee to demonstrate valid work search activity and maintain a work search log. Failure to comply with the new law will result in a loss of benefits.

Labor and Workforce Development will conduct random audits of 1,000 claimants’ work search documentation each week to verify work search activity. If work search claims are found to be fraudulent, the department will stop a claimant’s benefits immediately and can suspend payments for eight weeks.


Employer Information Request

A few months ago, we sent more than 114,000 letters to employers asking for updated addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses. This was an attempt get your most current information on file and to have consistency between the Tax and Benefits sections of our department. It's not too late to send us your changes in order that we may serve you better! Contact us at 615-741-2486 or by e-mail at EmployerStatus-Rates@tn.gov.


New system replaces decade-old method for filing automated partial claims
Internet-based system helps employers with seasonal layoff unemployment claims

Employers who are accustomed to filing automated unemployment claims (known as APS) when they have a reduction in their workforce will be using a new filing system for submitting those claims beginning October 8, 2012. The new Internet-based system is replacing the current decade-old system for filing APS claims.

The Automated Partial System is a convenient way for employers to file claims for employees who are laid off due to lack of work only. There are currently hundreds of employers using the system, and there is no minimum number of employees required to be able to use the system.

The old system for creating and uploading employee data could only be downloaded onto one PC within the company. The new APS, which runs on an Oracle database management system, is Internet based; that is, it can be used from any computer at any company location.  The new APS system has greatly enhanced the application process.

The new APS cross-references data submitted by the employer with the mainframe and identifies inconsistencies between the two, such as name changes, ages, and addresses. It also prevents other kinds of errors, such as week-ending dates that must always be a Saturday. The employer will now have to make the needed corrections in order to upload his file to the department.

Employers will have to build their databases in the new system and can do so by one of two methods. They can convert (copy) employee information from the existing APS application or they can manually key employee information directly into the Internet-based APS application. If employers have previously exported FoxPro to the new APS and have subsequently made changes to FoxPro data, the department stresses that another export is necessary to capture all current employee data. Conversions will be allowed after the October 8 start-up date.

Employers who are currently filing claims via APS will be contacted via email, by the APS staff, of the change coming in October.  Detail and definitions are available in the FAQs at https://tdlwd.tn.gov/apsweb/faq.pdf.  Employers may also contact the APS staff directly by using the e-mail address account.partials@tn.gov or by using the Contact Us link located on the header of the APS screens.


SIDES is secure, saves time, helps lower rates
Electronic requests for unemployment separation debuts in Tennessee

“The process is much more efficient using a standard set of questions for every state and every unemployment claim. Because the information is sent in a secure, electronic fashion, it ensures the protection of sensitive employer and claimant data. In addition, receiving the request for information on day one ADP Logorather than waiting for it to arrive in the mail provides additional time for TPAs to gather the appropriate separation details.”

Help keep UI Tax rates as low as possible by taking advantage of the UI SIDES eResponse Web site http://www.uisides.org. Using the eResponse Web site ensures more complete information is provided through standard edits, validations, and business rules, eliminating delays related to paper mail and reducing time-consuming follow-up phone calls.

If you receive a separation request that contains your FEIN/SEIN and an access code, you have access to the eResponse Web site for that particular claim. Not every claim will be available on eResponse; however, the State of Tennessee is working diligently so more claims may be accessed through the eResponse Web site. The letter you receive has a cover letter with instructions for using the E-Response Web site.

For additional information concerning UI SIDES please contact our agency at sides.helpdesk@tn.gov or call SIDES support toll free, 1-855-295-3095.

The SIDES E-Response Web site is for employers with a limited number of UI claims throughout the year; SIDES, on the other hand, is a computer-to-computer interface for employers and third-party administrators (TPAs) that typically deal with a large volume of UI information requests. To determine which option is better for you, go to the SIDES and SIDES E-Response Fact Sheet at http://www.tn.gov/labor-wfd/sides/FactSheet.pdf



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| TN Dept of Labor | UI Tax Information| TOSHA Safety Programs |
| SIDES | Automated Partials | Jobs4TN.gov |

Send us comments or suggestions on department topics to jeff.hentschel@tn.gov

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