TASB Risk Management Fund staff provide perspective on why educational entities experience an increase in unemployment claims during the summer and the importance of a Letter of Reasonable Assurance (LRA).
Support and auxiliary staff are more likely to file claims during the summer months when they’re not scheduled to work. Employees can file a claim because the break is an employer-initiated temporary work stoppage, which is the same as a layoff. However, filing doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be paid benefits.
Employers can take steps to prevent claims by issuing a Letter of Reasonable Assurance (LRA) at the time of hire and in the spring and making a timely response to all Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) claims. TWC doesn’t stop sending mail during the summer; even if district offices are closed or on vacation, the mail needs to be opened and addressed.
For more information on the impact of summer breaks on unemployment claims and LRAs, check out Why Unemployment Claims Increase When School Is Out and Issue Letters of Reasonable Assurance Before Summer Break. Information on reasonable assurance and sample letters are available in the HR Library topic, Unemployment Benefits (member login required).
Districts should also continue to protect themselves against unemployment fraud, which has increased during the pandemic. More information can be found in the HRX articles Fraudulent Unemployment Claims on the Rise and Unemployment Compensation Fraud.
Catherine Rubiera is a senior data analyst at TASB HR Services. Send Catherine an email at email@example.com.
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