People who claim benefits when they aren’t eligible are required to repay any and all overpayments in full, with a penalty assessed if the overpayment was due to fraud.
The department is very aggressive about collecting overpayments. If the claimant is employed, the department will garnish their wages. Yes – this means their new employers will discover they owe us money.
Other steps include garnishing the spouse’s wages, filing an administrative lien on personal property such as vehicles or private property, and seizing bank accounts and tax refunds.
Collection activity is a lot of work, but worth the investment. Allowing improperly paid benefits to stay uncollected isn’t fair to the many unemployed people who play by the rules. Collection efforts also help prevent employers from paying unnecessary taxes for benefits.
Bottom line: Collecting benefits when you shouldn’t isn’t worth the pain of having to pay them back ─ with penalties and interest.
Q: I want to ask for a copy of my personnel record from my last Idaho employer. What time frame does the employer have to respond to this request? Can the employer charge a fee for photocopying? If so, what is the standard rate?
A: According to Idaho law, employers must maintain employment records for a minimum of three (3) years from the last date of the employee’s service. Personnel documents are considered to be the property of the employer, consequently, any obligation to share these documents, absent a subpoena, is contractual between the company and the employee or the company and its union.
The best thing to do is to first simply ask for the records from the employer. Typically, the individual would be allowed to view the file on the company’s premises and to make copies of documents, which often can be at the individual’s expense. However, even if your former employer agrees to do so, there is no law that requires an them to provide or send the complete file.
If that fails, request the documents through an attorney or Legal Aid.
As a point of interest, Idaho law does require employers to provide, upon request by the employee, information in writing on rate of pay and day of payment. Employers are also required to – at the employee’s request – provide notice to its employees of any reduction in wages prior to the work being performed.
While it is unfortunate we are shutting down due to our loss of shareholder funding, please know the training we provided all of our employees is fully transferable and should help make them better trained employees for other Idaho employers. The grant money allowed us to train our employees at a much faster cadence than we would have been able to accomplish without it. Our employees were exposed to many different types of training including Safety, Manufacturing, Semiconductor Process, Photovoltaic overview, Project Management, Kepner-Tregoe Problem Solving and Decision Making, Lean and Six Sigma theories, 6S, and Quality.
Benefits Transform Solar received due to the grant include creation of a workforce development team, learning management system, pre-packaged computer based training modules for soft skills, a 10 desktop computer lab, a 10 laptop mobile computer lab and library of texts and manuals.
Strategic training partnerships created through this grant include a leadership development program with Boise State University, classes on programmable logic controllers with the College of Western Idaho, photovoltaic training with Austrailia National University and Treasure Valley Community College, internal technology knowledge transfer, attendance at national and international industry related conferences and seminars, and employee engagement through professional development.
I would like to extend our sincere appreciation to you, the Idaho Department of Labor and your team for awarding a Workforce Development Training Fund grant to Transform Solar. Both Leandra Burns and Jenny Hemly provided our company with exemplary service. Your team was always open to discussions on how the grant monies could be utilized which allowed our start-up flexibility in how the funds were used
Thanks to the department’s investment in Transform and its people, we wind down our business confident we utilized these precious training dollars to the best of our ability and the overall benefit to Idaho employers who become the beneficiaries of our people’s increased knowledge and skills. We are truly grateful for this experience.
Workforce Development Manager
Human Resources Director
Editor’s Note: Idaho’s Workforce Development Training Fund was created in 1996 and has since helped hundreds of expanding Idaho companies train new employees as well as upgrade the skills of current workers at risk of layoff. Established in 1996, the fund is financed by the state’s businesses through a setaside from the unemployment insurance tax. Idaho businesses have tapped the fund to train over 20,000 workers for more than 200 companies since its inception. The application process is designed for quick turnaround with minimal paperwork. To qualify companies must:
• Produce a product or service sold outside the region where their businesses are located;
• Pay the trained employees at least $12 an hour plus employer-assisted medical benefits; and
• Increase their current workforce or retrain existing staff who otherwise face layoffs.