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TN Department of Labor and Workforce Development - February 2012

FEATURE STORIES

Nissan sign in Smyrna Tennessee Career Centers
Placing Workers with an Industry Giant


One of the biggest responses to a call for applicants in recent Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce history took place Wednesday, November 2, at the Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro with the announcement that Yates Services was seeking to fill positions for Nissan’s Vehicle Assembly Plant in Smyrna.

R.J. Sherr, Tennessee Career Center Manager, said people lined up at the Murfreesboro hotel to apply for the highly sought after openings before 4:00 a.m.“We had people looking for a different job who were currently employed, people who were applying for their first job, people who had been unemployed for quite some time,” said R.J. “We saw a lot of veterans. We had all age ranges, all ethnicities. We had people in blue jeans and people in three-piece suits applying."

By the end of the day close to 4,000 people had completed applications – more than triple the 1,100 or so job openings. The event was scheduled to end at 2:00 p.m., but R.J. said it was 7:30 that night before they saw the last person in line.

The event was featured in USA Today and on ABC’s Good Morning America.
Career Center LogoTennessee Career Centers provide recruiting services free for all employers. To open a job order either contact a Tennessee Career Center representative in your area call 615.741.6642 or visit www.tn.gov/labor-wfd/cc/

E-VerifyE-Verify Logo
Tennessee Adopts Federal Law to
Insure Documented Workforce


Beginning January 1, 2012, Tennessee employers with 500 or more employees and all state and local government agencies must show they are hiring and maintaining a legal workforce. Those employers must provide supporting documentation if inspected by the Tennessee Department of Labor. Signed into law by Governor Haslam on June 7, 2011, the Tennessee Lawful Employment Act requires employers to enroll and verify employment eligibility of all newly hired employees either through the E-Verify program or by providing specific identity and employment authorization documents. If you are an employer falling within the initial phase-in period, see the department’s Web site for details for complying with the Act. http://www.tn.gov/labor-wfd/eVerify/

EMPLOYMENT SECURITY
UPDATES

No change expected to Premium Rate Table
Current projections indicate the balance of Tennessee’s Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund will be below $450 million on December 31, 2011. That means that Premium Rate Table 1 will remain in effect for the first and second quarters of 2012. The premium rates used by employers for the third and fourth quarters of 2011 will remain in effect for the first and second quarters of 2012. 

Remember to take advantage of the full 5.4% credit on your annual Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA) return
In order to claim this credit, you must pay all amounts due your state unemployment insurance fund by the due date of the FUTA return, January 31, 2012.


Rules of hearsay evidence modifed for unemployment appeals
In the last Legislative session, Tennessee unemployment law was amended in a manner that makes it easier for employers to submit documentary evidence at unemployment appeals hearings. Public Law 2011-128 now permits employers to have employment records that qualify as business records entered into evidence through an affidavit from the custodian of the record rather than requiring the custodian of the record to actually appear at the hearing to authenticate the records as business records. In order to qualify as a business record, the document must have been: made at or near the time of the occurrence of the matters set forth by, or from information transmitted by, a person with knowledge of and a business duty to record or transmit those matters; kept in the course of the regularly conducted activity; and made by the regularly conducted activity as a regular practice. This procedure permits the Hearing Officer to consider properly authenticated records as valid evidence rather than as “hearsay” evidence that could not be given the same consideration as other evidence. Such evidence may not, however, be as persuasive as the testimony of an actual witness, if that witness is available. Most hearings are conducted by telephone to facilitate witness participation.

There are three Career Coach vehicles serving east, middle, and west TennesseeThe Mobile Career Center
Next Stop
: [your business here]

Key to the success of recent job fairs for online retailer Amazon in Lebanon and Nissan Motor Manufacturing in Smyrna were the department’s three mobile Career Coaches.  Serving as Career Centers on wheels, the Career Coaches are multi-purpose units, offering employers recruitment and interview space or providing a working space for businesses still under construction that need to begin hiring. The Coaches are outfitted with a computer lab and Internet access and offer all services an individual could get at a Career Center. Book the Coach online at http://www.getonthecoach.tn.gov/.

Unemployment Insurance Fraud
Employers can help prevent unemployment insurance fraud

The department’s Unemployment Insurance program continuously investigates fraud to make certain employers are assessed the proper tax rate and benefits are paid only to eligible applicants. Bottom line: fraud affects the premiums an employer pays, and detection of fraud helps preserve the integrity of the UI trust fund.

How can you help as an employer?

  1. Respond in a timely manner to audit letters requesting weekly earnings of current or former employees and to requests for separation information.
  2. File New Hire Reports online with the Tennessee Department of Human Services as soon as a new employee is hired: https://www.tnnewhire.com/.
  3. Respond to Notice of Claim Filed cards from the department.
  4. Review charge statements for employees who have voluntarily quit or refused work.
  5. Remind employees they must report their earnings the week they start or return to work. The most common cause of fraud is when employees are working and not reporting their wages while collecting unemployment benefits.

If you think someone is working and not reporting his wages while collecting unemployment benefits contact the department’s Benefit Payment Control unit at (615) 741-2606 or e-mail your top to ESADMIN@TN.GOV.

 

Quicklinks
| TN EMPLOYER | TN Dept of Labor | Career Centers | E-Verify |
| Benefit Payment Control | Career Coach |

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

TENNESSEE EMPLOYER is published monthly by
the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development
220 French Landing Drive · Nashville, TN 37243
(615) 741-6642

 

If you would like to be added to this newsletter, please send a request to jeff.hentschel@tn.gov