Reasonable Assurance – Reducing Unemployment Costs for Educational Institutions
a new school year just beginning, this is a good time to review the guidelines relating
to reasonable assurance for educational institutions. Each state may use slightly
different verbiage, but in general, the guidelines are similar to the following:
based on service in an educational institution are not payable to an individual
in any week of unemployment which begins during the period between two successive
academic years or terms and there is a reasonable assurance that he will perform
services in the same or a similar capacity in the second year or term.
Assurance applies not only to individuals employed in instructional and administrative
capacities, but also to those individuals employed as bus drivers, food service staff,
building maintenance employees and other capacities within your organization.
concept of Reasonable Assurance applicable to school employees also applies to individuals
performing services in an educational institution while in the employ of an educational
Assurance” also applies to vacation and holiday periods scheduled within the school
everyone thinks of Reasonable Assurance as an issue to be addressed at the close of
the school year and relates to giving individual’s “reasonable assurance” of returning
to work the following school year. However, Reasonable Assurance also applies to periods
between individual terms, as well as customarily scheduled vacation and holiday periods.
The verbiage found in most state laws is similar to the following:
may not be paid to an individual for a week that begins during an established and
customary vacation period or holiday recess, if the individual performs the services
in the period immediately before the vacation or holiday and there is a reasonable
assurance that he will again perform such services after the vacation or holiday.
you will need to remember, if an individual is denied benefits under this provision
and is not given an opportunity to work in the second year or term, or upon returning
from a vacation or holiday period, they may claim retroactive payment of benefits.
Do I Notify Individuals Regarding “Reasonable Assurance”?
not required, it is recommended that Reasonable Assurance be given in written form,
as written notification would enable you to provide indisputable documentation, should
it be needed, to defend yourself against inappropriate claims for unemployment benefits.
Any letter or form provided should include the following elements:
clearly stating the individual is being given reasonable assurance of returning
to work for the specifc school year involved, as well as any scheduled vacation or
holiday periods contained within
sure to include the employer’s name
both the starting and ending dates for the school year
the dates for any vacation or holiday periods scheduled within the school year
the issuers name and position; the letter or form should be from an individual with
the authority to issue reasonable assurance, but not having the authority to enter
into a contract
letter or form you utilize should conspicuously state the following: “This notification
is not intended to create a contract of employment or to alter an existing contract
of employment, if any.”
be sure to save a copy of all reasonable assurance forms or letters provided to your
employees. In addition, you should request they provide you with a signed copy or
you should retain a signed verification of receipt.
state has minor differences in the way laws regarding Reasonable Assurance are interpreted.
Questions concerning the legal implications of your written notice should be directed
to your legal counsel, prior to delivery to your employees.
Manager, Unemployment Cost Management
This weblog is sponsored by TALX.
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