In an alert issued today, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) described what many employers have been seeing for a few weeks now: a wave of fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits. Bad actors are using personal information stolen from the internet (not from the TWC) to file claims in the names of actual current or former employees. Though the claim may be fraudulent, the notice you receive from the TWC is likely real. If you suspect fraud, you should take the following actions so that your employer account is not subjected to an improper “charge back” and so the real employee’s account is not charged with receipt of benefits:
- Contact the employee and confirm that the employee did not file the claim.
- Respond to TWC’s Notice of Application for Employment Benefits by returning the Work Separation Details form to the TWC or by responding online to the TWC at the web address shown in the Notice. In your response, check the “Still Working” box to indicate that the employee still works for the company. Also, attach an explanation that states the following:
- This is a fraudulent claim.
- The employee is still employed by the company.
- The employee has confirmed that the employee did not file this claim.
- If requested by the TWC, the company will make the employee available to state on the record that the employee did not file the claim.
Note that some suspected fraudulent claims will be filed in the name of a former employee. You should follow these same steps in those cases, except that you should check the correct box (Quit, Fired, etc.) and attach an explanation of how you know the claim is fraudulent. Typically, this will involve explaining that you contacted the former employee and confirmed that the former employee did not file the charge.
- Also, report the fraudulent claim on TWC’s website here: https://www.twc.texas.gov/reporting-fraud
If we can assist your business with this or other labor and employment issues, please contact one of our Board Certified Labor & Employment attorneys.