Human resources questions: can employees apply for unemployment insurance when the dental office is closed?

June 19, 2012
When your practice is closed, such as when you attend continuing-education events, human resources experts Tim Twigg and Rebecca Crane explain employees’ legal rights to obtain compensation for these days off.

Q: I close my practice throughout the year to attend various continuing education events. Sometimes this results in the office being closed for two weeks at a time. Employees can either take the time off without pay or use accrued paid time off such as vacation. Recently one of my employees, who did not have accrued time off to use, applied for unemployment insurance. Is this legal?

A: Employees do have the right to apply for UI benefits anytime they are off work for a certain period of time and not earning compensation. The length of time will vary from state to state. For example, California has a waiting period of two weeks, but other states are one week. If the employees meet the eligibility requirements, they will likely be awarded the benefits.

The opinions expressed above are based on the writer’s comprehensive background as a human resources professional and the policies in our Bent Ericksen & Associates products having been reviewed by legal counsel. The writer is not an attorney, and the advice provided in this message should not be construed as a legal opinion. If you have legal questions after considering the advice and reading any materials referenced, it is recommended that you consult with your attorney.

Author bio
Tim Twigg is the president of Bent Ericksen & Associates, and Rebecca Crane is a human resource compliance consultant with Bent Ericksen & Associates. For 30 years, the company has been a leading authority in human resource and personnel issues, helping dentists deal successfully with the ever-changing and complex labor laws. To receive a complimentary copy of the company’s quarterly newsletter or to learn more about its services, call (800) 679-2760 or visit