Unemployment Insurance

Our experienced attorneys represent companies in hearings and appeals

Most companies in Hawaii must carry unemployment insurance (UI) that covers the cost of unemployment benefits for eligible workers. The state has a list of eligibility requirements, and in some cases, a worker may be disqualified from receiving benefits.

We protect the interests of our business clients by making sure ineligible employees do not receive unemployment benefits. In most states, unemployment benefits are paid out if your employee has been laid off or quit with good cause. But there are cases in which employees do not qualify:

  • Quitting without good cause
  • Being discharged for misconduct connected to the employee's work
  • Refusing a referral or offer of suitable work without good cause
  • Stopping work because of a labor dispute
  • Receiving or seeking other unemployment insurance benefits
  • Committing fraud to collect unemployment insurance benefits

Employers should never support a claim for unemployment insurance benefits if any of the scenarios listed above apply to an employee. Businesses typically must pay higher premiums or insurance surcharges when an UI claim is approved.

We can provide steady guidance if your company needs to pay out unemployment benefits or you need to dispute a claim. Torkildson, Katz, Moore, Hetherington & Harris, Attorneys at Law has a successful track record in representing employers involved in unemployment insurance disputes or appeals.

We Help Businesses Comply with Hawaii's Unemployment Insurance Laws

As an employer in Hawaii, you must pay all the cost of unemployment insurance. You cannot ask employees to share the cost. If you don't purchase UI or you violate state laws, you could face thousands of dollars in fines and possibly criminal charges. Even if your company does provide UI to all employees, your business must file the proper paperwork (including forms BB-1 and UC-25) and comply with all the rules and regulations outlined in Hawaii Employment Security Law, Hawaii Revised Statutes Chapter 383, as well as other state and federal laws. Otherwise, your company could be investigated by the Department of Labor, Department of Justice or Internal Revenue Service, depending on the nature of your violations.

Our knowledgeable labor and employment attorneys can make sure your business fully complies with all applicable state and federal unemployment laws. We can help your business file the necessary paperwork and obtain the necessary approvals for your company's unemployment insurance tax registration. And if your company is being investigated for violating state or federal unemployment insurance laws, we can represent your company in court and work with prosecutors to obtain a favorable decision on your company's behalf. Your business is our business.