Frequently Asked Questions
Employment Services Questions
Q How do I file a grievance or complaint or appeal a determination regarding a Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funded program or service? Click the following for information: “Grievance, Complaint and Appeal Procedures for Kentucky’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Program.”
Q How do I file a grievance or complaint if I believe I was subjected to discrimination for a program or service administered under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) on the basis of age, disability, sex, race, color, national origin, religion, or political affiliation or belief? Click the following for information: “Grievance, Complaint and Appeal Procedures for Kentucky’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Program.”
Q How does the Office of Employment and Training recruitment process work?
A When an employer lists a job vacancy with the Office of Employment and Training (OET), the minimum requirements for the job (regarding education, training, experience, etc.) as established by the employer are entered into the Office of Employment and Training computerized data base. The automated computer system compares the requirements of the job to the qualifications of the job seekers who are registered with our agency to create a list of qualified applicants. Those identified are contacted about the job opening and the job seekers who are interested in the job are referred to the employer for an interview. If the employer is not satisfied with those referred, there is no obligation to hire them. The job opening can remain open until the right individual is referred. Recruitment can be performed locally, regionally, statewide or nationally according to the employer’s wishes.
Q How can I list a job opening (job order) with OET?
A An employer can recruit applicants through the Office of Employment and Training (OET) by listing a job opening (job order) with one of our 28 field offices or numerous branch offices located across the Commonwealth. A job opening can be listed by submitting an on-line job order form via the OET’s Internet web site, or sending a job order form by fax, or calling the nearest OET office.
Q Does OET charge a fee for services provided?
A No. There is no fee to the job seeker or the employer for basic job matching services provided by the Office of Employment and Training. These services are funded from a small portion of the taxes paid by employers pursuant to the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA).
Q How does OET screen applicants for jobs?
A The Office of Employment and Training (OET) screens applicants by comparing the minimum requirements of the job opening as established by the employer to the qualifications of job seekers who have registered for work. OET staff utilize an automated system to assist in the screening process to identify qualified individuals to refer to the employer.
Q Where do job seekers registered with OET come from?
A The Office of Employment and Training has the largest data base of job seekers in the Commonwealth, and through our relationship with other state employment service agencies nationwide, we are a part of the largest data base of job seekers in the nation. Anyone who is legally qualified to work in the United States may use the services of the Office of Employment and Training to seek employment. Job seekers registered for work with OET come from all walks of life, from the highly-skilled professional to the unskilled laborer. Some are veterans who are transitioning from the military to the civilian workforce; others have been laid off due to plant closures after working many years at their previous jobs; others are working full-time but seeking better pay or benefits or are interested in a career change; and some may have never held a job before.
Q Are all job seekers registered with OET drawing Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits?
A No. Generally, only about a quarter of all job seekers registered for employment with the Office of Employment and Training (OET) are Unemployment Insurance recipients. The number of Unemployment Insurance recipients registered for employment with OET has grown in recent years as the American economy has changed. Unlike in the past, the majority of workers can no longer expect to work for the same company throughout their working lives. As a result, more are taking advantage of the Unemployment Insurance program to help them make the transition from one job to the next. Assisting UI recipients to obtain suitable employment as quickly as possible is one of its primary objectives of OET. Doing so is in the best interest of the job seeker, the employer, and the community.
Q Are job seekers required to apply with jobs if they are drawing UI?
A Unemployment Insurance (UI) recipients are required to be able and available for and to seek and accept offers of "suitable employment." They are not required to accept jobs that are significantly different in pay or job duties from that to which they are accustomed. However, the definition of "suitable employment" is tenuous and changes as the duration of one’s unemployment lengthens. Therefore, UI recipients may be required to lower their expectations as the length of their unemployment extends. Unemployment Insurance recipients who refuse a referral to employment from OET or refuse to report to an interview to which they were referred or refuse an offer of employment that results from a referral made by OET risk losing their eligibility for UI benefits.
Q How do job seekers apply with OET?
A Generally, a job seeker will visit one of our 28 field offices or numerous branch offices located across the state to register for work with the Office of Employment and Training. Under certain circumstances, for example when a new business needs to take mass applications, OET will make its application-taking services available off-site. Eventually, it will be possible for job seekers to register for employment via the Internet; however, this capability does not exist at present.
Q What is the going rate for the job I’m seeking to fill?
A The prevailing wage rate for a job varies from one area of the state to another. For advice regarding the prevailing wage rate for the job you are trying to fill contact the nearest Office of Employment and Training field office or utilize the Labor Market Information on our website.
Q How quickly can I get referrals after I place a job order with OET?
A It depends on the number of job seekers registered with OET who are qualified for and interested in the job. Your job listing is entered into a computerized system and made available to all of our offices as soon as the information is input. OET staff utilize an automated system to identify job seekers who's qualifications match the job opening and contact them that day if possible. Thus, the employer may see referrals the next day, and sometimes even on the same day. However, if the job is highly skilled and there are no qualified job seekers registered with OET, or those who are qualified are not interested in the job (for example, if it pays less than the prevailing wage rate for similar jobs in the local economy), it may take longer. Because OET makes your job opening available on the Kentucky Job Bank and America's Job Bank. You will also benefit from the newest trend in conducting job searches today, the internet. This allows OET to recruit for your job opening locally, statewide and nationally.
Q How do I know which OET office to contact?
A Generally, it is best to contact the OET office nearest you to place a job order. To determine which office is nearest you, see the OET Field Office Directory.
Q Is recruitment for my job opening performed locally, statewide or nationally?
A Generally, recruitment is first performed locally. If no qualified applicants are available locally, then your job opening will be placed on America’s Job Bank, which makes it available to job seekers statewide and nationally. However, OET will recruit locally, statewide or nationally according to the employer’s wishes.
Q Can OET provide me with a place to interview applicants?
A Yes. Most OET field offices have space that they can provide to employers on a temporary or occasional basis for interviewing job applicants. Availability may be limited in some offices.
Q Does OET provide any testing?
A Yes. OET can administer a test to determine a job seeker’s math, reading and language skill levels, and an array of tests which includes typing, data entry, 10-key, grammar and spelling. OET can also administer an employer's test.
Q Does OET do drug screening for companies?
A No. Due to liability issues connected with drug screening most employers prefer to handle this internally.
Q How can I find out about hiring the disabled, minorities, females, etc.?
A OET does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, national origin, religion, disability or age in the referral of job seekers to job openings listed by employers. However, an employer who because of a court order must use affirmative action in recruiting applicants who belong to certain protected groups may list an affirmative action job order with OET. An affirmative action job order indicates that the employer is making a special effort to recruit applicants from those groups covered in the court order.
Q Where can I get a language interpreter (sign or foreign language) and who pays for the service?
A OET is required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to make reasonable accommodations to ensure that all of its services are made available to persons with disabilities on a fair and equitable basis. The Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing maintains a directory of individuals who will interpret for the deaf for a fee. Local OET offices may also have the names of individuals in the local area who will interpret foreign languages for a fee. If the service is provided for the sole benefit of a particular employer, it is the employer’s responsibility to pay for the service. Inability to speak the English language that is not due to a physical or mental disability, that is because one’s native tongue is not English, is not a disability covered by the ADA.
Q I need help in providing reasonable accommodation for a disabled employee. Do you provide this service?
A OET is willing to provide whatever assistance we are able and qualified to provide; however, OET staff are not experts in the field of making accommodations for persons with disabilities. It may be that the state ADA Coordinator, Norb Ryan, or Department for Vocational Rehabilitation staff are better able and more qualified to provide the assistance you need. Mr. Ryan may be contacted by calling (502)564-2304, or by visiting the Department for Vocational Rehabilitation web site.
Q What notices/posters are Kentucky employers required by law to post in conspicuous places, and where do I get them?
A Mandatory Federal Posters are:
1. Employee Polygraph Protection Notice
2. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission/Age Discrimination
3. Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993
4. Federal Minimum Wage Notice
5. Occupational Safety and Health Act – OSHA
Mandatory Kentucky Posters are:
6. Child Labor Law
7. Equal Employment Opportunity
8. Safety and Health Protection on the Job
9. Unemployment Insurance Benefits
10. Wage Discrimination Because of Sex
11. Wage and Hour Laws
These posters may be obtained from the various state and federal agencies that are specifically responsible for each particular area, or at the OET website at http://www.oet.ky.gov/pubs/publications.htm
Q What tax credits programs does OET offer to employers?
A The Office of Employment and Training administers the federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) and the Welfare-to-Work Tax Credit (WtW) programs and the state Unemployment Tax Credit program (UTC). In addition, OET helps employers take advantage of tax credits available to those who start or expand their businesses in state Enterprise Zones.
Q Can I get information regarding equal employment opportunity (EEO) from OET?
A General advice regarding equal opportunity in employment may be provided by local OET staff or the OET’s EEO Officer, Vivian Bettis (phone: (502)564-2918). However, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is better qualified to provide such information. The phone number for the EEOC Office in Louisville is (502)582-6082.
Unemployment Insurance Questions
Q What is the "Waiting Week"?
A Due to recent changes in the Unemployment Insurance law you must now serve a one week waiting period per Benefit Year. Your waiting week will always be your first payable week. You will request benefits for a two week period. If you are otherwise eligible, the amount of your first check will only be for one week. Your maximum benefit amount will not change. For more information, please go to www.oet.ky.gov
Q What is the current UI benefit rate range?
A $39.00 minimum to $415.00 maximum per week
Q How is the UI tax rate figured for my company?
A While there are many variables in tax rate computation, simply put it is the amount of taxes paid into a reserve account for each employer, minus the amount of benefits paid. However, tax rates are not based solely on the reserve account balance. Instead a reserve ratio is computed which compares the size of the balance to the size of the total amount of taxable wages reported by the employer during the twelve (12) calendar quarters preceding the computation date. The rate is determined from a rate schedule set forth in statute and available on our web site. Employers in the mining and construction industry may have higher rates in spite of the reserve ratio and account balance.
Q Can a person draw UI if they quit?
A Assuming the claimant has sufficient wage credits to establish a claim, he or she may be qualified to receive benefits if they voluntarily left their employment with good cause attributable to the employment and there are no other eligibility issues present.
Q Can a person draw UI if they are fired?
A Assuming the claimant has sufficient wage credits to establish a claim, he or she may be qualified to receive benefits if they were discharged for reasons other than misconduct connected with the work and there are no other eligibility issues present.
Q How can a person draw UI from me when they were fired from another employer?
A If you are the most recent ten (10) week employer on the claim and the worker left your employment under non-disqualifying conditions or you failed to file a timely protest to the initial claim for benefits, then you may be charged for the benefits.
Q How can this person file for UI when there are help wanted signs everywhere?
A An otherwise eligible claimant is entitled to receive benefits, unless he or she is unable to perform suitable work; is unavailable for suitable work or has refused suitable work. In part, suitable work is determined by examining the degree of risk involved to the worker’s health, safety and morals; the worker’s experience and prior earnings; the length of the unemployment and prospects of securing local work in the customary occupation and the distance of the work from the worker’s residence. Simply because there are plenty of available jobs, does not mean that they are suitable for each claimant.
Q How long and how much money can a person draw in UI benefits?
A The maximum amount of benefits payable to any worker within any benefit year shall be the amount equal to whichever is the lesser of: (a) Twenty-six (26) times his weekly benefit rate; or (b) One-third (1/3) of his base-period wages, except that no worker's maximum amount shall be less than fifteen (15) times his weekly benefit rate.
Q If I fire an employee for absenteeism is he or she eligible for UI benefits?
A If an employee’s absences amount to misconduct connected with the work, they will be disqualified. Generally, good cause for missing work, is not misconduct. Simple numbers of days or percentages of lost time cannot show a worker is guilty of misconduct.
Q What do I do if I want to contest a claim?
A You should file a written protest setting forth the reasons for separation, and do so within ten (10) days from the date the claim was filed.
Q What do I do if I don’t want to contest a claim?
A You do not have to do anything. A lack of response suggests that you do not wish to protest. However, if an employee is separated for reasons other than lack of work, the agency still has the responsibility to investigate and determine if the separation was for disqualifying or non disqualifying reasons.
Q Where can I get the UI tax ID number?
A Contact us by clicking here to apply online, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by postal mail at the Division of Unemployment Insurance Status Branch. P. O. Box 948, Frankfort KY 40602
Q Why do you need the tax ID number?
A So that the Division of Unemployment Insurance can accurately credit tax payments to your account and keep track of payments charged to your account.
Q How does the Automated Benefits Exchange System (ABE) work?
A The ABE System, often referred to as the VRU, uses a touch-tone telephone to allow a claimant to claim their weeks or request the status of their last week claimed. Week Claiming is available on Sunday from 2:00 PM until 9:00 PM Eastern time and Monday - Friday from 7:00 AM until 7:00 PM Eastern time. The Last Week Claimed Inquiry is available Tuesday through Friday from 7:00 AM until 7:00 PM Eastern time. This system offers the claimant the availability of a faster payment. In about the same amount of time it takes a claimant to fill out their pay order card, address it, and take it to the mailbox, they can enter their weeks for payment over the telephone. It’s that simple and that fast! The system is easy to use. It will talk them through the step-by-step process. In most cases, a claimant will have three (3) attempts to enter the correct information.
Q What is the difference in how UI works here and other states?
A While each state’s laws may differ somewhat, they are usually very similar. All states must conform to basic principles set forth in federal regulation.
Q May I participate in a hearing in person (not over phone)?
A Yes, if the situation warrants an in person hearing. Some of the factors used to determine this are the number of witnesses to testify; the complexity of the issue; and the distance that the participants have to travel.
Q How do I report new hires?
A You may mail your new hire report to: The Kentucky New Hire Reporting Center P.O. Box 1130 Richmond, VA 23218-1130 Fax reports to: 1-800-817-0099 or 1-804-771-1908 You may call the Kentucky New Hire Reporting Center at 1-800-817-2262 or 1-804-771-9602 for any questions regarding the new hire law. Help Desk staff are available Monday through Friday from 8:00am - 5:00pm.
Please send any questions or comments to Beverly Grimes at email@example.com.