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Unemployment Insurance

Concerning unemployment insurance.
2020 Regular Session
Labor & Employment
Bill Summary

For the purpose of creating a rebuttable presumption that an individual is an independent contractor, the bill allows the individual to establish that the person for whom he or she is performing services does not combine the business operations with the individual's business and the individual performs work that is not the primary work of the person or related to the primary work of the person. The bill authorizes the parties to demonstrate the satisfaction of the factors considered by the division of employment insurance in the department of labor and employment (division) in a manner other than a written document. If an individual is determined to be an employee for the pruposes of the wage theft laws, the individual is deemed an employee for the purposes of determining eligibility for unemployment insurance compensation benefits.

The bill exempts payment for services to an election judge up to the maximum amount permissible by federal law for the purposes of calculating total unemployment compensation benefits.

Current law requires a deduction from the weekly total and partial unemployment benefit amounts of the part of wages that exceeds 25% of the weekly benefit amount. The bill changes the percentage of wages for calculating the deduction to 50% for 2 calendar years .

When determining whether an individual qualifies for unemployment insurance, the bill directs the division of unemployment insurance (division )in the department of labor and employment (department) to consider whether the individual has separated from employment or has refused to accept new employment because:

  • The employer requires the individual to work in an environment that is not in compliance with: Federal centers for disease control and prevention guidelines applicable to the employer's business and workplace at the time of the determination; state and federal laws, rules, and regulations concerning disease mitigation and workplace safety; an executive order issued by the governor requiring the employer to close the business or modify the operation of the business; and any public health order issued by the department of public health and environment or a local government;
  • The individual is the primary caretaker of a child enrolled in a school that is closed due to a public health emergency or of a family member or household member who is quarantined due to an illness during a public health emergency; or
  • The employee is immunocompromised and more susceptible to illness during a public health emergency.

The bill changes the time period that an interested party has to respond to a notice of claim received by the division concerning unemployment benefits from 12 calendar days to 7 calendar days.

Current law authorizes the division to approve a work share plan submitted by an employer if the employee's normal weekly work hours have been reduced by at least 10% but not more than 40%. The bill changes the amount that hours may be reduced to an amount consistent with rules adopted by the division and federal law.

The bill removes the cap on the amount of money that can be paid into and remain in the employment support fund.

The bill requires the director of the division office of future of work in the department to study unemployment assistance as part of a study on the modernization of worker benefits and protections and report its findings to the governor and the general assembly. the feasibility of creating an unemployment insurance compensation program and fund for individuals engaged in independent trades, occupations, and professions.

(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)

(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)




Bill Text