Beginning in calendar year 2021 and each year thereafter, the act increases the amount of wages paid to an individual employee during a calendar year on which the employer of that employee is required to pay premiums to the unemployment compensation fund (fund).
The act 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 the weekly total and partial unemployment benefit amounts to be reduced by the amount of an individual's wages that exceeds 25% of the weekly benefit amount. For the next 2 calendar years only, the act changes the deduction amount to the amount of an individual's wages that exceeds 50% of the weekly benefit amount.
When determining whether an individual qualifies for unemployment insurance, the act 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; or an executive order issued by the governor, or a public health order issued by the department of public health and environment or a local government, requiring the employer to close the business or modify the operation of the business;
- 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 act 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 act changes the amount that hours may be reduced to an amount consistent with rules adopted by the division and federal law.
The act removes the cap on the amount of money that can be paid into and remain in the employment support fund.
The act prohibits the division from assessing a solvency surcharge for the fund on employers for the calendar years 2021 and 2022.
The act requires the state treasurer to transfer any unexpended federal funds received by the state from the federal "CARES Act" to the fund prior to the close of business on December 30, 2022.
The act requires the 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.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)