Changes in State Unemployment Insurance Legislation in 1995
Runner, Diana, Monthly Labor Review
Nineteen(1) States amended their unemployment insurance laws to require that, as a condition of eligibility for benefits, an individual must participate in reemployment services, such as job search assistance, if he or she is determined through a profiling system to be likely to exhaust regular benefits. The profiling system is designed to assist individuals in making a successful transition to new employment.
Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, and Oregon established self-employment assistance programs, in which selected claimants may continue to receive periodic unemployment payments while engaged full time in establishing a business and becoming self-employed. Arkansas, Louisiana, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Texas amended their laws to have Federal income taxes withheld from unemployment benefits at the option of the claimant, beginning January 1, 1997. Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, and Oklahoma added a disqualification for an employee of a temporary help firm for failure to contact the temporary help firm for reassignment upon completion of an assignment, unless the employee had not been advised of the obligation to do so.
Following is a summary of some significant changes.
Financing. The special tax assessment of 0.06 percent applicable to contributing employers was extended until March 31, 2002. The rate reduction of 0.06 percent applicable to regular contributions was extended for the same period. The reduced rates for regular contributions range from 0.14 percent to 6.74 percent.
Disqualification. Benefits will not be reduced if an individual is receiving a pension, retirement or retired pay, or other similar periodic payment under the provisions of Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Act.
Diana Runner is an unemployment insurance program specialist in the Office of Legislation and Actuarial Services, Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor.
Administration. An individual has 30 days (was 10 days) to appeal a board of appeals decision to the Alabama Circuit Court. Benefit overpayments may be collected through a reciprocal agreement with other State agencies or the Federal Government by deduction from unemployment benefit payments made under any Federal unemployment insurance program and under the State interstate program.
Coverage. A new enactment excludes from coverage services performed by an individual as a direct seller, if certain conditions are met.
Administration, The Arizona Employment Security Act was amended to specify that findings of fact or law, judgments, conclusions, or final orders made under the act will not be binding in any other venue, and may not be used as evidence in any other action or proceeding, regardless of whether the prior action was between the same parties and involved the same facts.
Financing. Benefits paid to an individual who continues to remain in the base-period employer's employ without a reduction in wages or hours worked will not be charged to that employer if the individual is not employed on an as-needed or on-call basis.
Disqualification. To be eligible for benefits, an individual must participate in reemployment activities such as job search assistance services if he or she is identified through a profiling system as likely to exhaust regular benefits, unless the individual has completed the services or there is a justifiable cause for failure to participate in the services.
Administration. Beginning January 1, 1997, individuals may elect to have Federal income taxes deducted and withheld from their unemployment benefits.
Financing. A new enactment extends the special contribution paid by employers to the Employment Training fund to January 1, 2002. An employer's experience rating account, which reflects the employer's experience with unemployment, will not be charged for benefits paid to an individual who left the employer's employ to take a substantially better job. …