Requires the calculation of unemployment benefits to be determined based on the period of employment rather than the period during which salary was paid.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the labor law, in relation to requiring the calculation of unemployment benefits to be determined based on the period of employment rather than the period during which salary was paid
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section One of the bill amends paragraph (b) of subdivision 2 of section 597 of the Labor law, as amended by chapter 413 of the laws of 2003 to state the unemployment benefits are to be determined by the Commissioner of Labor, and shall be based upon either the period the claimant has worked for the employer and or the period for which the claimant was paid by the employer, whichever is favorable to the applicant.
EXISTING LAW: New bill
JUSTIFICATION: Under existing laws and regulations, one of the criteria by which the New York State Department of Labor (DOL) determines eligibility for Unemployment Insurance (UI) excludes certain individuals who should be eligible and rewards employers who are tardy in issuing paychecks.
To meet the criterion in question, a UI applicant's total wages in the "alternate base period," or the last four calendar quarters prior to the UI application, must be at least one and one-half times the highest quarter wages -- up to $8,910. For example, if an individual works nine out of the last 12 months and earns $8,910 in one quarter, she has to have made at least half of that, or $4,455, throughout her other two quarters of employment to be eligible for UI.
Currently, DOL only considers the quarters in which applicants get paid, not when they actually work. This policy incentivizes late payments from employers, as earned income clustered in one quarter can disqualify former employees from UI, thereby reducing employers' UI liability. Moreover, employers and their payroll companies make mistakes that similarly result in clustered payments. In either case, applicants should be held harmless.
This legislation directs DOL to determine eligibility based on either the periods in which applicants have worked or when they get paid, whichever is more favorable to the applicants.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5020 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE May 6, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. HOYLMAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Labor AN ACT to amend the labor law, in relation to requiring the calculation of unemployment benefits to be determined based on the period of employment rather than the period during which salary was paid THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Paragraph (b) of subdivision 2 of section 597 of the labor law, as amended by chapter 413 of the laws of 2003, is amended to read as follows: (b) Whenever a claimant's base period includes a completed calendar quarter for which a wage data report is not due or has not been received and the claimant provides information as required by the commissioner, the commissioner shall determine such claimant's entitlement and benefit rate using the information the claimant provided for such quarter; PROVIDED, THAT ANY DETERMINATION OF ENTITLEMENT AND BENEFIT RATE DETER- MINED BY THE COMMISSIONER PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE BASED UPON THE ENTIRE PERIOD THE CLAIMANT HAS WORKED FOR THE EMPLOYER AND NOT ONLY ON THE PERIOD FOR WHICH THE CLAIMANT WAS PAID BY THE EMPLOYER. However, in those instances where the claimant is unable to provide such information to the commissioner's satisfaction, the commissioner may request the employer to provide the amount of remunera- tion paid to such individual. The commissioner shall notify each base period employer upon the establishment of a valid original claim, of such claim. If an employer provides new or corrected information in response to the initial notice of monetary entitlement, adjustments to the claimant's benefit rate and adjustments to the employer's experience rating account shall be prospective as of the date such information was received by the department. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD10742-01-3