Unemployment insurance.

Authors: Senator Philip Boots, Senator Chip Perfect, Senator James Buck

Co-authors: Senator Lonnie Randolph

Sponsors: Representative Daniel Leonard


Provides that any part of an unemployment insurance surcharge not used to pay interest on the advances made to the state from the federal unemployment trust fund must be credited against the total amount of benefits charged to the state's unemployment insurance trust fund before determining each employer's share of those benefits. Removes language that requires the extra surcharge amount be credited to each employer's experience account in proportion to the amount of the surcharge the employer paid. Establishes three categories of unemployment benefit overpayments: (1) overpayments because an individual knowingly makes a false statement or representation of a material fact or knowingly fails to disclose a material fact; (2) overpayments because an individual fails to report wages or the receipt of deductible income; and (3) all other benefit overpayments. Requires the department of workforce development (department) to establish an unemployment benefit overpayment not later than four years from the date of the overpayment, if the overpayment is for a reason other than an individual knowingly making a false statement or representation of a material fact, knowingly failing to disclose a material fact, or failing to report wages or the receipt of deductible income. Removes language establishing certain limitation periods for the repayment of unemployment benefit overpayments. Repeals a provision allowing an extended repayment period for benefit overpayments in certain circumstances. Establishes an administrative procedure for the department to require each employer of an individual for whom an unemployment benefit overpayment is established to withhold amounts from the individual's income and pay those amounts to the department. Provides that the amounts withheld and the limitations on withholding are established in the same manner as a garnishment. Provides that an individual may contest an income withholding and request a hearing by an administrative law judge. Provides that an employer may not use income withholding as the basis for refusing to hire, discharging, or taking disciplinary action against an individual, and establishes civil penalties for an employer that refuses to withhold income or knowingly misrepresents an employee's income. Requires as a condition precedent to the payment of benefits in a year immediately following a year in which benefits were paid or following a period of disqualification for failure to apply for or accept suitable work that an individual: (1) perform insured work; (2) earn remuneration in employment in at least each of eight weeks; and (3) earn remuneration at least equal to the product of the individual's weekly benefit amount multiplied by eight. Provides that, if an employer does not have a rule regarding attendance, an individual's unsatisfactory attendance is just cause for discharge, if good cause for the absences or tardiness is not established. (Currently, the individual must show good cause for the absences or tardiness.) Establishes that a crime committed using the Internet or another computer network may be prosecuted in any county: (1) from which or to which access to the Internet or another computer network was made; or (2) in which a computer, computer data, computer software, or computer network used to access the Internet or another computer network is located.