HB 649 Modifies various provisions relating to employment security

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Current Bill Summary

- Prepared by Senate Research -


SCS/HCS/HB 649 - This act modifies various provisions relating to employment security.

TERMINATION PAY AND SEVERANCE PAY

(Section 288.036)

This act modifies the definition of wages for purposes of employment security law to include termination pay and severance pay. The total amount of wages derived from severance pay, if paid to an insured in a lump sum, shall be pro-rated on a weekly basis at the rate of pay received by the insured at the time of termination for the purposes of determining unemployment eligibility.

This provision is identical to SB 183 (2021), SB 680 (2020), provisions in SCS/HB 1559 (2020), HB 1921 (2020), SCS/HB 332 (2019), HB 217 (2019), SB 869 (2018), HB 1409 (2018), SCS/SB 189 (2017), HB 288 (2017), HB 150 (2015), which was vetoed by the Governor, and SB 220 (2015).

DURATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

(Section 288.060)

Under current law, the maximum duration for an individual to receive unemployment benefits is 20 weeks. This act modifies the duration an individual can receive such benefits on the Missouri average unemployment rate, as follows:

· 20 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than nine percent;

· 19 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 8.5% but no higher than 9%;

· 18 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 8% but no higher than 8.5%;

· 17 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 7.5% but no higher than 8%;

· 16 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 7% but no higher than 7.5%;

· 15 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 6.5% but no higher than 7%;

· 14 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 6% but no higher than 6.5%;

· 13 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 5.5% but no higher than 6%;

· 12 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 5% but no higher than 5.5%;

· 11 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 4.5% but no higher than 5%;

· 10 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 4% but no higher than 4.5%

· 9 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 3.5% but no higher than 4%; and

· 8 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is at or below 3.5%.

These provisions take effect beginning January 1, 2022.

This provision is substantially similar to a provision in SCS/SB 539 (2021), SB 622 (2021), SB 690 (2020), HB 1921 (2020), HB 2039 (2020), HB 217 (2019), provisions in SB 869 (2018), SCS/SB 189 (2017), HB 288 (2017), HB 150 (2015), which was vetoed by the Governor, and SB 220 (2015).

EMPLOYMENT SECURITY PROGRAM INTEGRITY ACT OF 2021

(Section 288.104)

The act establishes the Employment Security Program Integrity Act of 2021. Specifically, the Division of Employment Security (DES) is required to:

· Utilize the Integrity Data Hub in order to ensure that only eligible individuals receive employment security benefits;

· Check its records of individuals receiving employment security benefits against the list of incarcerated individuals provided by the Department of Corrections to verify the eligibility of such individuals for employment security benefits;

· Adopt and implement policies to prioritize and pursue the recovery of benefits overpaid as a result of nondisclosure or misrepresentation of material fact;

· Attempt to recover all overpaid employment security benefits;

· Maintain records of all attempts to recover overpaid benefits.

DES must issue an annual report by December 31st to the General Assembly detailing its efforts to detect overpayments of employment security benefits due to nondisclosure or misrepresentation of material fact. A separate annual report shall be submitted by December 31st detailing the efficacy of its efforts at recovery and the types of measures that have been taken to prevent overpayment.

This provision has a delayed effective date of January 1, 2022 and is substantially similar to HB 769 (2021) and a provision in SCS/SB 539 (2021).

SCOTT SVAGERA


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