SB 0032 Unemployment insurance and employer reference
LR Number:S0510.02T Fiscal Note:0510-02
Committee:Labor and Industrial Relations
Last Action:07/13/99 - Signed by Governor Journal page:
Title:HS SB 32
Effective Date:August 28, 1999
Full Bill Text | All Actions | Available Summaries | Senate Home Page | List of 1999 Senate Bills
Current Bill Summary

HS/SB 32 - This act modifies provisions of the unemployment insurance laws.

The benefit amount for initial claims shall be rounded down to the nearest dollar.

Currently, a claimant must report in person to the Division of Employment Security at least once every four weeks, except in certain specific circumstances. This act adds an exception when the Director of the Division of Employment Security determines that the claimant belongs to a group of employees that will not benefit from reporting in person, or that the claimant cannot report in person due to emergency conditions at the reporting office that would hinder the claimant from reporting in person. The current exceptions are: (1) when a claimant's benefits are claimed due to partial or temporary total unemployment under Division regulations; (2) the claimant is temporarily unemployed and has a definite recall date within 8 weeks; or (3) the claimant resides in a county with an unemployment rate of 10% or more and the county seat is more than 40 miles from the nearest office.

This act also changes the rate that an employer is charged when the employer is ineligible for a rate calculation after once becoming eligible. Currently, this rate is 5.4%. This act would retain the 5.4% if there is a deficit experience rate account balance, and would charge the employer 2.7% if the employer had a positive experience rate account balance. This portion of the act is the same as HS/HB 162 (1999).

This act puts employees of charitable and religious organizations on notice that wages from such organizations are not used to determine workers' status for unemployment benefits. This portion of the act is identical to HCS/SB 839 (1998).

This act also authorizes employers to respond to written requests for information about current or past employees to new or prospective employers, with immunity from civil liability. The employer is not immune from liability if a disclosure is made with knowledge that it is false or with reckless disregard to whether it is true or false. The employer may send a letter to the new or prospective employer, disclosing the nature and character of the employee's service and stating why the employee was discharged or voluntarily quit. The employer also shall send a copy of such letter to the employee's last known address, and the employee may request a copy of the letter up until one year following the date of the letter. Any employer who violates the disclosure requirements shall be liable for compensatory, but not punitive damages. Any letter issued by the employer cannot be admitted as evidence in an unemployment compensation claim. This portion of the act is similar to HS/HB 441, SB 101 and SB 155 (1999).