Changes in Pennsylvania Appeals Procedures & More

2017- Look for Changes in Pennsylvania Appeals, Determination Procedures, Reporting of Separation Information and UI Eligibility Requirements.
Enforcement of ACT 75:
Pennsylvania is also now enforcing Act 75. Although passed in 2013, it was never enforced.
What is Act 75? This legislation set up guideline for penalizing employers if an overpayment is established because the employer failed to provide “adequate” information at the time of the Notice of Application OR when the employer responded to the Employer Questionnaire, the employer will be liable for the charges up to the point in which the claimant is disqualified.
UCM has kept up this changing legislation since enacted in 2013. Each state has enforced the legislations differently. It is a logical conclusion with the closing of office, laying off- of referees, and other cost cutting moves by the state, this will be pursued as a source of income.
This will result in more appeals and more hearings by employers to protest rulings of overpayment penalties. More hearing will be required. This does seem to appear to be a paradox to the support cutbacks made by Harrisburg.
The only perceived possible benefit to employers will be in the extension of time allotted in providing and appealing claims.  This time frame will ultimately be extended because two deadlines for an appeal will now exist in opposed to the current one time frame and appeal to the ruling.
The state will now issue two forms requesting separation information. 1). When the Initial Claim Request for Information is sent and 2). When the Employer Questionnaire is issued. A due date will be issued on both forms.
Vague responses to employer terminations or resignations will not be adequate moving forward. UCM suggests issuing information to your managers or supervisors who are responsible for termination paperwork. Explain the need for well-defined explanations to the separation. Use a standard and companywide issued separation/termination form accompanied by a signature from the manager or supervisor and the employee.


UCM provides manual, forms, and policy drafting services. Please contact us at 888-291-0516 for assistance.


Other Changes in Pennsylvania:

Consolidation of Hearing Locations:
Hearing locations will be consolidated and moved to different counties. The radius for travel was previously approximately 45 miles. These closures will ultimately result in the need for more telephone hearings. The efficiency of Telephonic Appeal Hearings has been realized by most the of the United States. Moving forward we hope to see this change be a benefit to employers.

Service Center Closing:
PA has already closed three UC Service Centers, and laid off those employees.

UI State Worker Lay Offs:
Employees from closed office have not been relocated.

Referee Lay Offs:
To date an estimated 12-14 referees have been laid off. UCM anticipates a stricter enforcement of the standard one hour time frame allotted for hearings. In the past one party was afforded telephone participation without the hearing being officially scheduled as a telephone hearing.

When a hearing is classified as a “telephone hearing” the hearing file is required to be sent via mail to all parties. Claimants and Employers are required to send any exhibits to the state and to the other party at a minimum of five days prior to the scheduled hearing via USPS.

This is a small price to pay to the reclassification of in person to telephonic hearings. UCM feels telephone hearings a more efficient process.
Eligibility Requirement Changes:
HB-319 relaxed the monetary eligibility requirements for UI allowing it easier for employees to be eligible for UI Benefits. This is particularly the case for seasonal or cyclical industry workers, such as those in the construction industry, where incomes as a norm vary from quarter to quarter.
OLD FORMULA:
18 credit weeks (currently defined as at least $116) with 49.5% of wages earned in other than the high quarter.
NEW FORMULA:
18 credit weeks with 37% of wages earned in other than the high quarter. In other words, a worker can earn 63% of his/her base period earnings in the high quarter and still qualify for UI.
This returns the cap or maximum back to its pre-2012 level.
(Additional details can be found at: https://www.governor.pa.gov/governor-wolf-signs-bill-to-provide-unemployment-insurance-for-an-additional-44000-pennsylvanians/)
states acknowledge that violation of such an extensively outlined policy amounts to misconduct in my opinion because it offers chances to redeem points not just receive negative points.


If you are interested in amending your Attendance Policy UCM offers handbook review and writing “a la carte” services.
info@ucmspecialists.com 


State Changes:
The following are state changes. Please take note.
IOWA:
In February 2016, the Iowa Workforce Development agency (IWD) announced plans to both launch an app to allow UI claimants ¬¬The new system is up and running. Claimants who are unable to file online using their smart phone or tablet device can contact IWD Customer Service Representatives, who are working under a limited capacity during the transition period. Assistance is also available at all Iowa Works offices: (Follow Link)
https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/automated-phone-option-phased-out-oct-1-file-unemployment-insurance-claims-online
OKLAHOMA:
Changes to Seasonal Employer Provision that went into effect on Nov.1, 2016:
A minimum of a 20 day before the seasonal work period, Employers must apply to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) for Seasonal Worker Approval.
Conditions:
– Seasonal employers must notify employees of their seasonal status in writing within the first seven days of the seasonal work period, as well as beginning-and-end dates of the seasonal work period. Written notification must also advise employees of their right to file an application for UI benefits at the end of the seasonal work period, while specifically indicating that the employee can continue filing timely certifications to preserve rights to any potential retroactive benefits.
– Benefits will not be paid for services performed during any week of unemployment that begins during the period between two successive normal seasonal work periods, assuming that the employee works during the first of the normal seasonal work periods. There must also be reasonable assurance that the employee will perform the service for a seasonal employer in the second of the normal seasonal work periods. A written notice of reasonable assurance must be provided to the employee by the employer on or before the last day of work in the season.
– “Seasonal employer” is defined and designated by the OESC as a non-construction industry employer with operations and business needs that require employees “to be engaged in seasonal employment.”
(The full text of the new law can be found here: http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/2015-16bills/HB/HB3164_ENR.RTF)


2017 Unemployment Cost Management Specialists | Unemployment Claims Management Solutions | Unemployment Cost Control

January 2017 Unemployment Hearing Forum

 

Hearing Forum:  

What Happens when more than one manager is involved in a termination.

 Facts:
1. Claimant was employed for a year
2. Claimant was AWOL two times prior to the final incident.
3 Claimant was AWOL a third time.
4. The company HR Manager called the employee on the phone and requested an in-person meeting with the intention of terminating the employee.
5. Claimant reported to work and the HR Manager was not available. The direct supervisor performed the termination.
6. The HR Director approved the prior warnings and the direct supervisor reviewed with the claimant.

Findings: 

The HR Manager attended the hearing. Testimony was given from the claimant’s personnel file. The aforementioned facts were reviewed with the judge. The HR Manager was asked about the final incident and was asked about the last incident. The HR Manager could not give firsthand testimony as she was not present during any of the counseling sessions nor the termination.

The claimant testified that she attempted to call the direct managers cell on the day of the final incident but the number was disconnected. The HR Manager testified that this was not true. However, it was not her phone.

Ruling:


The judged stated that the employer’s testimony was vague and of a hearsay nature. The claimant was allowed benefits.

Take Away:


An Unemployment Hearing is a sacrifice of management time. Two people attending a hearing is more often than not practical. Claimants often testify to actions performed on a day to day basis. The supervisor who is involved in the day to day activities is a better witness although that person may not be involved with the decision to terminate.

It is important to remember that the company person whom was involved with the last interaction with a claimant is the better witness. Although a progress discipline history is important with regards to unemployment matters, the last incident and/or interaction is the act which bears the most weight.

With regards to the final call off supposedly made by the claimant, the manager to whom the employee calls off to is the best witness for the hearing. With this case the employer made the decision to send only one manager, unfortunately it was the “hearsay” manager.

Questions, comments or concerns? Let us know.  Please e-mail your UCM account manager for a prompt response. 

Sound Guidance on Your Attendance Policies & Procedures

2017- Look to UCM for all of your Hire, Termination & UI Management Needs.
All of us at UCM Specialists would like to take a moment and wish you and your family a safe, happy and healthy holiday season. December is a busy month personally, but here at UCM we take time to set a course for the new year. We strive to adopt new programs and add features to our UI Dashboard in an effort make our program the best in the industry.
If you have any suggestions on how we can improve please let us know. We grow by experience, dedication and humility. No suggestion is overlooked.
We thank you for your business.
ucm@ucmpecialists.com

Hearing Forum: 
 by: Lisa Grosz, UCM Legal Advisor
Attendance Point Policies
Within the past two years the trend in Employer Attendance Policies have marked a very technical turn. One must master the mathematical task adding of points, removing of points and the meanings behind a marinade of definitions.
Is a Point System Better than the more Traditional Standard Attendance Policy:?
In short, the answer is yes. After representing over 30 hearings for attendance whereas a point system was used, an employer has a greater chance of receiving a propitious ruling. The state has always looked for three basic actions from employers when meeting the burden of proof for a termination meeting the definition of “misconduct.” A points system seems to meet these requirements more definitively than the more traditional “3 warnings in a twelve- month period” policy.
UI Law is Written so that misconduct is defined by a willful (employee must know) violation of an attendance policy. This means a Written Attendance Policy:
Every state looks for a definitive policy that is clearly outlined. This is where I feel the point system really benefits the employer. A point system clearly spells out how many points within a rolling year will equate to termination. Let’s use 10 points in the 12-month period as the maximum number allowed before termination. The twelve-month period usually starts once the employee is hired. For example: Tardiness without a call to a manager one hour before a shift carries 1 point; tardiness with a proper notification .5.
Absence due to illness with proper call off 1, without 2. Absence without any notification 3.
No absences within a 30- day period equates to points being added back in.
As you can see this is extensive, but decisive. This is the main reason I feel an employer has a greater chance of winning an Unemployment Claim. Merely having a policy that states three absences may result in a warning, so and so forth. This system allows for points to be dropped off once a period of no absences is obtained. A points system leaves little room for an employee to claim they could not avoid the termination.

The Employee must sign a page of acknowledgement of receipt:
Whether an email electronic signature or a pen and paper signature, the importance of a signature on the policy is a primary threshold needed to win an attendance termination claim. If a policy is updated, a new signature of receipt of policy is necessary.

Follow a rule of only Written Warnings issued:
If your points systems outline that a written warning will be issued after 4 points are assigned, then a written warning must be issued and signed by the manager issuing the warning with the employee.
*I have a very important and pertinent interjection regarding this point. My most recent hearing involved this exact example. The employer witness at the hearing was an HR representative. The warning and subsequent termination was reviewed by a manager. The decision to issue the warning was not made by this manager. The claimant stated the manager who sat down with the her made comments that the HR representative could neither affirm nor deny. When at all possible have the person, who makes the decision to terminate or warn an employee be the same person issuing the warning. This means signing the warning and/or termination notice. Another signature can be added for a manager but including the decision maker will allow the employer to have flexibility on a witness of firsthand knowledge.
Winning an Unemployment Claim for a termination due to attendance requires written warnings that do not deviate from the written policy and warnings that are signed by all parties involved. The warning needs to include verbiage outlining what the next step in the progressive discipline policy will be.

My Take Away:
Although the point systems at first appearance seems cumbersome and excessive, I believe it to be the most concise systematic policy that I have seen yet. It is fair to both employers and employees. The states acknowledge that violation of such an extensively outlined policy amounts to misconduct in my opinion because it offers chances to redeem points not just receive negative points.
If you are interested in amending your Attendance Policy, UCM offers handbook review and writing “a la carte” services.

State Changes:
The following are state changes. Please take note.
Arizona
The Arizona Department of Economic Security recently amended Sec. 23-672, decreasing the state’s appeals board (a panel that reviews the record and decision from an administrative hearing) from four members to three. The change also provides that a decision by the appeals board is controlling if it is issued by at least two concurring members.
A copy of the entire amendment can be found at
http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/52leg/2r/laws/0185.htm.
Idaho
In a press release dated August 25, 2016, the Idaho Department of Labor (DOL) warns of a recently discovered scam to solicit personal information from UI claimants and other parties.
Emails are being sent from info@unemployment-assist.com and contain a subject line that contains one of the following:
ID Eligibility Requirement 1: Must be Available for Work, or
Verification Required: 2nd Request
The Idaho DOL reminds claimants that the agency does not require email verification of a UI claim, nor does it utilize a third-party to contact claimants. They advise UI claimants to never click on such an email and to delete it immediately.
The press release can be found at http://labor.idaho.gov/news/NewsReleases/tabid/1953/ctl/PressRelease/mid/3872/itemid/3014/Default.aspx.
Missouri
There has been a recent development related to HB-150, which included a reduction in the UI benefit week maximum from 20 weeks to a sliding scale ranging from 13-20 weeks based on the statewide unemployment rate.
As background, after HB-150 was passed by the Missouri legislature in April 2015, Governor Jay Nixon vetoed the measure on May 5th of that year. The House overrode the Governor’s veto on May 12th, but the Senate did not override the veto until September 2015. The provisions of HB-150 thus became effective in January 2016.
However, in July 2016 the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that Senate failed to override the Governor Nixon’s veto in a timely fashion, and therefore it was upheld. This reversed the changes contained in HR-150, and UI benefits returned to the 20-week maximum as it had been under prior law.
It’s not clear how the Missouri Division of Employment Security will address any UI benefit decisions issued between January 1, 2016 and the Missouri Supreme Court decision that upheld Governor Nixon’s veto.
Further details can be found at: http://www.house.mo.gov/billsummary.aspx?bill=HB150&year=2015&code=R.
Revised Weekly Benefit Amounts
Several states have recently modified their weekly benefit amounts (WBAs):
Connecticut: Effective October 2, 2016, the minimum WBA will be $15 and the maximum will be $616.
Massachusetts: Effective October 2, 2016, the minimum WBA will be $14 and the maximum will be $742.
North Dakota: Effective July 3, 2016, the minimum WBA will be $43 and the maximum will be $630.
West Virginia: Effective July 3, 2016, the minimum WBA will be $24 and the maximum will be $424.
Wyoming: Effective July 3, 2016, the minimum WBA will be $33 and the maximum will be $489.

The New Trend Toward Mandatory Paid Leaves are Making Some Employers Queasy

The new trend toward mandatory paid leaves are making some employers queasy

By Lisa Grosz, UI Legal Expert

New York is in the midst of passing the most liberal, or strongest, based on your company size and industry, Paid Family Leave. FL should not be confused with FML Family Medical Leave). The “M” makes the difference here. Medical leave allows for a leave sheltered from a no fault attendance or point accumulation system. If you have an old school absenteeism policy the point (pun intended) is the same. Medical leave requires a serious health conditions that requires or results in medical documentation of either an overnight stay in a medical facility, or ongoing treatment by a health care provider. What is on the horizon now is a trend toward paid leave programs for miscellaneous reasons not necessarily involving a medical illness.

What starts in New York does not stay in New York. It seems the mid-Atlantic region follows suit. All of us in HR or related fields should pay attention to what is passes in New York in the upcoming months. In the case on NYC Employers’ payroll costs will not be affected. “The weekly PFL benefit will be financed solely through employee payroll deductions of up to 45 cents a week in the first year. In subsequent years, New York’s Superintendent of Financial Services will determine the amount of employee contributions based on the cost per worker of providing PFL through the state insurance fund. The cost of raising the TDI benefit level will continue to be shared, as in the current TDI program, by both workers and employers.”

It has always argued that wording such as this seems to become a trickle down cost to employers at the end of the day. It may not be impacting employers immediately but in the form of taxation it usually does.

Source: www.abetterbalance.org

I have assembled a few charts that outline the states that already afford for paid family leave. It becomes confusing as some states do not act in unison. There are cities within states that have a wording and requirements outside of the general state laws, such as California’s. (see chart below, links to site are included).

New York Passes Nation’s Strongest Paid Family Leave Program

Working families should never have to choose between caring for their loved ones and keeping their paycheck.

Led by Governor Cuomo, New York’s recently passed 2016-17 State Budget includes a landmark paid family leave policy – the longest and most comprehensive in the nation – to help workers maintain financial stability while taking time to care for a family member.

When fully phased-in, employees will be eligible for 12 weeks of paid leave when caring for an infant, a family member with a serious health condition or to relieve family pressures when someone is called to active military service.

Establishing paid family leave marks a pivotal next step in the pursuit of equality and dignity in both the workplace and home.

For more information on the proposal visit:
http://www.abetterbalance.org/web/images/stories/Documents/familyleave/NYPFLI.pdf

California Already Mandates PSL

California’s mandatory paid sick leave law (Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act) is up and running. Beginning July 1, 2015, employers had to start providing the paid sick leave (PSL) benefit to their employees.

Areas in California and various states and cities requiring Paid Sick Leave (PSL)

California

In California, a state law mandating paid sick leave fully went into effect on July 1, 2015. This new law provides employees who work in California for 30 or more days within a year from the beginning of employment with paid sick leave. Employees, including part-time and temporary employees, will earn at least one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked. An employer may limit the amount of paid sick leave an employee can use in one year to 24 hours or three days. Accrued paid sick leave may be carried over to the next year, but it may be capped at 48 hours or six days. However, this law will not apply to employees covered by qualifying collective bargaining agreements, In-Home Supportive Services providers, and certain employees of air carriers.

Emeryville, California

Effective July 1, 2015, Emeryville’s city ordinance requires paid sick leave for most employees working within the city limits. Employees of small businesses (55 or fewer employees) may accrue 48 hours of paid sick leave a year, and employees of large businesses (56 or more employees) may accrue up to 72 hours a year. Employees may use the paid sick leave to care for their own illness or condition, a family member’s illness or condition, or their designated individual. Additionally, the employee can use this leave to care for a service dog.

Oakland, California

Oakland employees accrue paid sick leave at the rate of one hour for every hours worked. Small businesses (fewer than ten employees) may cap accrued sick leave at forty hours, and all other businesses may cap accrued sick leave at seventy-two hours. Employees may use their leave to care for themselves or an immediate or extended family member. Additionally, employees who do not have a spouse or registered domestic partner are given a ten day designation period after accruing the first hour of sick leave in order to designate an individual they would like to be covered under this policy.

San Francisco, California

Under the San Francisco Paid Sick Leave Ordinance, employers must provide paid sick leave to every employee who performs work either full or part-time in San Francisco. Paid sick time begins to accrue 90 days after the employee’s first day of work. Employees earn 1 hours of paid sick leave for every 30 hours of work. Sick leave is calculated in hour-unit increments, not in fractions of an hour. For employers with less than 10 employees, the required paid sick leave is capped at 40 hours. For employers with 10 or more employees, paid sick leave is capped at 72 hours. Sick leave time earned does not expire and carries over to the next year. However, an employee can use as many sick leave hours in one year as they wish, so long as they have not reached the total cap. Sick leave can be taken for illness, injury or to seek medical treatment or diagnosis for the employee, a family member or other designated person. If the employee does not have a spouse or registered domestic partner, they may designate one person. An employee may change the designated person once per year within 10 days from when sick leave begins to accrue.

Connecticut

In Connecticut, employers who employ 50 or more people in any one quarter of the previous year must provide 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked by a service worker up to 40 hours per year. Part-time employees are covered by this law. The sick leave only accrues with actual hours worked (sick or other leave and vacation time are not included). Employees can carry over up to 40 unused accrued sick leave hours to the next year, but no employee can use more than 40 hours in any calendar year. Non-profit and certain other employers are except from this law. For a list of exempt employers and list of all individuals who are considered service workers go to the Connecticut Department of Labor.

Massachusetts

Effective July 15, 2015, Massachusetts employers with more than 10 employees must provide 1 hour of guaranteed sick leave for every 30 hours worked, not to exceed 40 hours per year. Employees can use this time if they are ill, injured, or need to attend to a medical condition for themselves, a spouse, a child, or a parent. Employers with 10 or fewer employees are not required to provide paid sick leave, but they must provide unpaid sick leave under the same circumstances.

Oregon

In Oregon, a state law mandating paid sick leave will go into effect on January 1, 2016. This new law will require most employers with 10 employees or more to provide employees with 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked up to 40 hours a year. It will also require employers with fewer than 10 employees to provide up to 40 hours a year of unpaid sick leave. Employees can use this time if they are ill, injured, or need to attend to a medical condition for themselves, or a family member (as defined by OFLA- the Oregon Family Leave Act); for any purposes allowed under OFLA; for any purpose under the Oregon domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault, or stalking law; or in the event of a public health emergency or event where the employer excludes the employee from the workplace for health reasons.

Portland, Oregon

In Portland, an employer must provide full-time, part-time and temporary employees to accrue 1 hour of protected sick time for every 30 hours worked, not to exceed 40 hours per week. For employers with more than 5 employees, this sick time must be paid. For employers with 5 or fewer employees, the sick time must accrue but does not have to be paid. Sick time can be used to cover all or part of a shift. It can be used for to care for health issues of the employer or a family member or domestic and sexual violence issues for the employee or their family members.

District of Columbia

In. D.C., certain employees qualify for paid sick leave. To qualify, the employee must have worked for the employer for 1 year without a break in service, not including regular holiday, sick or personal leave granted by the employer, and has worked at least 1000 hours immediately preceding the requested sick leave. This law specifically excludes independent contractors, students, health care workers participating in a premium pay program, and wait staff and bartenders who work for a combination of wages and tips. Employers with 100 or more employees must provide eligible employees 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 37 hours worked, not to exceed 7 days per year. Employers with 25-99 employees must give employees 1 hour paid sick leave for every 43 hours worked, not to exceed 5 days a year. Employees with less than 25 employees must provide 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 87 hours worked, not to exceed 3 days per year. The sick leave can be used for physical or mental illness, injury or medical condition, or to obtain medical diagnosis or preventative care for the employee, their child, parent, spouse, domestic partner or other family member. This can also be used for services related to stalking, domestic violence or sexual abuse for any of those individuals. Under this law, a family member includes parents, parents-in-law, foster and grandchildren, children’s spouses, siblings, siblings’ spouses and any person who has shared a residence and committed relationship with the employee for the preceding 12 months or more.

Vermont

On, February 3, 2016, the Vermont Senate passed a bill requiring most employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees.  After consolidating this version of the bill with a similar version passed by the House, Vermont Governor Shumlin signed the legislation into law on March 9th, 2016, making Vermont the fifth state to implement a paid sick leave law. Employees (who work for employers who employ five or more people) will accrue one hour of paid time off for every 52 hours worked.  Additionally, the bill provides a compliance grace period for new businesses.  Employers may limit accrual of sick days, but must allow accrual up to at least three paid sick days per year in the first two years, and five paid sick days per year after that. In addition to a small business exception, the paid sick leave requirement will not apply to federal employees, employees under 18, temporary workers scheduled to work up to 20 weeks, and certain state, school, and healthcare employees. For a more detailed description of these exceptions see § 481(5) of the bill.  The full text of the bill can be found at the Vermont legislature website.

New Jersey cities of Bloomfield, East Orange, Irvington, Montclair, Newark, Passaic, Patterson, and Trenton

All private sector workers employed in these cities are entitled to paid sick leave. Those employees who are covered by law will accrue paid sick leave at the rate of 1 hour per every 30 hours worked. Generally, employers with fewer than 10 employees may cap accrued sick leave at 24 hours per year, and employers with 10 or more employees may cap accrued sick leave at 40 hours per year. However, child care workers, home health care workers, and food service workers can only be capped at 40 hours per year regardless of their employer’s size. Covered employees may use their accrued leave for their own illness or condition, for a family member’s, or in the case of a public health emergency.

Jersey City, New Jersey

In Jersey City, private sector employees who work for employers with more than 10 employees earn 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, not to exceed 40 hours per year. Employers with less than 10 employees are not required to provide paid sick leave, but must allow employees to earn 1 hour of unpaid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, not to exceed 40 hours a year. The right to sick leave is not affected by whether an employer works full or part-time. However, this law does not affect collective bargaining agreements.

Seattle, Washington

In Seattle, all employers with more than 4 full-time equivalent employees must provide full-time, part-time, and temporary workers with paid sick leave. The paid sick leave can be used to deal with illness, injury or health condition of the employee, or a family member (including domestic partners), when their place of business has been closed for public health reasons or for reasons related to domestic or sexual violence or stalking. Employees with more than 4 but less than 50 employees must provide 1 hour paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked, not to exceed 40 hours per year. Up to 40 hours of paid sick leave can be carried over to the next calendar year. Employers with 50-249 employees must provide 1 hour paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked, not to exceed 56 hours per year. Up to 56 hours of paid sick leave can be carried over to the next calendar year. Employers with 250 or more employees must provide 1 hour paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked, not to exceed 72 hours per year. Up to 72 hours of paid sick leave can be carried over to the next calendar year.

Tacoma, Washington

Employees in Tacoma, Washington accrue paid sick leave at a rate of 1 hour per every 40 hours worked. Up to a total of 24 hours of paid sick leave may be accrued in a calendar year. The ordinance allows employees to carry over up to 24 hours of unused sick leave to the next calendar year, and may use a combined total of up to 40 hours in subsequent years.  Employees can use paid sick leave to care for an illness (either the employee’s or a family member’s), when their place of employment has been closed by order of a public official or to care for a child whose school has been closed by order of a public official, to seek law enforcement or legal help for domestic violence or sexual assault (either for the employee or a family member), to seek safety from domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, or for the bereavement of a family member.

New York, New York

Effective April 1, 2014, New York City employers with 5 or more employers must provide employees paid sick leave. New York City’s sick leave law was recently expanded to include siblings, grandchildren, grandparents, children and parents of the employee.

Montgomery County, Maryland

In Montgomery County, Maryland, employers will have to provide employees with paid sick and safe leave beginning October 1, 2016.  Employees will accrue leave at the rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked, subject to caps. For employers with five or more employees may earn 56 hours per year of paid sick and safe leave, and may not use more than 80 hours of earned leave a year. For employers with fewer than five employees, employees may accrue up to 32 hours of paid leave and 24 hours of unpaid leave, and may not use more than 80 hours of earned leave a year. Sick and safe leave may be used by employees to treat their own, or a covered individual’s, physical or mental illness, injury, or condition; to obtain preventative medical care for themselves or a covered individual; in the case of a public health emergency that closest to the employer’s place of business or an employee’s child’s school or child care center; to Care for a covered individual when a healthcare provider has determined that the family member’s presence in the community would endanger the public; or in order to temporarily relocate the employee/covered individual or to obtain legal or medical services in cases of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

Not to confuse you, but…       Other Paid Leaves and States offering them:

Paid Family Leave: Only three states, California, New Jersey and Rhode Island, offer paid family and medical leave. All three states fund their programs through employee-paid payroll taxes and are administered through their respective disability programs. The state of Washington passed a paid family leave law in 2007, originally to take effect in October 2009, but the law was never implemented and subsequent legislation has indefinitely postponed its implementation.

Paid Sick Leave: Connecticut was the first state to require paid sick leave for private sector employers. The law applies to specified private sector employers with 50 or more employees and requires up to 40 hours of paid sick leave annually, on an accrual basis. California passed a paid sick leave law during the 2014 session and Massachusetts voters approved a sick leave law at the 2014 general election.

School/Parental Leave: A small number of states provide for a limited number of hours annually for parents to attend school-related events and activities for their children: California/40 hours, DC/24 hours, Illinois/8 hours, Louisiana/16 hours, Massachusetts/24 hours, Minnesota/16 hours, North Carolina/4 hours, Rhode Island/10 hours, Vermont/12 hours.  Nevada makes it unlawful to terminate an employee for using leave to attend a child’s school-related activities.

State Family Medical Leave Laws

State Coverage/Eligibility Family Medical Leave Provisions
(unpaid unless noted)
Provides Leave
To Care For:
California

(unpaid)

Private employers with 50 or more employees and all public sector employers.

 

Up to 12 weeks of unpaid family leave plus 4 months of maternity disability may be combined for a total of 28 weeks per year.

 

Child, spouse, parent, domestic partner, child of domestic partner, stepparent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or parent-in-law.

 

(paid) Employees who have worked for an employer for at least 12 months, and who have 1250 hours of service during the 12 months prior to the leave. The California Paid Family Leave insurance program provides up to 6 weeks of paid leave to care for a seriously ill child, spouse, parent, or registered domestic partner, or to bond with a new child. The benefit amount is approximately 55% of an employee’s weekly wage, from a minimum of $50 to a maximum of $1067.  The program is funded through employee-paid payroll taxes and is administered through the state’s disability program.

 

Child, spouse, parent, or registered domestic partner.
Connecticut All employers with 75 or more employees, except private or parochial elementary or secondary schools. Employees who have 1000 hours service with an employer during the 12-month period before the leave. Up to 16 weeks in 2 years for the birth or adoption of a child, placement of child for foster care, to care for a family member with a serious medical condition, for the serious medical condition of the employee, or to serve as an organ or bone marrow donor. Child, spouse, parent, civil union partner, parent-in-law, or stepparent.
D.C. Any public or private employer. Employees who have at least 1000 hours of service with an employer during the 12-month period prior to leave. Up to 16 weeks of family leave, plus 16 weeks of medical leave for employee’s own serious health condition during a 2 year period. Leave must be shared by family members working for the same employer.

 

All relatives by blood, legal custody, or marriage, and anyone with whom an employee lives and has a committed relationship.
Hawaii Private employers with 100 or more employees.  Excludes public employees. Employees who have worked for 6 consecutive months. Up to 4 weeks per year. Permits intermittent leave for birth, adoption placement, and to care for a family member with a serious health condition. Does not apply to employee’s own health condition or placement of a foster child.  Does not require spouses to share leave.

 

Child, spouse, parent, in-laws, grandparents, grandparents-in-law, stepparent, or reciprocal beneficiary.
Maine Private employers with 15 or more employees; all state employers, and local governments with 25 or more employees Up to 10 weeks in 2 years for the birth of a child or adoption of a child age 16 or younger.  Includes leave to be an organ donor.  Does not require spouses to share leave.

 

Child, spouse, parent, sibling who lives with employee, civil union partner, child of civil union partner, or non-dependent adult child.
Massachusetts Employers with 50 or more employees. Up to 24 hours per year leave to participate in children’s educational activities or accompany a child, spouse, or elderly relative to routine medical appointments, under the Small Necessities Leave Act.
Minnesota All employers with 21 or more employees. An employee who has worked for an employer for at least 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the request, and whose average number of hours per week equal one-half of a full-time equivalent position. All employers with at least 1 employee for school activities leave only.

 

Up to 6 weeks for the birth or adoption of a child.  Does not require spouses to share leave. Permits employees to use personal sick leave benefits to care for an ill or injured child on the same terms as for the employee’s own use. Up to 10 working days when a person’s parent, child, grandparents, siblings, or spouse who is a member of the United States armed forces, has been injured or killed while in active service. Up to 40 hours to undergo a medical procedure to donate bone marrow or to donate an organ or partial organ.

 

Child, spouse, parent, grandparent, or sibling.
New Jersey

(unpaid)

All employers with 50 or more employees. Employees who have worked for an employer for 12 months and who have at least 1000 hours of service during those 12 months.

 

Unpaid leave of up to 12 weeks in 24 months, not to exceed more than 6 weeks in 12 months, to care for a child anytime during the first year after that child’s birth or adoption, or to care for a seriously ill child, spouse, parent or domestic partner. Does not provide leave for the employee’s own serious health condition.  Intermittent leave is limited to 42 days in 12 months. Does not require spouses to share leave. Child, spouse, parent, in-laws, or domestic partner.
New Jersey (paid) Employees who have worked 20 calendar weeks or who have earned at least 1000 times the state minimum wage during the 52 weeks prior to leave. Paid leave provides up to ⅔ of wages up to $524/week for 6 weeks.  Provides that any Paid Family Leave runs concurrently with FMLA or NJFLA and that other types of available leave must be used before taking paid family leave. Provides that leave may be paid, unpaid, or a combination of both. Child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, spouse, domestic partner
Oregon All employers with 25 or more employees. Employees who have worked at least 25 hours per week in the past 180 days. Up to 12 weeks per year. An additional 12 weeks per year is available to care for the employee’s ill or injured child who does not have a serious health condition but who requires home care.  Prohibits two family members working for the same employer from taking concurrent family leave except under certain conditions. Allows an employee to substitute any available paid vacation or sick leave.  Allows leave to be used to deal with the death of a family member.

 

Child, spouse, parent, grandparent, grandchild, or parent-in-law, or a person with whom the employee has or had an in loco parentis relationship.
Rhode Island

(unpaid)

Private employers with 50 or more employees.  All state government employers. Local governments with 30 or more employees. Full time employees who have been employed for 12 consecutive months and who work an average of 30 or more hours per week.

 

Up to 13 weeks in 2 years for the birth or adoption of a child age 16 or younger, or to care for a parent, child, spouse or in-law with a serious medical condition.

 

Child, spouse, parent, employee’s spouse’s parent.
Rhode Island (paid) All private sector employers and public sector employers who opt into the program. The Rhode Island Temporary Caregiver Insurance Program provides 4 weeks of paid leave for the birth, adoption or fostering of a new child or to care for a family member with a serious health condition; and up to 30 weeks of paid leave for a worker’s own disability. The program is funded by employee payroll taxes and administered through the state’s temporary disability program. It provides a minimum benefit of $72 and maximum of $752 per week, based on earnings.

 

Child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, spouse, domestic partner
Vermont All employers with 10 or more employees for leaves associated with a new child or adoption. All employers with 15 or more employees for leaves related to a family member’s or employee’s own serious medical condition.  Employees who have worked for an employer for one year for an average of 30 or more hours per week. Up to 12 weeks in 12 months for parental or family leave. Allows the employee to substitute available sick, vacation, or other paid leave, not to exceed 6 weeks. Does not require spouses to share leave. Provides an additional 24 hours in 12 months to attend to the routine or emergency medical needs of a child, spouse, parent, or parent-in-law or to participate in children’s educational activities.  Limits this leave to no more than 4 hours in any 30-day period.

 

Child, spouse, parent, parent-in-law.

 

Washington All employers. An employee who has been employed for at least 680 hours during his or her qualifying year.

 

Washington Family Leave Act provides up to a total of twelve weeks of leave during any 12 month period for the birth of a child, the placement of a child for adoption or foster care, to care for a family member with a serious health condition, or because of a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of the job.

 

Washington Family Care Act allows workers with available paid sick leave or other paid time off to use that leave to care for a sick child with a routine illness; a spouse, registered domestic partner, parent, parent-in-law, or grandparent with a serious or emergency health condition; and an adult child with a disability.

 

Note: The Washington Family and Medical Leave Insurance Act, passed in 2007, and which established a paid family leave insurance program was never implemented and has been indefinitely postponed by subsequent legislation.

 

Child, spouse, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, or state registered domestic partner.

 

 

Wisconsin Employers who employ at least 50 individuals on a permanent basis, including any state government entity. An employee who has been employed by the same employer for more than 52 consecutive weeks and who has at least 1,000 hours of service during that time. Up to 6 weeks of leave for the birth or adoption of a child; up to 2 weeks of leave care of a child, spouse, parent, domestic partner or parent of a domestic partner with a serious health condition; and up to 2 weeks of leave for the employee’s own serious health condition. Does not require spouses to share leave.  Allows an employee to substitute employer-provided paid or unpaid leave for portions of family or medical leave. Child, spouse, parent, domestic partner, or parent of a domestic partner.

 

School-Related Parental Leave
State School-Related Parental Leave
California Up to 40 hours per year, but no more than 8 hours per month, to participate in children’s educational activities.
Colorado The Colorado Small Necessities Leave allows employees who are the parents or legal guardians of children in grades K-12 to take up to 6 hours of unpaid leave in any month, up to a total of 18 hours in any school year, to attend school-related activities or parent-teacher conferences.
D.C. Up to 24 hours per year to participate in children’s educational activities.

 

Illinois Up to 8 hours per school year, but no more than 4 hours on any day to attend a child’s school activities, and only when no other type of employee leave is available.
Louisiana Up to 16 hours per year at the employer’s discretion to participate in children’s educational activities.  Allows an employee to use any types of accrued leave to participate in his or her children’s educational activities.
Massachusetts Up to 24 hours per year leave to participate in children’s educational activities or accompany a child, spouse, or elderly relative to routine medical appointments, under the Small Necessities Leave Act.

 

Minnesota Up to 16 hours per year to participate in children’s educational activities.
Nevada Makes it unlawful to terminate an employee for attending school conferences or for receiving notification of a child’s emergency at work.
North Carolina Up to 4 hours per year to participate in children’s educational activities.
Rhode Island Up to 10 hours per year to participate in children’s educational activities.
Vermont Provides an additional 24 hours in 12 months to attend to the routine or emergency medical needs of a child, spouse, parent, or parent-in-law or to participate in children’s educational activities.  Limits this leave to no more than 4 hours in any 30-day period.

Sources: Westlaw 50-state statute searches, Westlaw 50-state surveys, StateNet bill tracking, state legislative websites.  Compiled September 2008, updated September 2009, updated November 2011, updated December 2012, December 2013, December 2014.

A recurring Q & A:

I operate a business with close to 100 employees, and one of my long-term employees recently informed me that his mother passed away, and he would like to take a week off to travel to the East Coast to attend her funeral. To reduce stress at this difficult time, could I count this time off as protected leave under either or both the federal Family and Medical Leave Act and the California Family Rights Act?

Many employers wish to provide protected time off to employees for bereavement, but want to be sure if there are any leave laws that apply.

However, even assuming that the employee would meet the qualifications to be an eligible “employee” within the meaning of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), his time off to attend the funeral of his mother would not be a qualifying reason under either the FMLA or CFRA.

This employee is asking for time off to attend a funeral, rather than to assist a family member who is currently suffering from a “serious health condition” as defined in the previous paragraph. In this case the employee’s reason for the absence would not qualify under either the FMLA or the CFRA.

An individual bereavement policy may or may be applicable in this situation. Many employers have a bereavement leave policy in their employee handbooks to protect this time off.


The information provided in this communication is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal, accounting, or tax advice. The information and services UCM provides should not be deemed a substitute for the advice of any such professional. Such information is by nature subject to revision and may not be the most current information available.

What are the Golden Rules for Unemployment Hearing Success?

UCM is proud to announce new improvements to our fully staffed Hearings Department. We are the only vendor to have one the industry’s most venerated UI Legal Consultant heading up our Hearings Department. Lisa Grosz has a team of dedicated employees working to generate winning rulings. This newsletter is dedicated to galvanizing our clients and this department so all hearing decisions are favorable to our clients.

The Three Golden Rules for UI HEARING success:

1. Communication

Rapid Results = Favorable Rulings

Communicating with your representative is paramount to a successful outcome of an Unemployment Administrative Hearing. Busy schedules make Unemployment Hearings inconvenient and quite frankly a nescience; however communication breakdown usually means an unfavorable ruling to the employer. Many Hearings are won or lost by default meaning the appealing party must participate. UCM has requested a hearing by appealing an unfavorable ruling . If you do not attend the hearing the hearing will be held without you in most states.

If you are unable to attend a hearing at the time you are informed by UCM, advise your representative of the conflict. Reopening hearings is an arduous process that require a written response to the Appeals Board. Vacations and scheduling conflicts are mostly rejected as the state will merely rule a postponement should have been requested.

Chose your method of communication. At the time a hearing notice is received by either you or UCM Specialists, the clock is ticking down. The days of having weeks of prior notification are over. Many times two to four days is the standard. This is why the first communication is imperative to make you and the key witness of the hearing available. Inform UCM by responding to this e-mail with your chosen method of communication and updating either a phone number or e-mail.

2. Documentation

UCM Awareness = Favorable Rulings

By forwarding all written documentation relating to the termination to UCM at the time of the claim you will increase your chances of not only winning the hearing but more often than not avoiding Employer Appeals in the first place. If UCM does not have the documentation, it is almost as if the documentation does not exist. It is our proud job to represent you properly. If it is not in our hands we cannot presented it to the state.

The days have passed when the state includes prior documentation in the hearing packet. What we find is that the state sends a hearing notice and has an expectation that all documentation that are be presented (i.e. Written Warnings ) will be sent prior to the hearing to both the judge and the claimant.

It is imperative to not only have written documentation but to also put it in the hands of your UCM representative. If a employee became terminated of an action that required disciplinary action, the action should be documented officially and placed the employees HR file. If you have a verbal warning, written warning, written warning, termination policy, the verbal warning should be documented in written format so it has sustaining validity.

3. The Right Witness

Firsthand Accounts = Favorable Rulings

The employer always has the dilemma of making the decision to send or not to send a key manager to represent at an Unemployment Hearing. The decision should be reduced to the bottom line, is the cost of the claim more important? Is maintaining the Employer Policies and Standard important?

In most cases the answer is YES, so having the employee who saw the act and/or gave the warnings and/or terminated the employee must attend. In some cases, UCM can be a custodian of the HR file and speak on your behalf. The downside is hearsay and conflict of account. IF the claimant represents, your UCM Representative is not a firsthand witness and the firsthand account will prevail.

Having the right person at the hearing will result in the employer’s success.

If you have any questions on the Appeals process please consult your UCM representative.


The information provided in this communication is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal, accounting, or tax advice. The information and services UCM provides should not be deemed a substitute for the advice of any such professional. Such information is by nature subject to revision and may not be the most current information available.

Exactly what is High Turnover Costing Your Company?

Cost of hiring new employees + Cost of Training New Employees + Increase to UI Tax Accounts = TURNOVER COSTS

When hiring new employees most HR Managers factor in the hard dollar costs of training and hiring. The cost of turnover however must also factor in the cost to protest UI claims and the potential loss of paying UI claims. i.e. increase to your annual UI Tax account

Suggestions

  • Take advantage of Hiring assistance programs
  • Take advantage of the 90 day probationary period
  • Update your Interviewing Process

Pre-employment assessments are valuable tools that can help identify candidates who are likely to succeed. Assessments should be validated, be based on objective indicators of job success and be administered consistently.

Effective interviewing can weed out candidates less likely to succeed. Interviewers should be thoroughly trained in best-practice interviewing techniques, and interview questions should focus on the actual job requirements. Candidates for the same job should be asked the same questions.

Probationary periods can be a useful new-hire best practice. Several states offer employers relief from unemployment charges for short-term employees, based on days or hours of tenure and/or maximum earnings as defined in their statute. Failure to utilize the probationary period result in the charges paid to an employee being charged to your tax account.

As specialists in UI, hiring, disciplining and terminating is our experience that if there is not a consistent scheduled 90 day probationary period review process, this benefit goes unused. Many times busy schedules can cause management to overlook the deadline of a probationary period. It is suggested that HR Managers put in place a schedule for assessing new employees at the 90 day period and have a review process that accurately rates the skills, attendance, sales performance and/or other necessary factors needed for the job.

We have found that “undesirable” behavior that is exhibited during this period remain throughout the tenure of employment. The best example is tardiness and absenteeism. There are exceptions where a warning or performance review can serve as a motivating factor to improve tardiness and absenteeism patterns but our experience has shown that when exhibited early and the probationary period benefit was unused, the claim was challenging to win in turn costing the employer in UI benefits and ultimately potentially driving up the UI Tax Rate.

States and Changes:

Alabama: Alabama has amended its regarding reasonable assurance UI Law. The changes state that employers whose employees “provide direct services to schools may not receive unemployment benefits during breaks in employment occasioned by holidays, fall and winter breaks, and summer vacation,” under the concept of “reasonable assurance” that they will return to work between two successive academic years or school terms. The State Agency is working out specifics regarding how the amendment will be implemented and for identifying affected employers. Additional details will follow as they become known.

To view the complete amendment, visit: http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/ALISON/SearchableInstruments/2015RS/PrintFiles/HB71-int.pdf

Idaho: The Idaho Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced a new tool—an online chat option—for claimants seeking answers to questions on the unemployment process from claims specialists. The online, real- time chat feature is available Monday-Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Mountain time.

During the current pilot phase, online chat is only offered in English. However, the DOL hopes to expand the program to include additional languages by mid-2016. Spanish will be the first additional language.

Claimants who wish to communicate by phone can still call and speak to a staff member at 208/332-8942 during the same business weekday hours.
For more on the pilot program, visit: https://labor.idaho.gov/news/NewsReleases/tabid/1953/ctl/PressRelease/mid/3872/itemid/2878/Default.aspx

Iowa: Effective July 5, 2015, Iowa Workforce Development increased the weekly benefit amount (WBA) for claimants. Prior to the increase, the WBA ranged from $416 for workers without dependents to $511 for those with four or more dependents. The change increases the amounts to $431 and $529 respectively and applies to all new claims filed on or after July 5, 2015.
For more information, visit: https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/iowans-jobless-and-injury-benefits-increase-0

Maine: The Maine Department of Labor has also increased the WBA for claimants. Effective June 1, 2015 through May 31, 2016, the maximum is raised from $397 per week plus $10 per dependent (but the total cannot exceed one half of the weekly benefits amount) from the previous amount of $386 per week.
For more information, visit: http://www.maine.gov/labor/unemployment/faqs.html#a5

Massachusetts
Employees will also be able to use the Massachusetts Earned Sick Time law, amending G.L. c. 149, § 148C, which took effect on July 1, 2015. The law guarantees all workers in Massachusetts access to job-protected earned sick time to care for their health and that of their families. Up to 40 hours leave under this law is also available to workers who must deal with the physical, psychological or legal effects of domestic violence. Leave is accrued at the rate of one hour of leave for every 30 hours worked. At companies with 10 or fewer employees, workers can earn up to 40 hours of unpaid sick time per year; companies with 11 or more employees must let workers earn up to 40 hours of paid sick time yearly. See: www.mass.gov/ago/doing-business-in-massachusetts/labor-laws-and-public-c….

On January 1, 2015, the minimum wage in Massachusetts increased from $8 to $9 per hour. The minimum wage increased for tipped employees to $3 per hour if: they regularly receive tips of more than $20 a month, and their average hourly tips, when added to the minimum wage rate are equal to or exceed $9 per hour. The minimum wage law increases the minimum wage to $10 per hour in 2016 and to $11 per hour by 2017.

Montana: Two Senate Bills, 85 and 105, were signed into law and became effective July 1, 2015:

  • SB 85 expands the authority of the Maine Department of Labor to use the federal Treasury Offset Program to direct the offset of federal income tax refunds if the person owes a “covered unemployment insurance tax debt.” A “covered unemployment insurance tax debt” includes employer contributions, penalties and interest that are owed to the UI fund, and remain uncollected.
  • SB 105, in part, renames the Board of Labor Appeals to the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. The law also clarifies and better aligns Montana’s exemptions of “employment” pertaining to government or non-profit entities with those of the federal government. It also limits credit or refunds on wages that were reported and subsequently used to establish benefit eligibility to 2 years. If a false claim or omission of material fact is discovered, the limit is extended to 3 years.

To view the complete statutes, link to: http://leg.mt.gov/bills/2015/billpdf/SB0085.pdf and http://leg.mt.gov/bills/2015/billhtml/SB0105.htm

Oregon: The Oregon Employment Department announced that effective June 28, 2015, the State’s maximum WBA will increase from $549 to $567. Oregon law requires this amount be recalculated annually based upon the average wage earned by workers in the state.

For more information, visit: http://lincolncountydispatch.com/index.php/business/item/5103-oregon-increases-weekly-unemployment-benefits/5103-oregon-increases-weekly-unemployment-benefits

Domestic Violence and UI Benefits

The Domestic Violence Leave Act, St. 2014, c. 260, § 13 amending G.L. c. 149, § 52E, provides unpaid leave for employees affected by domestic violence. The Act requires employers with more than 50 employees to provide 15 days of leave if an employee or an employee’s immediate family member is a victim of abusive behavior, and if the absence is used to seek medical assistance, counseling, or legal assistance, to secure housing, obtain a protective order, or appear in court. Individual employers are given discretion to determine whether such leave will be paid or unpaid. While an employer may require documentation of abusive behavior from the employee (including protective orders, court documents, medical documentation, a sworn statement of a counselor, legal advisor, or healthcare worker, or a sworn statement by the employee), the employer must keep all information related to such leave confidential unless the employee consents to disclose information, if the law requires it, or if disclosure is necessary to protect the safety of the employee or others employed at the workplace.

Employees will also be able to use the Massachusetts Earned Sick Time law, amending G.L. c. 149, § 148C, which took effect on July 1, 2015. The law guarantees all workers in Massachusetts access to job-protected earned sick time to care for their health and that of their families. Up to 40 hours leave under this law is also available to workers who must deal with the physical, psychological or legal effects of domestic violence. Leave is accrued at the rate of one hour of leave for every 30 hours worked. At companies with 10 or fewer employees, workers can earn up to 40 hours of unpaid sick time per year; companies with 11 or more employees must let workers earn up to 40 hours of paid sick time yearly. See:  www.mass.gov/ago/doing-business-in-massachusetts/labor-laws-and-public-c….

Plant Closings

Workers who lose their jobs due either to plant closings (or closing of a significant portion of the plant) or to business closings triggered by NAFTA are eligible for additional pre-separation notice, many weeks of benefits and/or training.

An online version of this Guide and much more information about the UI program in Massachusetts (including the Service Representatives Handbook and DUA memoranda) are available to the public via the internet at the address above, under Employment/Unemployment Insurance.

Other areas of that website provide information on other antipoverty programs and services.


The information provided in this communication is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal, accounting, or tax advice. The information and services UCM provides should not be deemed a substitute for the advice of any such professional. Such information is by nature subject to revision and may not be the most current information available.