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H.B. 21 Enrolled

             1     

EMPLOYMENT SECURITY ACT AMENDMENTS

             2     
2008 GENERAL SESSION

             3     
STATE OF UTAH

             4     
Chief Sponsor: Steven R. Mascaro

             5     
Senate Sponsor: Scott K. Jenkins

             6      Cosponsors:
             7      Janice M. FisherJulie FisherChristopher N. Herrod              8     
             9      LONG TITLE
             10      General Description:
             11          This bill modifies provisions of the Employment Security Act regarding the eligibility of
             12      a claimant to receive unemployment compensation benefits.
             13      Highlighted Provisions:
             14          This bill:
             15          .    clarifies that a claimant for unemployment benefits is not required to personally
             16      report at an employment office as a condition of ongoing eligibility to receive
             17      benefits;
             18          .    provides for the waiver of certain filing requirements for unemployment
             19      compensation benefits if a disaster is declared by the President of the United States
             20      or the governor; and
             21          .    makes certain technical changes.
             22      Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
             23          None
             24      Other Special Clauses:
             25          None
             26      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             27      AMENDS:
             28          35A-4-403, as last amended by Laws of Utah 1999, Chapter 80
             29     


             30      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             31          Section 1. Section 35A-4-403 is amended to read:
             32           35A-4-403. Eligibility of individual -- Conditions -- Furnishing reports -- Weeks
             33      of employment -- Successive benefit years.
             34          (1) Except as provided in Subsection (2), an unemployed individual is eligible to receive
             35      benefits [with respect to] for any week [only] if the division finds:
             36          (a) the individual has made a claim for benefits [with respect to] for that week in
             37      accordance with [any] rules the department may prescribe[.], except as provided in Subsection
             38      (3);
             39          (b) the individual has registered for work [at, and thereafter continued to report at, an
             40      employment office,] with the department and acted in a good faith effort to secure employment
             41      during each and every week for which the individual made a claim for benefits under this
             42      chapter in accordance with [any] rules the department may prescribe[.], except as provided in
             43      Subsection (3);
             44          (c) the individual is able to work and is available for work during each and every week
             45      [with respect to] for which the individual made a claim for benefits under this chapter[, and
             46      acted in good faith in an active effort to secure employment, except as provided in Subsection
             47      (3).];
             48          (d) the individual has been unemployed for a waiting period of one week [with respect
             49      to] for each benefit year[. A], but a week may not be counted as a week of unemployment for
             50      the purpose of this Subsection (1)(d):
             51          (i) unless it occurs within the benefit year that includes the week [with respect to] for
             52      which the [individual's] individual claims benefits;
             53          (ii) if benefits have been paid [with respect to] for the claim; or
             54          (iii) unless the individual was eligible for benefits [with respect thereto] for the week as
             55      provided in this section and Sections 35A-4-401 and 35A-4-405 , except for the requirement of
             56      Subsection (1)(d)[.];
             57          (e) (i) the individual has furnished the division separation and other information the


             58      department may [by rule] prescribe[. (ii) Subsection (1)(e) does not apply if the individual] by
             59      rule, or proves to the satisfaction of the division that the individual had good cause for failing to
             60      furnish the information[.];
             61          [(iii)] (ii) if [any] an employer fails to furnish reports concerning separation and
             62      employment as required by this chapter and rules adopted under the chapter, the division shall,
             63      on the basis of [such] information [as] it [may obtain] obtains, determine the eligibility and
             64      insured status of [any] an individual affected by that failure and the employer is not considered
             65      to be an interested party to [any such] the determination[.];
             66          (f) (i) the individual's base period wages were at least 1-1/2 times the individual's wages
             67      for insured work paid during that quarter of the individual's base period in which the individual's
             68      wages were highest; or
             69          (ii) the individual shows to the satisfaction of the division that the individual worked at
             70      least 20 weeks in insured work during the individual's base period and earned wages of at least
             71      5% of the monetary base period wage requirement each week, rounded to the nearest whole
             72      dollar, provided that the individual's total base-period wages were not less than the monetary
             73      base period wage requirement[. The monetary base period wage requirement is] as defined in
             74      Section 35A-4-201 [.];
             75          (g) (i) the individual applying for benefits in a successive benefit year has had
             76      subsequent employment since the effective date of the preceding benefit year equal to at least
             77      six times the individual's weekly benefit amount, in insured work[,]; and
             78          (ii) the individual's total wages and employment experience in the individual's base
             79      period meet the requirements specified in Subsection (1)(f).
             80          (2) (a) For purposes of this Subsection (2), "suitable employment" means:
             81          (i) work of a substantially equal or higher skill level than the individual's past adversely
             82      affected employment as defined for purposes of the Trade Act of 1974; and
             83          (ii) wages for that work at not less than 80% of the individual's average weekly wage as
             84      determined for purposes of the Trade Act of 1974.
             85          [(2) (a)] (b) (i) An individual in training with the approval of the division is not


             86      ineligible to receive benefits by reason of nonavailability for work, failure to search for work,
             87      refusal of suitable work, failure to apply for or to accept suitable work, or not having been
             88      unemployed for a waiting period of one week [with respect to] for any week the individual is in
             89      the approved training.
             90          (ii) For purposes of [this] Subsection (2)[(a)](b)(i), the division shall approve any
             91      mandatory apprenticeship-related training.
             92          [(b)] (c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, [no] the division may not
             93      deny an otherwise eligible individual [shall be denied] benefits for any week:
             94          (i) because the individual is in training approved under Section 236 (a)(1) of the Trade
             95      Act of 1974, 19 U.S.C. 2296(a);
             96          (ii) for leaving work to enter training described in Subsection (2)[(b)](c)(i) if the work
             97      left is not suitable employment; or
             98          (iii) because of the application to any such week in training of provisions in this law or
             99      any applicable federal unemployment compensation law relating to availability for work, active
             100      search for work, or refusal to accept work.
             101          [(c) For purposes of this Subsection (2), "suitable employment" means work of a
             102      substantially equal or higher skill level than the individual's past adversely affected employment,
             103      as defined for purposes of the Trade Act of 1974, and wages for that work at not less than 80%
             104      of the individual's average weekly wage as determined for the purposes of the Trade Act of
             105      1974.]
             106          (3) The department may, by rule, waive or alter either or both of the requirements of
             107      Subsections (1)(a) and (b) as to:
             108          (a) individuals attached to regular jobs; [and as to other types of]
             109          (b) a disaster in Utah as declared by the President of the United States or by the state's
             110      governor after giving due consideration to factors directly associated with the disaster,
             111      including:
             112          (i) the disaster's impact on employers and their ability to employ workers in the affected
             113      area in Utah;


             114          (ii) the disaster's impact on claimants and their ability to comply with filing requirements
             115      in the affected area in Utah; and
             116          (iii) the magnitude of the disaster and the anticipated time for recovery; and
             117          (c) cases or situations [with respect to which] when it finds that compliance with the
             118      requirements would be oppressive, or would be inconsistent with the purposes of this chapter,
             119      as long as the [rules do] rule does not conflict with Subsection 35A-4-401 (1).


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