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H.B. 21

             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      Committee Note:
             11          The Workforce Services and Community and Economic Development Interim
             12      Committee recommended this bill.
             13      General Description:
             14          This bill modifies provisions of the Employment Security Act regarding the eligibility
             15      of a claimant to receive unemployment compensation benefits.
             16      Highlighted Provisions:
             17          This bill:
             18          .    clarifies that a claimant for unemployment benefits is not required to personally
             19      report at an employment office as a condition of ongoing eligibility to receive
             20      benefits;
             21          .    provides for the waiver of certain filing requirements for unemployment
             22      compensation benefits if a disaster is declared by the President of the United States
             23      or the governor; and
             24          .    makes certain technical changes.
             25      Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
             26          None
             27      Other Special Clauses:


             28          None
             29      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             30      AMENDS:
             31          35A-4-403, as last amended by Laws of Utah 1999, Chapter 80
             32     
             33      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             34          Section 1. Section 35A-4-403 is amended to read:
             35           35A-4-403. Eligibility of individual -- Conditions -- Furnishing reports -- Weeks
             36      of employment -- Successive benefit years.
             37          (1) Except as provided in Subsection (2), an unemployed individual is eligible to
             38      receive benefits [with respect to] for any week [only] if the division finds:
             39          (a) the individual has made a claim for benefits [with respect to] for that week in
             40      accordance with [any] rules the department may prescribe[.], except as provided in Subsection
             41      (3);
             42          (b) the individual has registered for work [at, and thereafter continued to report at, an
             43      employment office,] with the department and acted in a good faith effort to secure employment
             44      during each and every week for which the individual made a claim for benefits under this
             45      chapter in accordance with [any] rules the department may prescribe[.], except as provided in
             46      Subsection (3);
             47          (c) the individual is able to work and is available for work during each and every week
             48      [with respect to] for which the individual made a claim for benefits under this chapter[, and
             49      acted in good faith in an active effort to secure employment, except as provided in Subsection
             50      (3).];
             51          (d) the individual has been unemployed for a waiting period of one week [with respect
             52      to] for each benefit year[. A], but a week may not be counted as a week of unemployment for
             53      the purpose of this Subsection (1)(d):
             54          (i) unless it occurs within the benefit year that includes the week [with respect to] for
             55      which the [individual's] individual claims benefits;
             56          (ii) if benefits have been paid [with respect to] for the claim; or
             57          (iii) unless the individual was eligible for benefits [with respect thereto] for the week
             58      as provided in this section and Sections 35A-4-401 and 35A-4-405 , except for the requirement


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


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


             121      requirements would be oppressive, or would be inconsistent with the purposes of this chapter,
             122      as long as the [rules do] rule does not conflict with Subsection 35A-4-401 (1).




Legislative Review Note
    as of 9-27-07 1:12 PM


Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel


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