UI Forum (ADP Unemployment Group)

Fourth Quarter 2017



What’s in the UI Forum? Topics include the latest changes to Unemployment Insurance (UI) laws across the country and tips on how to get the most out of your ADP service.

TERMINATION PAY – WHAT SHOULD YOU KNOW?

Workers separating from employment often receive payouts, such as unused vacation time, previously earned bonuses or severance. But did you know that these payments can potentially lead to a temporary disqualification for an unemployment insurance claim?

Like most unemployment insurance issues, this is a grey area, with potential disqualification rules varying from state to state and even pay-type to pay-type. In some states, for example, vacation pay can result in a disqualification if the worker is permanently separated -- BUT not if the worker is only on a temporary layoff.

The combination of pay-type issued, how it’s issued, when it’s issued, and state of residence can all factor into how the unemployment agency will adjudicate the claim.

As an ADP Unemployment Claims client, we don’t expect you to keep track of all of the ins and outs of termination pay as it relates to unemployment claims. However, you still play a key role in the adjudication process. So what’s your role?

  • Always provide your ADP Customer Service Representative (CSR) with timely details of any termination pay you issue.
  • Accurately report the type of pay issued to the employee. For example, make sure you don’t report holiday pay as vacation pay, or severance pay as pension pay.
  • Always provide your CSR the gross dollar amount of each pay – not the net amount.
  • Dates, dates, and more dates! Be sure to provide the issued pay date and the period that it covers, and if any pay was allocated, the time period covered.

Best Practices for Handling a Request For Information (RFI)

  • Whether via fax, email or CaseBuilder, simply note the applicable pay type(s), the amount paid per pay-type, the date paid, and the dates for which the pay is applicable. Upon receipt of your completed RFI response, your CSR will provide the potentially disqualifying pay information to the unemployment agency.
  • If the termination pay results in a disqualification, your CSR will add a note that will be available on your ADP unemployment reports. If we later receive charges against your unemployment insurance account, your Charge Analyst will submit a protest of those erroneous charges.

While disqualifications resulting from termination pay are rarely indefinite, unlike a quit or discharge separation issue that can result in a total claim denial, a few weeks of savings here and there from these temporary disqualifications can add up to significant reductions in overall charges to your unemployment account. These cumulative savings can have a direct impact on future tax rates. Any questions about termination pay can be directed to your Client Relationship Manager (CSR).

STATE UNEMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATES

Several states have recently enacted changes in unemployment insurance (UI) law that you should understand:

ALASKA:
The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DLWD) announced that, effective Nov.5, 2017, Extended Benefits (EB) are available for eligible claimants.

BACKGROUND

  • The EB program is a partnership between the state’s UI department and the US Department of Labor. It provides unemployed workers who exhaust their regular Unemployment Insurance benefits after 16 to 26 weeks a potential additional 8 to 13 weeks of benefits, when their state’s unemployment rate reaches a threshold of 7.2%.
  • EB program benefits are funded equally by employers and the federal government and applies to both merit-rated and reimbursing employers.
  • The DLWD will notify all potentially eligible claimants via mail.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
DLWD press release: http://labor.alaska.gov/news/2017/news17-40.pdf
Alaska’s EB program at large can be found at: http://labor.alaska.gov/unemployment/eb.htm

ILLINOIS:
On Sept. 8, 2017, HB-2699 went into law, with one provision providing employers non-charging UI benefits that result from voluntarily quitting or approved training.

HB-2699 can be found at:
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=10000HB2699lv&SessionID=91&GA=100&DocTypeID=HB&DocNum=2699&print=true

RHODE ISLAND:
On June 29, 2017, SB-675 was enacted, providing employers with more flexibility under existing work share laws.

Changes include

  • Removing the requirement that the reduction of hours be spread equally among the workers within the impacted unit
  • Changing the effective date of the work share plan from the first Sunday following the approval of the work share plan to a date mutually agreed to by the agency and employer

The full text of Section 1 1. Section 28-44-69 of the General Laws in Chapter 28-44 can be found at: http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText17/SenateText17/S0675.htm

WASHINGTON:
The Washington Employment Security Department (ESD) has finalized a modification to Standby, WAC 190-110-015. “Standby” refers to a period of temporary unemployment during which a worker has a confirmed return-to-work date from the employer.

The amendment clarifies that employers can make an initial request for up to eight weeks of standby on behalf of their employees who apply for unemployment benefits. Under the previous rule, claimants had to request the initial four weeks of standby, followed by, if applicable, an additional four week extension by the employer. This amendment streamlines the process for all parties.

Approval of standby waives the job search requirement for claimants. By extending the initial request to the state maximum of eight weeks, the agency can streamline its workload by eliminating the need for a supplemental request in situations where claimants have been approved for four or fewer weeks of standby, and the employer anticipates the expected return to work date will be greater than four weeks, but less than eight.

This change became effective October 10, 2017. More information on standby can be found at: https://esd.wa.gov/about-employees/temporary-layoff-standby-rules

NATIONAL UI WEEKLY BENEFIT AMOUNT (WBA) UPDATES:

CONNECTICUT: Effective October 2, 2017, the maximum WBA increased from $598 to $616.

MAINE: The maximum WBA, beginning June 1, 2017, increased from $410 to $418.

MASSACHUSETTS: For new claims filed on or after October 1, 2017, the maximum WBA increased from $742 to $769.

MONTANA: The maximum WBA, with claims filed on or after July 2, 2017, increased from $487 to $510. The minimum WBA remains $151.

NEVADA: Effective July 1, 2017, the WBA increased from $426 to $439.

NORTH DAKOTA: For claims filed on or after July 2, 2017, the minimum WBA remains $43; however, the maximum WBA decreased from $633 to $606.

OREGON: For claims filed on or after July 2, 2017, the minimum WBA increased from $138 to $141, and the maximum WBA increased from $590 to $604.

SOUTH DAKOTA: The maximum WBA increased from $380 to $390 for claims filed on or after July 2, 2017. The minimum WBA remains unchanged at $28.

WASHINGTON: For claims filed on or after July 2, 2017, the minimum WBA increased from $162 to $169, and the maximum WBA from $681 to $ 713.

WYOMING: The WBA decreased from $489 to $475 effective July 2, 2017.

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The information provided in this document is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal, accounting, or tax advice. The information and services ADP 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.

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